Thursday, December 27, 2007
after my time of rest, i have been pondering what it means to have full life. i certainly have a life that is full. but sometimes, it is so full of work and things i feel i have to do that i lose the joy. i want it all. the treasure of freedom for the women and the satisfaction of work, the peace of rest and the joy of play. i want to create something new everyday....spend myself fully and not battle burnout.
i am a woman who wants to make things happen and when they do not or there is disappointment i take it hard. i realized that i need to be in place where i can relax and just "be" in the all the situations i find myself. i can not control and fix myself or fix everyone around me. i am terribly hard on myself most of the time...so this needs to be my year of grace. the year i learn to live in grace, walk in grace and be graceful. like i said before i need to let the savior save and everyone around me instead striving so hard to create a perfect situation that my never exist. because i see the kingdom coming inspite of me, inspite of all the failures, all the hardness of real relationship, all the trials of living in another a culture. the kingdom comes in spite of me...thank sweet jesus for that.
i am wishing for newness for my heart this year. a fresh fullness that comes from being one who is saved and knowing that is enough.
i also want to lose 35 pounds this year...35 because i am turning 35 and it seems like a good time to try for it. so i am filling my plate with fruit and vegtables and holding off on the all the lovely goodies i got for christmas. but still enjoying little treasures like chocolate with my coffee this morning. but of course even in this i hope to walk in grace.
so a toast to new life, a whole life, and walking in grace.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
i am thankful to be amoung the sweet ktm community and be embraced by their hugs and kisses and taco dinners! i am thankful to see a week of love changing the lives of little children and thankful for another day to try and meet the emmanuel who is with us in it all.
Friday, December 14, 2007
i am headed up to stay at sarangkot for my remaining two days...i can get a room for 10 bucks a day instead of the 5 i am paying now and the view is suposed to be spectacular. i am a little weary of the touristy thing here in pokara....not enough nature and to many people for me!
has anyone ever seen the cross between a turkey and a duck? well i have here in pokara--the body of a duck and the ugly face of a turkey with the gobbling noise and the bobbing head. so weird...seen it twice but both times without my camera...you will just have to imagine it!!
so maybe no internet up on the mountain...we will see i guess. more when i get back to KTM.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I am doing an advent based retreat at D-baynes suggestion. and loving the sweet simplicity of welcoming the savior. because that is really what i have been needing to do..welcome my savior and let myself be saved. today i reflected on joseph and how overwhelmed he must have felt, seemingly the father of a an illegitmate child, caring for his family with inadequate resources, fathering at least on earth the son of God. I found myself in a very real way identifying with joseph...the overwhelmed, overresponsible part but then seeing in a real way, that joseph must have been okay because i a very real way he had to depend on the Father and let him in to be his savior even as he welcomed the savior into the world. these are incomplete thoughts...any. thanks to all you who are praying...
off to find more beauty and breath in the heart of the savior.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I am in nepal now. I got here saturday and have been enjoying life with the community here. so great to see guatum and rekha and see how much their lives have changed and the hope that continues to spring from what God is going in their lives and the lives around them.
i have needed a break and i am hoping this time of rest will help me refocus and get back on my feet on an emotional and spiritual level. i can feel myself just starting to let down. I leave for pokara tomorrow for a 5 days personal retreat...all alone with the silence, my bible and hopefully some long walks in nature. i am leaving early than expected because my root canal--yes they have a good dentist in nepal will require three visits. i had my first visit and it went really well and i have my next one on tuesday so i planned the retreat part in between. When i get back i will have more time with the nepal staff before heading back to kolkata on the 23rd.
i am little afraid of being alone for 5 days but if i could discern something that might be good but hard for me this would be what i need right now. i am taking some yarn,my crochet hook and a bible and will wait to see what god says in the waiting silence. my hopes are up...
i am off to exlpore thamel today... revist old memories and drink some coffee.
Monday, December 03, 2007
so i am happily finishing off my first good day in awhile. we had 4 new ladies start training at Sari Bari today and maybe a few more starting on Wednesday. it was good a day...so beautiful to see more women coming into freedom. nice to have a very full house at SB. beautiful to see SB ladies bringing other ladies into freedom. i love being apart of kolkata's freedom story. i just love it!
i am a little homesick...being sick for awhile always seems to do that! and so does darn cute pictures of my neice addy! wow what a cutie..she makes amazing faces as seen below! Grace makes some pretty good ones too!!
Well thats all for now. thankful for my life with the SB ladies and thankful to have family all over the world, including the super cool beth and kristin, when i am homesick!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
for all my hardwork of going to pick up our christmas presents from kim at the airport i got lots of hugs and TLC from the visiting Sari Bari three who are at our house on tuesdays. They make me feel loved and they were also a great mom replacement on a sick day. being sick has had some benefits...i have had lots of time to think and i have thought up a couple of really cool ideas for sari bari--can't wait to get back to work and make some samples...but for the cc people reading, i am still going to be taking it slow this week at least!
