Sunday, May 27, 2007

natural ac

oh the wind...the beautiful wind!! it has been wicked hot all week long. 5 days of no rain. today was 102 with ridiculous humidity and tomorrow and the rest of the week will be 104 with obscene humidity. i am not complaining. just stating how it is... we have a decent may this year...rain every 2 or 3 days so right now things are getting a bit painful. thankfully tonight we had this amazing wind blow in, probably at least 30 miles an hour at some points...the rain has not shown up yet but i am still hoping! the wind cooled things down enough to where i might actually sleep tonight after a couple of nights of not so much sleep happening.

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

The Bright Field by RS Thomas

I have seen the sun break through to a illuminate a small field for a while, and gone on my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great price, the field that had the treasure in it. I realize now that i must give all i have to possess it, life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the turning aside like moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is eternity that awaits you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

number 299

this is my299th much said and still more to say. but mainly all i want to say is that life is good. that conflict can be good when it sharpens, humbles and draws you closer to that other person and God.

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


just had a conflict over something that could be stupid or everything that is truth. i am trying not to be hurt or angry...i am trying to learn how to have the right boundaries about the right things but i must say i am struggling. i am not happy to always be saying sorry...i am a jerk. i am not happy about being blamed...and to top it off i am probably the worst because i blame myself. i am not happy about being an adult right at this moment. i want everything to be easy...i want to be an easy person to live with, not the chaotic, extreme drama that is me. i am no picnic but darn it i wish i were...i wish i was one of the girls that you use descriptors like gentle and sweet with...instead i have descriptors like extreme and timely. so blah!!

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

my favorite things

so yesterday was my birthday and the theme was "favorite things". kristin and beth thought of the theme and started off my birthday weekend with the song from the sound of music...

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

loving the goodness

I love the unexpected goodness that happens here sometimes. the only thing i have hope for is the ladies transformation and strangely i am always overwhelmed and surprised when i actually get to see the fruits of hope. the hope that we share for the ladies and the hope that is growing in their hearts for themselves. We had a celebration yesterday at sari bari for Gita who did the public declaration thing with water (yes i am being cryptic). she shared with the ladies what she did and why and the process of being transformed...(gita's big day pic with us and the team on the left) it was mesmerizing but even more powerful was the spontaneous testimony from one of the other ladies about how much she has been transformed and renewed. she said how she never before was able to choose her own path, she always was on a bad path full of suffering but she said now that she is on a good path and she can see how God has been with her an answering her prayers. everyone started weeping, a few women in particular really were moved by her word and what they have seen. one of the ladies, maybe our toughest, could not even speak because of tears. it was really beautiful to have a chance to again remind them that they are beautiful and beloved. and that there can be new life that springs from the darkest most of awful places. i got choked up several time as i tried to translate and then when i was encouraging everyone at the end...i was overwhelmed by the goodness of God and his presence in this very dark place. and then to top it off one of ladies who had TB (see previous blog post)came back from one of many, many doctor visits and said that they could no longer find any evidence of TB...her treatment has not even been started. All the tests said she had it. I wrote about this lady earlier and how she was so afraid of the hospital and how we all gather around her and prayed. I can not doubt that God healed her and that it was revealed at the perfect time when we were all already blown away by Gods goodness...

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, 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 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...

yeah!! its raining

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


this morning i went for a run...dodging people and rickshaws in the bazaar. always looking down, fearing for my ankles and the potholes that seek to wreck them. still looking down, avoiding the stares we make it to the river, crossing the train tracks onto one of relatively quiet places in the city...people taking their baths on the other side of the muddy, garbage littered banks. my nostrils are filled with the smell of shit, occasional wafts of fresh air pentrate my lungs a moment at time puntuated with early morning urines wafting scent. i run on, pressing foward, not alone but feeling isolated by my bodies aches and my mind whelmed by sights you can only see at 6am in kolkata. running foward toward todays goal, finishing. only to keep running and remember to eat better the night before the next one. always lingering the desire for water and to stop sweating. dripping, soggily, pressing forward back across the train tracks still not halfway through it. men yelling, half hearted attempts to run with us...but they never keep going. they run past us for a minute until we slow but steady continue the dogged paces of todays trek...i see the half way point relieved, wondering if my back will hold out, will hold me up until the end. a will of steel, that's what i creating a today...the ability to do anything, mocked and taunted, and still finish and be proud that i did it. i am still looking down, only smiling at women and children sitting on the ground, knowing they think i am crazy women do not run here and certainly not chubby many still sleeping through the chaos adding to the labrinyth of the sidewalks...not only potholes but people. almost finished, only water and stopping keep me going and that thing i know deeply. that thing i know from all my failures, slow and steady wins the race, i am not alone, and i could never do it alone and mostly its in my mind. deeply satisified with finishing and still knowing i could have gone harder...we'll see what happens on thursday.