Wednesday, May 31, 2006

still weird

yesterday's weirdness did not end with my blog entry...after i left the email place i was walking into the market and this young well dressed indian man basically acosted me and would not let me pass. he was kneeling in front of me and babling in english and hindi (i speak bengali not hindi)and i could not make out much except "please" and "jesus christ"...he grabbed me at one point and i told him firmly not to do that again...but then every time i moved to get away he would move in front of me again still babbling...making no sense. after trying to get away for about 3 minutes and get to the entrance to the market i finally pushed (generally against my principles to use violence) him...this did not stop him still he blocked my way and babbled...i was almost to the point of fear and panick when about 12 indian men came to my rescue and asked me what was happening...i told them i did not know but i wanted to get away from the man....and at the that point the man got up and left. really, really weird...i could not stop thinking about it all night...

i feel like a heaviness hangs on me today....not feeling my best. kristin is in dehli till friday so maybe just feeling a little lonely. Our friend and co-worker Upendra's wife has been in the hospital for 5 days awaiting the arrival of their baby--nothing is wrong--not sure why they have her in the hospital for what basically seems to be normal stuff...who can fathom the minds of the indian hospital system...anyway, Upendra and Rada are both wearing out and ready for this baby to come--please keep them in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

weird day

have you ever been somewhere and music is playing and life around you seems like it is moving to the soundtrack of the backround music. this morning i got in an Auto rickshaw and the guy was playing this music really loud--blow out the cheap speakers loud--they like it that way here and it was like everyone around me was moving to the beat...the other pulling carts like oxen of huge heavy loads, men in lungi's crossing the street, ladies in sari's with there daughters shopping, he event went over the tram tracks to the was really, really weird.

And then i got off the metro in kalighat and this guy had what would be the equivalent of barbie's torso on the bottom of his cane--the cane went through the holes where the legs where supposed to weird.

if feel like kind of things happen all the time here and they are things i think no one will believe or remotely understand how freaken bizarre my life is and how totally weird and out of place some of the things we see seem to be...

here to a change for a the better... a weird day instead of a bad one!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

light at the end of the tunnel

we dehumanize each other...the rich and the poor. The Have's dehumanize Have not's and the Have not's dehumanize the Haves. Many of us consider the poor to be lazy, drug addicted, somehow deserving of the poverty that they live in...on the other side the poor view the rich and probably more specifically the West as overflowing with money, greedy, fat, callous to the needs of the poor. I see this dicotomy everyday. in fact i live in much as i seek to be incarnational with the poor there is still a vast gulf of man's inhumanity to man that seperates us. the thing is the reasons and way we dehumanize are not true in generalizations...i see the poor work very very hard on empty stomachs and i know the tremendous genorostiy of the West and specifically of the CHURCH. And yet the lies remain to seperate and dehumanize all of humanity. i am weary of the seperation...part of my call is to eliminate this seperation yet i feel constantly embattled...

is it right for to answer every need around me with a YES? i ask myself this question all the time...this is question first timers always ask when they come here. i keep trying to figure out what my most profound yes can be...after year of pondering this i have come up with another answer (i am sure there will be yet another answer in the future) PROFOUND YES is this...i want to be apart of wholistic life giving freedom for women in and coming out of the sex trade. And in my deepest yes, there will be many, many NO's because unfortunatley freedom is a hard and weary road to one ever said it would easy but WOW i certainly think it is worth it to have freedom. I can only walk with these ladies, i can give a job and HOPE...certainly something to HOPE IN...but i can not give in to the desire to make it easy and in making it easy make them dependant. especially, because freedom will bring them to a place interdependance with GOD and NOT co-dependance on man. I have had to say some very hard NO's this last week. no's that have broken my heart over and over again...i feel like i can taste what it must be like to be mother or father who wants to give their child everything, all good things, to spoil them in a sense, to lavish them with all the good things that money can buy...but i am restrained...i know that i can not do that...i guess there is point that you have to let your child fall so that he can get up and walk again on his own. i can still lavish the love but i learning this week that i have to let child fall, SAY some no's, so that the child will get up and walk and I can give the deeper PROFOUND YES.

I am not gonna proof this cause i do not have time but i hope it makes sense. things are a little better here in if you have been praying for us keep it up and i am sure things will right themselves to an even higher level of good...we serve a God that makes all things new. reading matthew 10 over and over the last 2 days...super the be wise as serpents and gentle as doves thing...and at the end i feel very loved and known as i remember that he knows the hairs of our head!