Monday, November 26, 2007
i want to be patient but i also want to go to work. I am not sure if God is saying rest or if something else is at work. glad to have an amazing bengali staff to pick up the slack. i am thankful for that and thanksgiving leftovers because i have been surving on mashed potatoes for three days (which i love).
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I have a million thoughts and reflections on the beauty of teamwork and community as we came together to make the impossible happen. The joy of being crowded in our small little (sari) Bari patching and photographing the handwork of freedom for the the women. The joy of handing off the work of many months to be sent and shared with the world for a tangible affirmation of new life as people purchase blankets for their friends and family for christmas.
all this work for christmas orders has me thinking about christmas before thanksgiving. thinking about what a gift we have in jesus as our God who saves, our emmanuel..God with us.
I am listening to Mindy Smith's Christmas album feeling more sentimental by the moment and looking forward to watching White Christmas tomorrow (because yes i am downloading it on my itunes!). The thought of my neice singing "snow, snow, snow" is making me cry and long for my other home in the embrace of my family. But I think i am okay with that longing because almost everyday it is filled with the faces and arms of my other family...the ladies of sari bari, who are my tangible hope!
thankful to be in the arms of jesus because he saves, thankful for aunt mary and her passion for all things sari bari and for being my cheerleader, thankful for skype through which i can talk with everyone i love in america, thankful for ghetto dancing madness at christian events in india, thankful for more freedom and more hope for my beautiful friends at sari bari, thankful to celebrate thanksgiving in india with lots of things to be grateful for, thankful for praying before bed with kristin and beth, thankful to be downloading White Christmas, and i am thankful to be who i am, where i am...at least i am trying.
Monday, November 05, 2007
These are few shots of our time with Silas, our Regional Coordinator, who came down from nepal to last week to encourage our community and help work through some good stuff. Needless to say, i was encouraged! We celebrate communion together and life together! More soon....
Friday, October 19, 2007
the street before it got really crowed!!
really cute neighbor kids!
more cute neighbor kids...
so i just spent the last half hour crying(maybe weeping is better)through grays anatomy...have you seen the one in season three that makes you weep? you must know what i am talking about if you have seen it. i think crying is so healing. i wish a few tears could come without watching grays. i spent the last two days in luxury...someone nicely anonymously sponsored a a couple days at a sweet hotel for me. i spent have this time trying to achieve the emotional breakthrough that one episode of grays can do...this is superficial i know. glad to cry though... glad to remember those i love in all this drama that i feel is my life here sometimes.
i spent the last couple of hours before grays people watching downstairs. seeing all the beautiful people of india out and about on the street in front of my building celebrating their puja. they are so beautiful. my neighbors are so beautiful...kind and generous with their time and their tea. shared ice cream and conversation can make the world a better place i am pretty sure.
thankful for tears and books that rip my face off. thankful for cheese and wine and being at home. thankful for jesus in the midst of hard times. thankful for treadmills and running even when i do not want to...thankful to see maya tomorrow. thankful for tears and hope in suffering. amen!!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
...i read the whole section on suffering from Henri Nouwens "Here and Now"
...i have spent way too much time on the internet doing nothing. yes the gap has cute stuff but i can not wear it in india so why do i bother looking?
...i had our neighbor from downstairs come up for tea and movie today but mostly we just talked about life...it was nice!
...i went to the broadway hotel to hang out with George and his english friends and i had so much fun darn it!
...i barely left the house today, only to buy milk for tea and a bengali news paper for studying. the guy i bought the paper from somehow knew i lost my passport and asked me if i got a new one--how do people find these things out?
...i got my new indian visa, handwritten, i am not sure they will let me back in the country if i ever leave. i had to tell the guy that the correct word was "transferred" not "transpried" for what they were doing with my visa.
...i did my laundry but not very well. sometimes hand washing a two loads is just too much!
...i watched some grays anatomy.
...i had an amazing meal with one our friends from the gach. she was so sweet and generous and made me think that i will never be alone here...she told me i could come over any time day or night while beth and kristin are gone. she does not understand how i could possible want to be alone. i felt loved.
...i am currently being bombarded with loud non sensical music from the loud speakers outside my window...these sounds will last till 2 or 3 am and will go on for the next week at least. yes, puja season is here and bad loud speaker music is the anthem of the rest of my week.
...got an email from kristin and everyone is happy and learning good things in nepal. this makes me happy.
...oh, and i gave myself a pedicure-minus nail polish removal (no remover), i just had to paint over the old stuff but my feet are really clean. And i gave myself a facial...i did two masks...maybe this was too much but my skin needs help!!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Also I feel like I need to let my blogging friends know that I looking for some more great people to join my support team. i am really struggling with financial support. Usually, there is just enough to meet the needs of my salary and health care but for some reason i am in the hole right now (about -$700) and need some help. I have reviewed my yearly expenses and if I could raise an additional $200 a month that should cover all my support needs...that would just be 20 more people at $10 a month. If you are interested in supporting me you can do so by going to the this link on the WMF website (all the info you need to give on one handy page). Find the easiest way for you to give, indicate the gift is for my support account and then be sure of my thanks!!
