Friday, June 30, 2006

Argentina is the better team!

I am still so sad about Argentina losing last night to Germany. Argentina played a way better game than Germany..germany just won in penalty kicks in the end. So sad for the that argentine subsitute goalie i am sure he is hating life and that most of his country is hates is guts right now. Anyway, world cup football (soccer) has been an amazing and enjoyable part of our lives...something different to do and a welcome distraction. We saw the game where argentina beat Serbia Montenagro 6-0. it was beautiful --argentina just passes and handles the ball so beautifully. we watched the game a little timy bar called joeys pub last night with some american travelers...and then came back and had deep and interesting conversations about justice, god's heart, what makes life meaningful and was good to hear from these three and their longing and searching hearts...and to see their different responses to what we do and we do it. they are all searching for meaning...i guess we all are but kristin and i have already chosen our meaning and purpose and that in so many way defines us.

i love figuring out how messed up i am so i can seek healing in my brokness. I love coconut macaroons for 10 rupees each. i love that kristin thrives when she is with people and helps me thrive too. i love watching world cup football. i love soccer legs. i love sleeping under a heavy quilt and being so warm and comfortable i do not want to get out of bed. i love rest and being a little bored. I love superman returns for it's purity but i love batman better for his complexity, darkside, and the battle he fights within himself.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

cold weather,unstoppable hips, thoughts on faith

we left wednesday night for the hills...we took a train to darjeeling for 10hours. and work up as sore as if we ran a marathon--not sure how that happens...actually, i am not sure that we actually slept. certainly, there was not rem sleep. After the train we took a jeep--sitting 4 across theback seat with kristin and i sitting on less than half of the back seat--youcan sure that kristin got that raw end of that deal as much as i tried to make myself smaller my hips were a upstoppable force and could onlyshift so far. my thought on the drive up included wondeing if my leg would ever regain feeling again, how beautiful god's amazing creation is, why do i live in kolkata and not darjeeling, and well at least it is not HOT!

Last night is the first night in a very long time that i have not been sweaty in my sleep and i was buried under a heavy blanket. it was beautiful. i took a hot shower and felt good and maybe my skin will even clear up in the next 2 days we are here.

kristin and i here to take a retreat. we have spent almost the last 24 hours since we got here seperate being alone with jesus. and we will spend the rest of the time dreaming of what can happening in kolkata in the next years and putting it on paper...

i have spent my time reading romans, ephesians, andhebrews and be reminded that my faith is small and i make God small with my small faith. I am reminded that while i fear failing God, he will NEVER FAIL ME. I am reading this book called BELIEVING GOD and it is ripping my face off...i tried to read it before but it was not connecting this time i am really taking in all that i can in mydesire to have faith that is deep and not swayed by the trials of calcutta.

lots more thoughts to share so i will try and write more tomorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

dreaming for what we will never see...

that is what kolkata requires of us. that we dream for the things that we may never see...

it seems that the deeper we move into the lives of our red light community here the more complex and hard the issues become..yes i know that it is like this in every relationship. But here we are facing so many cultural barriers...we truly want to honor the culture and bring christ into the culture to transform people...but there are some things that seem a culture of lying and stealing. the poor stealing from the poor, a madam--a victim of trafficking herself selling and owning other girls...these things are devasting on so many levels. and on any one day could kill the HOPE that we seek to have and carry for these women and their families.

so yesterday we were challenged to dream for the things that we will never see...things that won't happen in the next three or six years or even 25 years...but to keep a long term HOPE FILLED mindset. still have yet to fully process this but what an amazing way of thinking and releasing the issues of today into the hope that one day they will no longer be issues.

on fun or funny note....

the boro boro dude
i have a large chest..if you have met me you know this and most of the time i find it a source of frustration and irritation as it incurs a lot of negative attention in this culture. One of my little friends in omaha used to call breasts milkies and in bengali the term for the breast is literally the word for Milk...appropriate huh?

anyway, today again my chest was the source of some great fun and attention but this time from the ladies in the gach. I had 7-8 ladies pulling open my shirt to look at my bra...they were very interested as to where one would get a bra such as mine and how much it cost...which was alot in their mind...hard to explain the cost differences. it was hilarious standing in the middle of the lane talking about my chest size and what kind of bra could possible cost as much to talk with them about normal stuff like bra size and weird but fun!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

big parties in small spaces

our little friend opurna is not so little anymore and celebrated her 12th brithday...we thought she was 10 so we were a little shocked but what a fun party. there were literally more than 20 people crammed into a 4x5 floor space dancing and great though in my advanced age a little loud and overwhelming....not to mention hot with all those bodies.

in india you only get the tiniest piece of cake...they share a 8 inch one layer cake between is actually perfect...just a taste...with my tendancy to over enjoy cake it is a nice reminder that just a taste is more than a enough and cake is better when shared with lots of people you love.

