Monday, May 26, 2008

a little family lovin

just got off the phone with all the SB ladies! i feel a little bit humbled by their love. it was riotous and funny and there was lots of talk about the husband i am supposed to meet while i am home. so i told they should keep praying and i will be open and have faith!! i sure to love being in the states with my family and friends but i know for sure what a treasure i have in the relationships that have helped me make my home in india.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My most recent prayer letter

June Prayer Letter 2008

The suffering in the world is coming hard and fast these days. This month Burma has been horrifically devastated by a cyclone. Multiple bomb blasts rocked Jaipur in North West India and a huge earthquake rocked China. In West Bengal, the Indian state in which I live, elections often get out of control and a child was trampled to death yesterday in the chaos. Even closer to home for me, another friend here has been diagnosed with HIV and several of our Sari Bari ladies are suffering from serious heath issues. I struggle to make sense of it all, especially when I am confronted with my own struggle to embrace the suffering while still retaining the hope that moves me forward.

My own person struggle to make sense of God's love and his undeserved gift of grace has been at the forefront of my mind these last months. I think encountering suffering for me often brings me back to the feet of Jesus to try and make sense of things. The love of the Father extends to those who are suffering, struggling to survive in a harsh world. The craziest thing is that most of the time I do not think it all makes much sense. God's love, especially as it pertains to grace, does not make much sense in a world of disasters, terrorist acts, HIV and the senseless deaths of children.

But the Master of loves giving us lessons in just how far His loves goes. He gives us such a grand dose of His amazing love that it is overwhelming. Overwhelming because in all truth we do anything and every thing to prove to God that we are not worthy or to prove that we ARE! It is the free undeserved gift of it that seems to gets me every time. The grace of part of God's plan does not make any sense, the part the forgives when we get it wrong, as many times as we get it wrong. Really that kind of love does not make sense if you want to get things done in the way we do things here on the planet earth. If you make a really big mistake, commit violence against another human being, you get fired, or lose relationship, you will find yourself in situation with few options. There are not too many people lining up to help you out, take your place on the unemployment line, or forgive your bad behaviour. We who make mistakes deserve to pay for them, we who make enemies deserve the treatment we receive, right?

The upside downess of grace has me in a tailspin these days. I keep reading Luke 6 over and over trying to soak up his words. Luke's writing of the of the beatitudes, words on forgiveness, loving your enemies, storing up good things in your heart and not evil things so you can bring the good things out to share when the time comes, are hitting me where it hurts. Reminding me that the traffickers and customers, need God's grace and forgiveness and that God wants to give Good gifts to those who suffer in this world…blessed are you poor for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus wants to give the Kingdom for those who now suffer, He wants us to love our enemies and go even further to embrace them, he wants us to protect us from becoming like those we struggle to love and give grace. He calls us to radical love, to making our lives about filling up on His Goodness so we can share it. These are hard words for me because while I love the women we work with deeply, there are many things about Kolkata and the injustice I encounter that I loathe. Many days I have unpack the hard ugly things I have stored in my heart to once again allow God to remind me that I too desperately need the undeserved gift of grace.

I want to thank all of you have joined with me in prayer for the women and you are who are advocating for me personally. I have felt the covering of prayer and I am being sustained even in the hot, hot grossness of the Kolkata MAY!

I will be in the states at the end of the year, marking three years since my return to Kolkata, as I said in last prayer letter and I look forward to spending time you my prayer warriors and friends. I will need to to cover my travel home during that time and I am also continuing to look for additional financial support for my regular expenses. I know times are hard in the states so really do appreciate you regular support and I know what a sacrifice it is for many of you. Know that you are much appreciated!

With love,