I know that alot of you who read my blog do not get my prayer letters so i thought this might be a good way to let you know my needs. Thanks for taking the time to consider these things...
your thoughts, love, comments and prayers are always appreciated!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
i reached for deep water
but i can no longer try
trying has bent me over
wasted my limbs and pulled at my roots
i yearn i reach i strain
and i am still dry
still parched and battered by the wind
frail and longing for the deep
the river flows near
i wait for refreshment
i reach for deep water
but i can no longer try
trying has bent me over
for the deep water
let my roots soak in what my limbs can not reach
thirsty i wait by the river
i must wait
so i wait because i can no longer try
Thursday, October 11, 2007
i personally want to be loved for who i am...i want to be willing to be who i am and have that not be such a scary prospect for myself. I wish i did not care what other people think...i am trying and right at the moment learning that sometimes even when you make a good decision people still might not like it and treat you bad. i think i mostly feel sad because i want to the best for everyone and i want everyone to be happy and feel respected and cared for... i have to learn to feel confident in these strange gifts god has given me, like telling the truth, and foresight and thinking through every last little detail...however they sometimes make me feel lonely and i wish i could live in my INFP world all the time and did not have to be a "D". so basically when i feel this way i just remember who i love and who does love me and try not to worry about the rest. this is hard...but i am learning.
Monday, October 08, 2007
i have sad news...i lost my passport. this is humiliating all by itself. in fact my feelings of humility kept me patience and very contrite at all the government offices i had to go too last thursday to get my passport replaced. sadly, today i learned that not only is my passport lost but there is no way in God's green earth that i will be able to make to our regional staff retreat...there are absolutely no tickets...not even first class until october 29th. i am sad. so this means at least three more weeks in kolkata and about 10 days on my own--trying to figure out something to do with myself since sari bari will be closed and everyone, and i do mean everyone will be gone in nepal or england or australia.
i know there must be a silver lining somewhere in this...i think i better do a what i am thankful for list to help me remember the good things...
i love sari bari, i love the ladies at sari bari, i love cold diet pepsi, i love the chili beth made for dinner tonight that tasted like home, i love taking pictures, i love skype and facebook and blogs in general, i love people who get excited about God heart for transformation, i love the rain that cools down kolkata, i love that someday soon i will get to go to nepal and have a personal retreat, i love that all things work out in the end (somehow), i love that being thankful is a good end to a hard day.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
So we did the flower thing again on friday night and it was amazing and beautiful and profound. I was totally unprepared....coming off a week of sickness and struggle for the goodness and hope that began as soon i handed the first girl a flower. Their faces lighted up...hands reached out...it was so good to encourage and be apart of their smiles for just one moment. we specifially went into one brothel where my good friend J lives...i have been visiting her every week for the last year or so. she lives in room with 9 other young girls. they never leave but new ones always come...for some reason i have favor with their owner and he does not mind our visits...it was really beautiful to go up in our sari's and give them flowers...they were so suprised and happy. J just kept saying this is good, this is so good. so we gave beautiful flowers (surjo muky--the "face of the sun flower") to beautiful girls....so many young, struggling, hard pressed girls who we hope got a glimpse of their loveliness and their value on friday night...it was a good night.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
broken by bathroom breaks
and heavy weighted thoughts
stumbling to rest
in my crowded thoughts
like a pack rat...
only i do not wear my clutter on the outside
only inside it is hard to find space
searching for king and kingdom
in the dirty walkways
lingering beside the gardens for their comfort
finding little but dusty leaves
wondering at a deeply rooted life, so dry it feels so much
a burst of flame might destroy
this tender balance of extremes
compelled like the cyclonic rain outside my window
out of control
but ending is ensured by natures cycles
uninterrupted peace, quiet tickle my dreams
my sleep, deadness if only for a few hours
relief from this heaviness
on my knees, like a tree bent in half by the weight from not being pruned back
this broken space is mine
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
i have alot of serious junk going on in my brain right now...to much to spell out in a blog a least today. all i can say is that i am wishing for home, longing for peace and waiting for jesus in the midst of it.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
so i walked "a" and "b", the sons of our friend "P" in the gach to Freeset everyday this week to spend time at their freeset daycare....they needed a safe place for this week and freeset made space for them. i loved going to pick them up and then waking them up and watching them wash their faces and i loved holding their little hands, i loved giving them the breakfast of their choice, loved buying them ice cream on the way home. but i loved most, walking home last night holding "A" in my arms singing "ja ghari jesu ache kato annondo" (the house with jesus has so much joy!) and "Ajke re din, jesus shristi koreche" (this the day)with this little five year old down the lanes of the red light district...it felt so right to proclaim the goodness of God in those lanes holding a little boy who life God seems to be providing for in amazing ways. it was "a" who started it...he started singing what he has learned that day and so we sang together all the way home.
this was a good reminder for me of why i am here...on saturday i was not so sure that i wanted to be here anymore. being sick always makes for more drama but i was so weary of the problems, so weary of myself and my own personal drama that i thought maybe quitting would be a good option. it of course is not, and while i am still struggling and mostly exhausted after two weeks of insane hours while being sick, i am at a place of peace and hope again thanks to my urgent and definitely important little dates with a five and a six year boy.
hopefully, rest will find me tomorrow and i will journey may way into deep thought about these crazily unprocessed weeks.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
...6 grown middle aged men walking to the river in their towels to take a bath in the river.