Friday, May 26, 2006

weary in my sorrow

this is a time for lament. more than any other time up to now since october i feel the heavy burdens of this place. i see the life and hope being pulled from those i love. i feel a bit lonely and abandoned if i am honest and really completely helpless to really confront the problems before me. i ache with sorrow for the deep and painful losses of my friends at sari bari. i am angry that their suffering has been so much and without relief. i am angry that the road to freedom is so hard and that so few will and can walk it after being beaten down for so long. i am brokenhearted that so many more will suffer at the hands of traffickers and the rapists who call themselves lovers. i am angry that dignity, identity and HOPE are casualities in this war for the humanity of these women i now call my friends. I am angry that there is a destroyer who seeks to decimate the little life that remains in the hearts of stone on the lanes of kalighat and sonagacchi. i hate the death and destruction around anger and fear burns within my soul...a fierceness that is only curbed by the gentleness of jesus in my life. i am angry that we have to wait so long for justice and that the tormentor has more rights than the tormented. i am angry that my tears for them mean nothing and will quickly evaporate in the heat that is this hell. my tears mean nothing and deserve no comfort because there was no one there to comfort these beautys of creation when they cried...they cried alone and those loney tears dried and hardened their hearts so that nothing could get in to hurt them again. i can not understand. i do not want to understand or reason this is not reasonable. where is God for my friends? who will stand in the gap for them? why do you not strike the wicked and make them suffer and grovel and beg for mercy...mercy that they never gave. why God? where is one who will advocate for these helpless ones? my unfaithful heart is broken. tears stand behind my eyes but still can not come because they may never stop....i am so angry. so so angry that this is reality and that i so desperately want to run away from it...but i am here. i will wait for you God in this hell with these who have suffered and lived hell. i will wait for you God. I will wait until one more woman has freedom. will wait till this stops...this horrific onslaugter of the sexual assault of 60000 woman a day. i will wait in your arms because that is the only place that i can possibly have HOPE. and so i wait angry, beating your chest with my fists even as you embrace and love me...let your embrace encircle them. hear my cry oh God. hear their cry, remove the sword from their mouth. hear my cry and save them.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

life so far as it goes...

full days and sweaty sleep!! Sounds fun doesn't it. today i spent a good part of the day cleaning the kitchen in our new house. it is nasty pigeon poopy work and i actually kind of enjoyed seeing the progress we made friend maya came over with her kids and kristin picked us all up lunch and we shared yummy meal of chowmein and mongolian chicken and then maya helped me clean the kitchen. I have to say that GOOD COMPANY makes everything better.

Sari Bari is going really well and i am loving and in love with the ladies. it is a beautiful thing to see them continue to restored and renewed daily as their old life is farther and farther behind them. When i was at the conference in April i really saw a need for some counseling and maybe some type of group therapy....the wounds in these ladies hearts are deep and profound...i guess that is everyone's story...we all have deep and profound wounds. I think that as much as it is in my control i want to be to provide wholistic freedom for these woman...not only a safe place to work and meet jesus but a place where they can have counseling and deep inner healing when they are ready to take that step. we will be looking into maybe hiring some counselors or psycholgists here in india to do some training and group therapy so please keep that in your prayers and for how we might better be able to bring even better support to these women as they need it.

i think i said before that it has been a rough adjustment coming back to kolkata. it has and is but things are getting a little better and being in community with all the amazing people here is sure helping.

i have nothing really profound to say except it good to know that Jesus with me here and loves me here and makes all these new things out of the crap that often times is kolkata.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

more on the best bithday ever...

it is beautiful thing to be loved and loved well. i felt loved really well on my birthday. i was lavished with beautiful gifts from the ladies at sari bari...i received a sari, a salwar, 2 sari blankets--one that was personalized with "happy birthday sarah" that everyone worked on and made together and many other sweet gifts. As i received the packages one by one they were more than i could they kept coming more and more tears followed. I was so overwhelmed with the generosity of these women. i know their salary and what their expenses are and i was so aware of their deep and pure hearted generosity in their gifts that really i had a hard time stopping my tears. they gave me lavishness out of their was stunning. they put flowers in my hair and showered me with glitter...i felt like a princess, a beloved. they made me feel how i want them to feel everyday when they come to work.

that was just the begining of the day...i had a free night at the hyatt so kristin and i lived it up a little and rested in the air conditioning after several days of sweating our way through cleaning up our "bird invaded" apartment and yes, still the smell of bird poop lingers even after hours and hours of scouring. so back the birthday, i received so many emails and calls and gifts (thanks bethie). I felt lavishly and undeservedly cherished on my 33rd birthday. Kristin and Beth gave me a beautiful chocolate brown shawl and a hand carved cross--kristin and i enjoyed a early evening swim at the hyatt and a glass of wine along with some good food. I was really an amazing day.

