Monday, May 11, 2009

India stories...

I've tried starting this post at least 4 times. I open this page, and just stare at the screen. I have a really hard time articulating my thoughts when it comes to this last trip to India. There are so many much that happened. It's surreal. Being back in Hawaii is bittersweet. I love it here, but oh how I long for my new (and not so new) friends in back in Mussoorie. Let me start with the orphanage. Those boys...they never cease to amaze me. How is it that these little guys have more faith than I could ever dream of having. How is it that they're love and devotion for God, puts me to shame. It's amazing really. It's such an honor just to have been able to witness it...
When we arrived at the orphanage, the boys were a little stand offish, but once they realized who we were, the walls disappeared and it was an amazing mess of love. Again, there are no words to articulate the emotion...the spirit...the love that lives there at the Firs. Pastor Ashish & Seema are doing an incredible job raising them and instilling the goodness of God in each and everyone.
I took a new role this trip. I wasn't in charge of any huge event...I carried no task on my was a strange feeling. Many times I sat and wondered what the heck I was even doing there. 
That is until our camping trip on day 2. I was sitting and talking with Pastor Ashish and he was telling us how thankful he was that we were there. I asked him what he appreciated most, and he said the love we show. He said that the boys are provided for...they have a roof over their heads, they have food in their little tummies...but when your raising 30 boys, there's not much time for holding and loving on them. Not to mention a culture that is completely different than ours (another reason I am thankful for life in Hawaii) Anyways, he said that he appreciated the way we loved. And then I thought to, maybe that's why I'm here. I've never been good and a lot of things. I mean, I'm not sporty, I don't play an instrument, I don't have a college degree...and I often wrestle with that. But one thing I am confident in, is my ability to love. (thank you mom & taught love with your lives).
So it hit me that I needed to love from my head to my toes. That I needed to hold and snuggle and pray over the boys as much as possible. That I needed to tell them over and over again, that not only do I love them, but that Jesus loves them. So that's just what I did. I loved and I loved and I loved. Another difference in this trip verses last trip is just where I am personally. Last time we came I was in a much more emotionally volatile position. I literally cried from the time we got there, until we left...I cried there more than I've ever cried in my life. This time, I was much healthier spot. Over all, I was able to think outside my own ways and really trust and walk in the fact that God has those boys in His hand. And that no matter where they go...or where I am for that matter...that He loves them more than I ever could. It was a very freeing idea for me.

Then we headed to Woodstock. I was again a little hesitant. I wondered if I still had fun youth ministry in me. I mean, 6-7 years ago, I would have had no doubt...I was younger then...maybe braver. Walking into my time at Woodstock, I felt old and unprepared. And then I realized that all I was required to do was love...again, the one thing I can do. So that's what I did. And let me tell you, I realized that high school girl, among other things, are the same no matter what country you go to (right Elise?!) So there I was, running a small group, with 10 girls from all over the world and it was just the most natural thing for me. Hearing their struggles, their questions, their was like water to my soul. Our small group times were awesome. The girls were incredible. We laughed...a lot. We cried...a lot. We bonded. It was crazy how God did it. We were only with the students for 36 hours and when we left it felt like we had known each other for years. It was powerful. One of the best parts for me is since we've been back, via facebook, I have been able to stay in touch with my girlie's and I just need to brag for a second. They have started a group called the agape sisterhood, where the girls meet daily to talk, pray and process...I mean seriously, what high schoolers do that?!? Not only that but many of them have stayed on track with devotions and I get messages almost daily about what God is doing in their lives. It is so amazing. They are also in the process of getting approval to run the worship for next months chapel. Ummm, have I mentioned how proud I am?!? Also, I challenged them to reach out to the boys at the orphanage and so this past week, they went up for the afternoon and loved on my boys! They played games that helped the boys with their english and said they had so much fun they are already planning more trips...they even took photos and added them to their facebook profiles so I could see my girls and my little boys all together. And of course as I looked at the photos, I cried. 

It is so amazing how God orchestrates things without our knowing how it's all going to look. And in the end, it's a breathtaking piece of art, more amazing than we could have ever dreamed of... 

Okay, there's two topics covered...coming soon to a blog near you, I am going to gush about our high school kids that came from Hawaii with us and how AMAZING they were...and continue to be.

I also wanted to thank you all for following my blog, I know so many of you prayed and loved the team through it all and I wanted to state, for the record, that none of what I mentioned above could have happened without your prayers. I appreciate you all so much and look forward to seeing what else God has in store!

In His amazing love,


  1. Wow, Sarah... I'm looking at this blank white box myself, and I can't hardly think of words to express all that I'm feeling about what you just shared. I just know that I am so blessed to be your sister in Christ and to experience so much of God's love through your obedience. Thank you for just making yourself available, you and all that love you have!

  2. Thank you for sharing sister! I am so encouraged by your stories and experiences. You are an anointed small group leader! And I'm so glad to hear about your connection with those girls. Sounds like God is definitely working in and through them. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

  3. Thankyou for sharing this Sarah! I can feel the love you share for these kids. You're one of the few people that can just LOVE. You know what I mean? Sometimes I want to show love but there's a wall. With you, there's no wall. You've changed the lives of many little kids, and big kids from Firs and now you're changing the lives of teenagers from all over the world, who are at Woodstock, some of which may be future leaders of Asia! How awesome is that? Please don't ever change.
    Love you.... Bo