...singing "how great is our God" this morning as a prayer, a testimony in the face of great darkness. A prayer lifted high for the ladies at sari bari, the ones who stayed and the ones who have gone. for the girls in the gach...j, t, m, c and s who do not have freedom yet.
...salsa dancing lessons from our friend jesse and then actually salsa dancing at a local hotel for free!
...seeing the angst with which our team, 21,22,23 years old searchs for the truth of life and God. And ever so thankful to beyond that angst and into the beauty and comfort of knowing who i am and who God is, a least for today!
...visiting the sari bari ladies who recently left and seeing a glimmer of hope that wrongs might be able to right again.
...learning to play the guitar...really play!
...singing loud and not caring what anyone thinks.
...running at 6am and making it 3 miles with not too much trouble.
...having a staff meeting on the roof of the lindsay hotel...calcutta is beautiful at night.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
i want it for the sweet little lady we found on the street yesterday. she apparently works cleaning the area but as soon as she got sick she was put out on the street. super discouraging but it was hopefully to see a little TLC in the form of some medicine, a sheet, some water and later some food made a difference.
well, i am off to sari bari for the day...another day in the arms of love, being loved and loving some of my favorite people in the world.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
....and he see's written out in large clumsy letters as they were falling apart or melting, the message "jesus saves"---just that. JESUS SAVES---with all the other signs going on with whatever they are saying too. And if that man is like most people i know, including myself much of the time and many ways he will wince at the message; that is really a very strange and interesting thing, both the message and the wincing.
God only knows what kind of person must have crawled up there with his bucket and brush to slap the words on: a man or woman, young or old, drunk or sober, by daylight or by dark. And God only knows what reason he may have had for doing it, just that way, just there. But in our strange times, amoung people more or less like us, the effect at least of the words is clear enough: Jesus Saves. The effect more or less is that we wince. One way or another, i believe we wince because we are embarrassed, and embarrassed for all kinds of reasons.
Embarrassed because the words remind us of old-time religion and the sawdust trail and pulpit pounding, corn belt parsons, evangelism in the sense of emotionalism and fundamentalism. we wince because there is something in the name of jesus that embarasses us when it stands naked and alone like that, just "jesus" with no title to soften the blow. it seems that the words "christ saves" would not bother us half so much because they have a kind of objective, theological ring to them, whereas "Jesus saves" seems cringingly painfully personal--somebody name jesus, of all names, saving somebody named whatever your name happens to be. it is something very personal written up in a place that is very public, like the names of lovers carved into the back of a park bench or an outhouse wall...
and maybe, at a deeper level still, "jesus saves" is embarrassing because if you can hear it through all your wincing, if any partat all of what it is trying to mean gets through, what it says to everbody who passes by, and most importantly and unforgivably what it says to you, is that you need to be saved. Rich man, poor man; young man, old man; religious, unreligous--the word is in its way an offense to all of them, all of us, because what it says in effect to all of us is, " you have no peace inside your skin. you are not happy, not whole." That is an unpardonable thing to say to a man whether it is true or false, but especially if it is true,because there he is, trying so hard to be happy, all of us are, to find some kind of inner peace and all in all maybe not making too bad a job of it considering the odds, so that what could be worse psychologically, humanly, that to say to him what amounts to "you will never make it. you have not and will not, a least without help?
and what could be more presumptuous, more absurd, more pathetic, than for some poor fool with a cut rate brush and a bucket of white paint to claim that the one to give that help is Jesus?...because of course, Behind the poor fool with his bucket there always stands of course the Prince of Fools himself, blessed be he, in his own way more presumptuous, more absurd and pathetic than anyone has managed to be since.
Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Fredrick Buechner
i was talking to my mom before i read this and she gave me some good insight on how to answer the question of my anger and why i am angry. She said you need to ask yourself what it is that you are demanding and will discover why it is you are angry...this is good stuff. Almost immediately, i said i am demanding perfection of myself and everyone around me and it is making me miserable and probably everyone else too. so i feel like a failure which makes me angry and i feel terribly disappointed to sometimes the point of devastation when i hurt someone or when someone i trust hurts me. i am that person in need of saving...i mean i know this...but i am trying so hard, striving to make a good life one that honors and cares for others and but i just need that kick in my ass, that reminder that jesus saves sarah, that i will fail every time with out Him. I am not stuart smalley, i will never be good enough, smart enough and liked enough...and somehow i think i can be okay with that when i rest in Jesus arms, the arms that save me. i am offended and affronted that i can not do it on my own, i want to make myself good enough, kind enough, gentle and generous enough...but the fact is that i will never be enough and that i will never too much for Jesus to handle.
so i am feeling a bit right today, basically because i am broken and empty, that crakced jar of clay that reminds me that none of this is about me but about Him and what a relief that is...