it felt very undeserved and i guess maybe that is why my overwhelming feeling on friday was that it was most certainly God using the beloved people in my life to show me how much he loved me. i think i am still not expressing how amazing my day was but mostly i just want to say how thankful i am....

i love the ladies at sari bari. i love kristin and beth. i love the faithfulness of my parents. i love that i am 33. i love that i have beautiful amazing and lifelong friendships. I love that Jesus first loved us.

Friday, May 12, 2006

best birthday ever

today was the most amazing day...and it is not over yet. I was given a little surprise birthday party this morning by the sari bari folks and truly lavished with love. kristin made a good comment--she said this morning is a symbol of God's love--his lavish extravagent, costly love. i cried at the beauty and generoisty that i experienced this morning and i have been so blessed and encouraged by all the amazing calls and emails. thanks for being apart of this amazing "jesus"year with me. more tomorrow on what happened today!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

A little fatter and a lot more humble

today is the day i leave my sweet beloved family in indiana to return to my friends in Kolkata. I am longing to see everyone in India but i am also wishing for just a few more days of rest. I am not sure why but i do not feel like a really ever relaxed...could be that for three days out of 8 "vacation days" i was panicked with the loss of my plane ticket--i found it but it was very stressful in the process. I could be because i saved all the stuff i have not had time to do in calcutta until i got home--like stuff for Sari Bari and a 2 month back on emails--sorry if you still have not heard from me. anyway, home was good--justing longing for a little more. I enjoyed the food and family time...i loved being with my niece and my sister. I love sharing a beer with my brother and sister and law. I love talking to my friends on the phone still feeling a deep meaningful connection even though we a seperated by so many was a good visit. and i feel like i have lots to look forward to when i come back again in december.

so here is the top eleven highlights for my time at home (non nessarily in order of importance)...

1. eating mexican food ( i ate a Cebolla's three times0
2. Hearing my niece say my name
3. spending time with my brother and sister in law
4. meeting Jan Meyers at the conference (She wrote Allure of Hope --read it!)
5. Brats, corn on the cob, zesto's, and lots of diet coke
6. being with my sister, having coffee with my dad and having lunch with my mom
7. being reminded that i am not in control of my life
8. I called India and one of the ladies at Sari Bari told me to hurry home
9. not eating one grain of rice
10. selling 10 blankets for sari bari at the conference
11.being alone in a beautiful place where Jesus could meet me and remind to let go

home in america is a good thing and home in kolkata is its perfect compliment. I am carrying back lots of goodies for my friend--a extra 50 pounds in fact--it should be a sweet homecoming.

friday will be my 33 birthday--my jesus year--if you do not know what that means--well i will tell you...basically it is the year that jesus died---i do not want to die but a little dying to self would'nt hurt and a whole lot more jesus would be great. Looking forward to an amazing year...if the last 8 months are any indication of the next year i think i am in for some GOOD stuff.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

looking back a little

I have been at an amazing conference for Christians who are working with women who prostitute around the world. And truly, mostly I have found myself encouraged but after 5 days I am really ready not to talk about it anymore...not to live it in for just day. I feel very selfish saying this and it is selfish since the women I love and care about deeply in Kolkata never get a break.

I said in my last blog entry that I had a really good day at the gach on Thursday before I left was good because it was painful and I was moved in particular for one woman. Her name is rupa and I actually met her years ago when I first lived in Calcutta. She was one of my first friends in sonagacchi. She used to great me with a sweet smile but since my return she has seemed broken and so sad. She is defeated and evasive on many, many days but my hope has been that I have not seen her really harden. I feel a little caught because I know that hard shell is all some of my friends have for protection and I want them to be protected. On that Thursday I asked rupa when she going to leave and let us get her a job. She said she could never leave. I told that I did not believe that….I told that I knew she would leave…I asked her if she had an owner anymore and she said no…this is amazing an answer to prayer really because she has always been under someone. I felt the need to keep encouraging her…I told her I believed in her and I believed in her freedom and that her life was so valuable. She started to cry…as did I…I am holding out HOPE to and for rupa…she needs it and even if she can not hope for herself…I can hope for her. I looking forward to getting back to Kolkata and seeing her again and see her walk out of the gach to the freedom that awaits her.