Thursday, October 30, 2008

A great Sermon

One of the great thing about being home is being apart of my mom and dad's church community. Dad preached one of the best sermon's i have heard in a long time on sunday. If you are interested you can listen.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


we took a long drive up into the forest...gorgeous. deep green pines giving stark contrast to brilliant yellow. Red shocking us with depth and orange backed by fall sunlight. I love fall. it seems forever since i was able to experience the beauty of the changing seasons. I also went with my mom to an antique own personal heaven. I will go back again and again just to browse at the beauty. thinking of my beautiful friends around the world as beauty graces me today.

Friday, October 24, 2008

thoughts on off the radar

so i am off the radar so to speak. Trying to rest,to be, struggling without my "do" in place. I keep checking my email and facebook and this blog that i have not written on in months. i am missing bethie and kolkata and the ladies...they stay in the back of mind everyday as i wake up late because i stayed up late and as i crochet my way to happiness. so far this week, i have made dinner a couple of times, climbed on the roof to attach the cable for the TV antenna (my heart is still beating fast), peeled some apples on an amazing contraption, watched half an oprah, caught up on gray's, still catching up on lost from last year and had a starbucks coffee with my mom at the grocery store. i am weirded out by everything being so clean and accessible. I am wondering about a recession when i all can see is excess things and choices (not minimizing people struggles just trying to get my mind around it after being in india). i judge myself and my own desire for a trip to target (i am in the recesses of the oregon wilderness, i know this because the nearest target is an hour away). it's my first week off the radar and i am learning to slow but i am not slow yet, my neck still pulls to the right when i get an email about work (lord help me). I want to let go or lay it all down so to speak so i can take it up again in a healthier fuller better way, make sense? So next week will be planned rest in the beauty of the oregon wilderness, maybe moving toward something will help me move away in a good way toward true rest. ahhhh...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sari Bari Website is LIVE

Hey peeps...just wanted to let you know that you can now purchase sari blankets and bags from the Sari Bari website. Exciting new step for the Sari Bari family!!


Thursday, October 02, 2008

October Prayer Letter

I sat with the ladies today as they cried. One after the other tears came to their eyes as they thought of their friend, teacher and sister leaving. I cried too. Not much sewing actually happened this afternoon at Sari Bari but their was the cleansing, healing work of tears. The tears were for our dear staff member, Kristin Keen, who is returning to the states after 5 years and she is taking with her the love of these women and a little piece of the heart of Sari Bari. Kristin was the original visionary for Sari Bari and my partner in founding Sari Bari more than 2 years ago. Sari Bari is now full of women on the road to freedom (35 women as of writing) and is a beautiful community of transformed women, a few of us passionate ex-pats, and a committed and growing Indian Staff. Freedom is happening here…

Tomorrow we celebrate. We will gather together all the men, women, and children who know and love Kristin. It will mark a goodbye but also what might be a future remembrance from another celebration, the Wedding Supper of the lamb. On that day we might all be together again celebrating what brought us together in the first place, Jesus love and amazing grace.

I love celebrations. I love times at the table. I grew up in a house of family dinners, Saturday’s at the pool at grandma’s (Baba’s or Grandma Lance’s), big Christmas and Easter celebrations and celebration of every holiday in between. Birthdays, good behavior or good grades meant the red plate. Thanks to my parents, who know how to celebrate, I learned to celebrate and the value of honoring people.

Life in Kolkata, for all of it difficulties, is full of celebrations. Indians love to celebrate (maybe because life here is often so hard for everyone). There are more than 25 public holidays here, seriously they love to have festivals. We, the WMF Kolkata Community and Sari Bari Family, celebrate everything! We celebrate the first day a new woman starts at Sari Bari with a cake, what we call a “Mukti Birthday”, the start of the woman’s road to freedom. It is the marker of a new life and we continue this celebration annually for the rest of the woman’s time at Sari Bari (hopefully, some day there will be a 20 year celebration of freedom for some of our women!!!). We also have something called Community Night in which we celebrate our life together every few weeks over a meal. If there is a birthday, then we celebrate the person and how God has created them and who He is creating them to be. We celebrate production targets met and unmet. We celebrate all of these things in community with one another. Each time it feels like I not only enjoy the taste of a good meal but also a bit of what it might be like to be at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb because I sense God’s presence in those celebrations. To sit among the beloved, in the presence of the God of the Universe and His son, the slain lamb.

Jesus talked of places of honor at the table and how where we place ourselves will ultimately affect our final position. If we sit at the head of the table and someone with more prestige comes, we may be asked to move down to the end of the table. But if we posture ourselves in humility and take a set at end of the table in the first place, the host may ask that we move to the front of the table. Recently, some amazing women came and spent some time with us at Sari Bari. In reflecting on Jesus words about the table, they thought about our “table” at Sari Bari. We actually do not have a table. Everyone sits on the floor, whether we are sharing in our daily lunch or on a celebration day meals. So there is no place of honor really, we all have a place in the circle. As Amey and Leia reflected, it became clear that the only place of honor at Sari Bari, is the place of service. The only person standing during any meal is the one serving and usually there is a loud barrage of encouragements to sit down and eat with everyone else!

Kristin has sat with us at the table for many years now both as community member and as a servant. Having shared life among us, tomorrow Kristin will hold the place of honor, as one who served with us. And we will celebrate her life and service in Kolkata with tears, dancing, good food, and laughter. We will mark this day as remembrance for when we meet again at the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Celebrating Jesus work among us!


End Note: The party was amazing! There were 135 people, half of them from Sari Bari, the rest from all the places where Kristin gives herself; the Mukti Network, our small group, many, many women from Songacchi (the red light area), our neighbors (new and old) and our friends from Freeset. Also, I am wondering if maybe when we do sit at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb if it will be round table…here’s hoping!