Friday, August 17, 2007
so i am basically in a processing black hole...not much going in and not much going out. feel like i could probably almost always say the wrong thing ( thankfully this has only happened a few times in the last week) to the wrong person and wonder just a bit what i am doing back here.
i can not say i am discouraged nessasarily, just not right fully. my hope meter is seriously low and self love is in the pits of the mirey depths. i feel like i pull myself out for a few moments everday but there is always an opposing moment when i wonder i will ever recover from this stupid culture shock, jet lag, being a human being thing.
so i think i just need to verbally expel some drama from the last week...feel free to stop here if you want. it might be more than you want to know
i arrived just over a week ago on a strike day...no taxis or autos so i had to lug my bags onto a bus--not so bad really. i did not mind the adventure because it was keeping me awake. and my cell phone was dead after a month in the states and i arrive at new market hoping to plug in at a local coffee shop but nope they do not have that convient thingy that lets you recharge for free. i went to new market because there was no direct way home...and i needed help with my bags to catch the next bus to our house...anyway could not get ahold of kristin or beth so upendra came and we brought my stuff to sari bari.
sari bari was good...actually each time i have been in the last week it has been a shining light in my day. and basically, with how hard things have been with sari bari and the loss of some of our ladies while i was gone this is amazing in itself. i think my hope is not any less for the sari bari ladies...because i believe in them and for them...maybe i am struggling to hope for myself. anyway sari bari is going though some yucky stuff but the staff are being amazing and the ladies who are working still are beautiful and growing and the light of my time back so far...
mmmm....got to have coffee with my friend charlotte...i love charlotte. she is a good friend and it is okay to be serious and normal with her. i do not have to be over excited or funny or passively accepting to be appreciated. i feel like i can just me...serious, direct, thoughtful, not so perfect or kind all the time, but mostly nice, deep sarah. it is good to feel known by her.
i think i am angry about something but i can not really say what for sure...maybe all this drama i feel in my heart is just culture shock and i just need to give it a week. i am tired of myself basically and want some change but i am not sure what that change is supposed to be....i am battling in prayer, longing for jesus but running away at the same time, struggling to have self control, but wanting to have it, wanting to be kind and generous and servanty but feeling selfish and kind of numb. i guess i am not this raw on my blog usually but i needed to start somewhere. maybe you are thinking...your private journal might have been good...
so anyway, say a prayer for me and my little sob story of the day. i am sure i will get over it. i hope verbal expulsion has helped. i know there are more stories but i am not interested reliving them right now.
on a happy note..we are backing in the running swing of things and getting ready to start training for our marathon.
can i recommend "a thousand splendid suns"...amazing book. read it.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
the weater is amazing, clear, cool and sunny! actually i have been cold since i got here in the 70 degree weather...but it was more than perfect yesterday. justin and i did a "day in seattle" and if there was something to do we did it. we went to pike place market and enjoyed lunch with a view of the bay and then tried to go the seattle museum of art but sadly they were closed...so then we walked to the space needle and spent 15.00 bucks for a half hour of viewing pleasure of the entire city including a great view of mt. ranier (only visible in it 14000 foot glory about 80 days a year). then we headed back down to to the market and explored and enjoyed a coffee from the very first starbucks (is that cheesy that i wanted to visit...my brother would not let me ask where it was because he thought we might be too touristy) and there is like a thousand starbucks in a 12 block area downtown. but we found it. and then we headed for a mariners game...it was a beautiful night and a game against the angels...the mariners won. it was a sweet seattle day.
my neices are amazing and today we are headed for the zoo in tacoma provided everyone is happy and not grumpy...the moods of a 3 year old and 7 week old are so changing all the time
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
our friend "a" is now out of the hospital and hopefully on her way to a good recovery. she needs to take care of herself..hard to tell someone this who is still in training and has dork of a husband. anyway, say a prayer for her!
it was a sad goodbye at sari bari. some of the ladies started crying. so heart wrenching...i think they think that i might not come back or something...though so far i come back every time. about 7 of them stood at the gate waving good bye. i have mental picture to take with me...though there is not a chance that i will forget them in the month that i am gone. they are going to have a fun outing next week on monday...it is a holiday and there is a mela (a fair) and so sari bari will close early and they will all go together for some tasty eats and silly rides and games...wishing i could with them.
i usually have a rough time the last couple weeks before leaving calcutta...the culture tends to get on my nerves but this time has been different...more like always. though i have smacked the hands of three seperate men and scolded them in the last three days...i still feel like i am in the culture and loving the reasons i am here...already looking forward to returning though i am certainly relishing the upcoming times with friends and family.
