Okay, I know that's kind of a lie since most of you live pretty far from me, but you're definitely a lot closer since I came back to the States!
I really want to encourage all of you to go over to the Sanctuary Home blog and read about our experiences there. There's just too much for me to talk about in another blog, and besides, I was blogging over there while it was happening so everything I could say has been said best already. Even if you just skim through for my blogs, I really think you'll be blessed and challenged by what our team was a part of.
For now, it's.... weird to be back. I mean, it's good, but it's weird. I still keep dreaming about India. Every time I lay my head down I'm transported back to Tenali. Let me just share a couple pieces from my latest SH blog entry:
Life in Tenali really was something completely extraordinary and completely... other. On Sunday, Amanda, Jana and I just sat for a minute after class and talked about our re-entry into American life and how strange it's been. I mean, for two weeks I didn't have keys! I didn't drive a car, I didn't do laundry, I didn't have a cell phone or a laptop... and I had 75 younger brothers and sisters! When we tried to talk about the fact that the trip only lasted two weeks, Jana's eyes got big and she said "There is no way that was only two weeks. No way." She didn't say it in disbelief, either. She said it as a fact. That trip did not last two weeks. It lasted a whole other lifetime. I still dream about India and my family there and wake up a little confused as to where I am and where my Indian family has gone.
I never knew that I would be called to India. I always thought I was better suited to a cooler clime, but God knows best and I'm kinda dense, so I'm gonna go with it. I told the kids and the Palaparthi family when I left that I was going to put a jar on my desk to start saving up money so I could go back as soon as I can, and after I finish my grad work I would really like to spend time doing a long-term mission there. I can learn Telugu, teach the kids English, and help mediate between the Indian team and the American team. I know this is big, and I know it's rather fast to state my intention for such a big commitment, but if God is at all willing, I've got the desire and I've gotta go. I say this knowing that God knows better than I do (as I said, he's God and I'm dense) and that things may change according to what he wants me to do, but this just feels right.
My heart officially has an India-shaped hole.
For now, I'm just asking for prayers. Prayers for SH, for the kids there, for Isaac and Mary, for their daughters and Mary's brothers Rajanikanth and Anil, for Ray and Amanda, for SH's attempts to be granted Indian non-profit status, for the 8 new children we took in over the course of the trip, and for my future involvement with SH... whatever that may look like. I'm resigned to the fact that God is in charge and I don't get to say where I go or when, but this just feels like God's hand is over this, blessing this, and clearing the way for me to go back.
Quick story: Before I left for India I needed to sign up for one more class for the spring. I didn't have any requirements about what it had to cover, I just needed hours. I didn't want to take an intensive Bible class or another Literature class because it would just be too much work with the other classes I'm already taking, but I also didn't want to cop out and just take bowling or whatever. I had no idea what I was going to take, but as soon as I got back from India the idea to take a class about teaching English as a second language popped into my head. Now I had no idea if ACU offered that sort of class, if they offered it this semester, if you had to be an Education major to take it, if it was open, if it would conflict with my work schedule.... yada yada yada. Basically, there were 12 billion ways in which that could have not worked out, and just one small window in which it would. Guess what, suckas? I'm enrolled in the Teaching English as a Second Language class! How freaking exciting is that? The way that popped into my head and how it worked out against all odds (especially since they apparently only offer it every once in a while) just reinforces for me that one of these days I'll be headed back to Tenali to stay.
At least for a while. :)
Welp, love you guys. I should go back to sleep. I'm still having trouble adjusting off of India time so I tend to fall asleep everywhere during the day (I'm working on that) and wake up hungry in the middle of the night. I'm going to go toast myself some tasty Pop-Tarts, climb back into bed, indulge and snooze.
Peace and love.