Julian and Charlotte...our new cool british friends were at the party...they took over our old flat so now they are friends with our old neighbor...really fun to have our community of friends stay connected to our old neighborhood.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

just my life

so this week is just like one of those weeks where i just am i awe that this is my life...and what a weird life it is... we are having our house painted and it is certainly an adventure in the culture...the paint colors are exactly what we planned for and the rains are finally back so we are getting good sleep but just keep finding more and more water damage...

i am in full on dread that the warm red that i chose for my room could turn out to be pink...i will die...seriously!!

we have the best time last night with this really cool couple from the UK. I feel like they will really be our was like home, we watched football, shared a beer, some good conversation about life, jesus and was so real and so beautiful and so fun!! i have not had that much for a long time...really i forgot that we would get locked out of our house at 10pm and i never forget those kind of things...

upendra has been sick this week and i feel a little weary between time at sari bari and painting and try to keep it together mental, emotionally and spiritual.

we had small group at our house on thursday and it was really good but in a calcutta kind of way. i was facilitating and we were doing lecto divina and on the parable of lazarus and that rich man and this huge storm blew in and it was really while it was not the quite reflective time i was hoping for it was really good and we had good challenging conversation about what that passage means to us in a place where lazarus is literally at our front gate and we encounter him daily...pretty profound to have this conversation with a group of people who have given themselves to full service with and for the poor.

well, i am off to the hardware store to get more paint and sandpaper and a hammer and nails....wish me luck....oh one more thing, kristin and i are fasting from saturday (today) to monday the pray for us...we are just wanting more jesus here so that is the theme....and join us by giving up a meal if you are up for it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

it's sooooooo hot!

whew...the last few days have been so the kind of hot that you never really dry off because you are sweating all the time and you smell by the end of the day like a gym bag that's been sitting full of stinky sock for 2 days. i mean seriously it is so gross here right now...moonsoon has started and there was some relief to the heat of may but now it is just this pensive gloomy humidity with no rain---rain would be good to really cool it down again. okay, enough venting about the heat...i am escaping it momentarirly by sitting in the email place.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

finally a good day

i would caterogorize these last weeks since returning from the states as pretty rough...certainly with lots of ups and downs. I think i feel like i never really got a break and when i re-entered the culture i was not ready to face it on top of which we have been in transition for the last month and things are not really changing as far as settling down...hopefully by the end of the month.

actually, today did not start off so good but it kept getting better. I went to a new minstry that we (sari bari) are partnering with and training more ladies and it was good to see how they are doing and the positive efforts being made to a new life...they still have a very long way to go but it was hopeful all the same...

and i think what i needed this morning was a little bit of hope being restored. i just told kristin this morning how discouraged i piling on a little hope has seemed to take the edge off...

then i went to sari bari kalighat and had a great time with the ladies---we laughed and laughed---my bengali is not sophisticted enough to make jokes except for joking about the way i speak bengali and the american accent with which i speak it....i had then rolling as i told them stories of speaking mistakes and being made fun of because of my nasal way of speaking (hey this is not just me everyone here thinks americans are nasal). it was good to laugh and have fun with them after some of the struggles of the last weeks...

and last but not least i aslo accomplished something else that i have been trying to do for weeks...i bought a power strip for my this may not seem like a big deal except for here in calcutta you have to go to this specific market and ask at many, many shops before you find it. I FOUND IT! i have been waylaid by lack of time, torrential rain and general weariness but today i triumped!!

one more language class was canceled for tonight which means a night off and some rest--who hooooooooo!

Monday, June 05, 2006

unto us a child is born...

Just wanted to let everyone know that Upendra and Rada have welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world (last thursday) finally. Mom and baby are doing great..Rada was one of 2 women who did not have a c-section in a ward of 40 women...they are a little over zealous with the" ceaser" as they call it here. He does not have a name yet but i am told they will decide one soon...they are new christians so they are thinking of giving him the name "jesus"and calling him by another nickname--common here to have a bhalo (good name) name and a choto name (little). whatever the name i am sure he will be an amazing kid!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Sari Bari Blog

Check it out...Sari Bari now has a blog with all the lastest pictures of blankets being produced. i will try to post updates on what's happening and how soon you might be able to purchase one of these beauties!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Some pics from my Birthday

The first picture is of me and Gita---Gita is the Sari Bari trainer and a sweet girl of 18 who has been a great job helping us out with sari bari. The Second pic is me receiving a hug from one of the ladies and the third is of my very special Sari Bari Birthday Blanket--made from all the scraps with special embroidery "Happy Birthday Sarah Sister". And finally we have Upendra, the Sari Bari Asst. Production Manager--his wife should be having a baby any day now.