so tomorrow is it...i leave for the states. i will spend my last morning in the gach with a few friends i have not had a chance to see because things have been so busy. everything is packed...two full bags of sari bari products and one little bag just for me ( my carry on)!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
So if you are interested, here are the details:
(you have to email me for the address and phone number)
i got on the scale this week and i have lost 10 pounds about or 8 kgs. not sure how i did it. i was trying really hard this last couple months and nothing was happening. i kind of stopped...i think the last couple weeks i have stopped thinking about food much at all. maybe God heard my prayers for a thinner body :). anyway, happy to be little lighter. hopefully, i will not gain all back on chips and salsa and meat in the states.
i am sad to leave the sari bari ladies...esp.with the last week and half being so busy. i have spent all my time trying to get things done (many of which will still not be done when i leave) and have not had my usual sweet times of just sitting and talking, hearing their stories while they sew. i hope that is what my day tomorrow with be like...i have finished all the essentials and what is not getting done can wait till i get back.
so looking forward to being with my family. brats and corn on the cob and green salad is the first meal on the menu when i get home. yummmmmmmmmmy. , looking forward to hugging and kissing all my fleshy friends in omaha and talking on the phone while only being a state away instead of a world away. looking forward to long talk with my mom, my dad, my brother and sister, looking forward to at least one political discussion with my brother in law, looking forward to moments with daphne, adriana, steph, cami and faye. looking forward to new running shoes for the upcoming bombay marathon in january. and truly i am sure i will be looking forward to coming back into the sweaty damp arms of calcutta once my trip is all over...but more on that when the time comes.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
not sure the first batch of sari bari purses are gonna make it. we are having sewing machine trouble and are in a time crunch. we see...also because the fabric we are having trouble not tearing the outside layer of the sari's. a bit frustrated by this to say the least...
on the bright side, i had a very happy 4th of july with my british and few american friends. we had garlic chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, fruit salad and ice cream for dessert. yummy and fun!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
our friend and sari bari lady, A (choto), is in the hospital. I had to take her last week on thursday after making an emergency trip to the village because she had not been at work for a week and her sister gave us news that she was dying. this turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration...she was not dying but very sick! also not one was looking after her so she was not eating...her husband is an alcholic and abusive... so with the help of one of the other ladies i got her to the hospital and she is there now getting tested for everything imaginable. she is a bit lonely and sad right so pray for her. they only allow visitors 2 hours a day. i am heading there this morning to spend some time with her and hopefully be an encouragement. i will brave the flooded streets for her but not for the electric bill!
payday is kinda rough sometimes. i think the ladies stress about money comes out in crappy attitudes. yesterday was a really hard day. i get blamed alot for their hard circumstances...i am hoping this is because we all have a tendancy to take out our anger on those closest to us. at the end of the day things worked out though...i received some unprompted apologies. pray for our sari bari ladies...they are getting a huge raise this month that we hope will help out...not only be a fair wage but a kingdom wage...a wage that can bring them out of poverty.
i am getting excited about my trip to the states. the WMF staff retreat will be sweet reunion with so many friends...i told myself i would not buy any gifts but i am having a hard time when i see something nice for someone i love saying no. also so excited to see and meet my new neice and play hungry hippos with grace and hug and love on my brother and sister. one more week and a day i will be in the arms of my mom and dad at the airport!!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
english george is here. making my life amazing to say the least. he has been here one day and he did the dishes 3 times and swept the kitchen floor. he says i am not allowed to do the dishes while he is here. we made dinner together tonight....yummy dahl and roti with mistis for desert. it is so nice to have a friend around...especially a guy friend who is a posh brit who makes me laugh but who i have no interest in romantically. he is quite refreshing and engaging...with kristin and beth already in the states it makes for a little less lonely and alot more fun.
i am hosting a 4th of july party on wednesday. this is strange if you know me...i will not elaborate except to say that i am ironically celebrating the day with a bunch brits and one other american.
i am finally meeting with the freeset folks to discuss shipping so this might be the last time i have to lug home 100 pounds of sari bari stuff which will include about 25 bags. the first batch. pretty much guessing that they will go super fast...have not posted pictures on the SB blog...so you will just have to wait and see them when they arrive in july via my personal slave labor of dragging 50 blankets plus the bags from kolkata to dehli to chicago to fort wayne to omaha to lax...
i am in good mood...feel rested after the weekend even though i still worked. had two Sari bari ladies over on sat to help with the tags. this has actually been a funny process because they can not read the tags so we have been having a problem with things being the right direction. i love the sari bari ladies...they are an amazing gift in my life and i really do not go a day that i do not marvel at them and how far they have come...life being made new. mine through theirs, theirs through mine, ours through jesus.
i will write a full on blog on sarah the catalyst soon!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
1. We are still having problems with our landlord at Sari Bari. He told us before that we had to leave but has now asked for a higher rent. Please pray for discernment and favor. We want to do want his best for the ladies and the business.
2. Please pray for the two of the women at Sari Bari who we have just given some leadership too. They have been with us for over a year now and have asked them to help out with teaching sewing and other duties. Please pray for their development and a willingness to learn and serve.
3. We are also taking on three new women this month. Please pray for them as they make this decision to make steps toward freedom from the trade. Pray they would be welcomed at Sari Bari with open arms.
7. Please pray for two women specifically. The first, C, is a new trainee who has decided to leave Sari Bari due to time constraints. Please pray that she would come back. Also pray for B who has been having major family and money issues. Pray healing over her and her families’ bro
1. Please to continue to pray for N. She has made steps to leave the trade despite her mother’s disapproval. She has been working full-time at our friend’s business for the past week. She has a long and amazing road ahead of her so please hold her close.
2. Please continue to pray for P and her family. This month we will find out whether or not the kids get accepted to boarding school. We are also exploring options for P and her daughter G to get the best treatment for HIV. Pray for open doors. Pray for P. She is so lost and hurt. Pray that she would have freedom.
3. Please lift up the ladies of our sub-unit of Sari Bari located near Sonagachi. Pray for transformation of their hearts and minds. Pray for a leader to emerge from among them.
4. Please pray for our good friend C, R, and S. Recently C was able to come see our friend’s business and be interview. She wants to work there but many factors including her mother R are stopping her. Please Pray for their freedom5. We have recently been looking at renting a building across the street from the Gatch. Our vision is to open a half-way home as well as Sari Bari in the Gatch. We are in the beginning stages so pray for discernment and favor.
1. Please pray that God would raise up more Bengali staff workers. We feel like in order to move forward in our ministry we must first be able to hire more workers. Pray that God would bring Christian men and women to come along side the people of the red-light areas.
2. The servant team leaves the middle of this month. Please pray that God’s grace would abound as they make the transition back to the states. Pray that God would bring together all that they have seen and experienced while being here in
3. Continue to pray for our amazing Indian staff: Kiran, Upendra and Gita. Pray that God would continue to grow in them servant leadership skills and intimacy with Him.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
i am coming off a rough, refining but really good week. a week that has reminded my exactly how hard community can be....how hard walking with women who are deeply wounded can be...i am hyper aware of my own brokeness and fraility (this could be hormonal or just the way it is after a week like this). I am also aware of how long a road it is that i am walking.
i had my first real bought of homesickness in a long time on monday. enough to leave me weeping and tender in prayer with the women at Sari Bari. these women are my beautiful, broken, sometimes a pain in my patooty family and i love them and i am thankful that they let me cry it out and explain later. i had this awful longing to be with my own family, to see my parents and talk and talk and talk and meet me neice and hold my sisters hand and babysit my neice, to go out with my brother and be embaced in a hug as only he can give one. i was counting the cost...the cost of being here. the costs are big...but i really do not think about it much most of the time. i do not think to hard because i know i am in the perfect place right at this moment doing what i was made to do...but i still think about it. my sister had a baby this week and i am 10,000 miles away. i live in a place where there is not much male companionship to speak of and the men i do encounter try to take a piece of me rather than share my friendship. so i counted the cost, cried, wept, smiled in my tears and thanked God for my families both blood and chosen. i have only lost my life to gain it really...i know this to be the truth.
i had a big fight with one of the ladies at SB who seems to have a major problem taking personal responsiblity for her actions. it seems logical to me to ask that she see the past and change things for the future. but i am and was gravely mistaken. you can not enter into a reasonable conversation with someone who can not be reasonable. i learned alot in this conflict...alot about grace. alot about myself and how my hyper or false responsibility can be disempowering to others. i had to apologize to all the ladies for losing my temper and battle self loathing for the rest of the day but i think good things are coming. not the least of which is better boundaries.
we had an amazing gift of day on saturday as our team hosted a day out for the ladies at sari bari. we went bowling and did the bumper cars. it is always beautiful to see their joy and wonder at something new. they loved it and we loved it with them.
i love my newest neice addy. i love kristin and beth for letting me verbally process all my drama. i love that i learning to have kingdom boundaries..learning to say no and yes and you decide. i love skype because i do not feel so far away when i get to talk to someone. i love that moonsoon started and it cooler albeit more humid but bearable because of the wind. i love cold drinks and a new issue of the cry. i love playing the guitar after 2 years and remembering G C D and a lame attempt at lord i lift you name on high. i love that we are going to darjeeling on friday for 3 days for a break and are going to dig deep into each others hearts and love each other better on the other side.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
everyone is gone off to bangalore and south india for the week so me and kristin are holding down the fort here for the next week. that means so long days but i am exited for our bengali staff to see WMF in the south india and get a little perspective on what others are doing in india. plus for upendra and gita this was their first time on the plane!!
just watched 300 for the 2nd time. not sure extactly why i like that movie so much except i think that i reminds of what is like to be here a bit...a small band of people committed to the end fighting a seemingly impossible cause. i hate the violence but i love the heart!!
here's hoping for some rain tonight to keep it cool enough to sleep well!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
going a personal retreat/ vision brainstorming thing for 2 days this week. i feel really free right now...weird cuz i usually feel all this pressure to take care of everything...maybe God is helping me out that false responsiblity jacket i wear most of the time.
i just want say i love talking on the phone with dear friends, i love surprising genorosity, i love that "rich christians in an age of hunger" can still rip peoples faces off, i love that upendra and gita are healthy again and that gita gave me this enormous hug without words today, i love that my parents are following their dreams and that maybe their dreams might have them living in a trailer park, i love kristin's passion and beth's heart of justice, i love staying up way to late but enjoying the time to myself, i love being in kolkata, i love that now both my brother and my sister are living in seattle...i love that maybe when i am 37 i might run an ultamarathon, i love that i think i could do it (anyone want run with me??) i love that all things old can be made new, i love that people love the dream we have for sari bari. yes, that my friends is alot of love!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
blah and yuck! all this just when i am trying to get back on my feet on many levels... just saying earlier i feel like i am being refined, well i guess thats true. just not the path i would choose to get there. i do hate conflict...sometimes i wish i could stop myself from speaking. so blah, blah, blah.
i think i am up for a long night of no sleep and a day of waiting for resolution. maybe God could make me a different person in the meantime. so now i am waiting, hoping god will kick my little booty into shape and convict my crappy little heart if and as much as needed between now and whenever.
Friday, May 11, 2007
so i thought i would share a few of my favorite things from this weekend...
talking with my dad and mom on skype on my birthday while i am in india and they are in seattle and fort wayne respectively. technology is beautiful thing
sweet encouraging cards, my space comments and emails from amy, aunt mary, julie, brent, faye, david, silas and denise.
beautiful gifts of my favorite things: a pink scarf, a gold nose ring with danglys, doritos all the way from america, new flip flops, a target gift card, candles and a bottle of wine, sparkly jewelry from the sari bari ladies (how spoiled am i!!)
being able to pull off a gold nose ring with danglys, i feel kinda exotic.
being loved really well by kristin and beth. i felt known and celebrated.
steak sandwich and french fries in a freezingly air conditioned hotel
being able have so many people share in my life and have the opportunity to share in theirs...esp. have to say that celebrating with the saribari ladies might be my favorite new birthday tradition...if two years and running can be a tradition.
i love that my dad still thinks i am a princes and sent me a blinking tiara and a beautiful candle holder. I love that we both choose beauty over logic!!
Monday, May 07, 2007
its kinda crazy but in the last year I feel like i have seen many, many people rescued and healed because of the prayers of so many. to name a few: paki returned safely after being trafficked, my dad being healed of a heart problem, beth being healed of a thyroid thing and now "A" being healed of TB. Some of you might be thinking this is crazy talk but i might after all i have seen in kolkata be crazy enough to believe that God is so much bigger than we think he is...every woman who come out the sex trade is a miracle. how can i help myself from believing them...they are the very thing i long for...the radical redemption, tranformation and healing of God's beloved. we have to believe in the impossible, we have to dream for things we will never see, we have to proclaim the good of God in suffering. otherwise, no one else will have the courage believe it for themselves...and we are seeing the evidence hope. and so we continue to hope for "P" and her daughter "g"...we hope for their healing from HIV, we hope for their freedom from the trade and we believe that God will hear our cries on their behalf and answer.
i heard a speaker recently speaking to young people and he made a grave mistake...he told them what they might not become, how God may or may not use them for great things. I was shaking in my seat...if we tell people that they can not change the world then they might not, if we do not tell and show people how to have hope for themselves, then yes they fail. but if we tell then that God might use them greatly and to dream for things they will never see...wow, the world might be a different place.
loving the goodness, believing for things i will never see, and promising to never stop proclaiming the HOPE that i have in Jesus for the world...because the dreams that God has given are coming true...so now i guess I have to dream bigger and get discouraged when do not see the goodness as i did yesterday.
so i am gonna off my pedestal now...
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
So as if this might not be enough for our community to handle, today the landlord told us that we have to move out in four months from our place in sari bari. Basically, it comes down to his fear of being found out as helping women from the trade. He as tried to impose almost impossible standards for quiet and calls everytime someone makes a peep. Anyway, I am hoping that this is God closing one door to open another one. We could really use a building all to ourselves…because it seems as much space as we can create that many women we can give jobs. We are full in kalighat right now with 11 and could easily double by the end of the year if we had the space. So maybe this is God opening the door for more women. Right now it just feels like one more thing on our plate. Anyway, this landlord was also promising to help us register legally, now that is also in question…so frustrating because we really need to make the business legit so we can move forward. Ultimately, having a building is important because women are now depending on us for their livlihood and this is not a responsibility that we are bearing lightly.
So all this heaviness but there is still a lot hope in K-town. Not like the old days of defeat and sadness because we know that in the end all things bring hope and hope will not disappoint us and now we groan in these tents we call bodies but ultimately freedom will happen…freedom is happening. We can have hope here on earth and hope of something more later. New life will spring from that which has been desolated.
Please just keep us in your prayers. Pray for “priya” and her family. Pray that her little sons would get into school, her husband would release her to leave the trade and her daughter would be radically and profoundly healed. Pray for a new place for sari bari…
Thanks for walking with us as we stumble down this road of exodus.