Monday, September 30, 2013

Let Hope In

Hope… 4 simple letters that pack such a big punch.
Hope… is something that we all need.
Hope… is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”
Where do we find it? Why does it elude us?
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Monday, February 20, 2012


I am laying in bed on an early Monday morning... 2 days after re-entry back to the US. Many thoughts continue to race through my mind... Going through pictures to help restore the memories, watching videos to hear their voices, reading and learning more about their homeland.. So much to take in. So much to process and think about. So many prayers to pray.

Are they heard? Can they feel our prayers/ our thoughts? Have they already forgotten us Americans? Have we already forgotten them?

Papa.... Keep the memories fresh. Keep the visuals in our mind constantly. Help me know how to pray and when to pray ... Allow the spirit to guide me.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012


Puja -- 2nd from left in 2011Meet Puja... she is from the Khalpur slum. A slum area that is dirty. A slum area where tents or lean to's are their shelter where they live with siblings and parents. A one room tent. A one room tent where they sleep, cook, and eat. A one room tent where they are not protected from the elements-- rain, wind, sun. A one room tent that houses all their belongings.

I first saw Puja when I came to India in 2011. I am not sure if I remember during the days we were at the slum. But I do know that the night of the cultural program she stood out amongst the other girls. She was dressed in a beautiful traditional outfit. Her face was made up and she was stunning.

One of things that were told about the girls in India is that young girls are at risk. They are at risk because boys and men may take advantage of them which then ruins them for marriage. They become an outcast. They also have limited opportunity for an education or any chance of bettering themselves.

So when I saw Puja this year, my heart ached for her. She is one of the older girls who are at that age where things could happen. I don't want that to happen. The thought of that makes me ache for her. So one of things that I plan to do is to sponsor her so she can go to a hostel - be a little more protected and get a better education. To improve her chances. To hopefully get her a better life.

Puja and I on the way to the zooIf you are reading this , I would ask that you pray for Puja and the other girls in this slum. They need to be given hope.

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Amazing grace

We traveled an hour to reach Nalpur-a remote Hindu village where a movement in Christianity has begun. A village where there has been much persecution. Persecution that as Americans we have no real understanding. A persecution that has threatened their lives. A persecution that has threatened their church.

Originally the baptism was scheduled to be at the church building that a local parishioner had donated. Next to the church was a pond. Due to tension in the village it was decided to move it another area- a local house that had a private pond.

We reached the house where we were led to a rooftop terrace. It overlooked lush vegetation. A couple dozen members from Nalpur, Ghorghata, and Bhasirat were there dressed in the beautiful colors of their Saris. They brought us out to our chairs while the members sat on the floor. Piyas started out the service and Pete preached. Preached about the gift of salvation and publicly noting our faith. The members who were going to be baptized primarily came from the Hindu faith and thus step for them meant separation from their family. For some it means being disowned from their family. So it was not entered into lightly but with intention and thought. They would lose much but gain eternity.

So after the preaching we made our way down to the pond where we witnessed 7 lives take a radical change. Pete,Skylor, and Piyas .... Entered the cold water of the pond and baptized each person in the name of the father, son and Holy Ghost. The pond had this ethereal look with a mist that was coming up from the water.

As I stood there and watched it from behind the lens the Spirit fell on my own heart and tears welled up. I could hear in my thoughts Amazing Grace play out. The experience is one that I hope to never forget. To see these individuals take another step in their faith walk and knowing the consequences of what they were doing.

Prayer: Papa thank you for allowing me to be a part of this beautiful day. I give thanks and praise for each person who got baptized today and also gave their testimony! Their stories encourage me and also make me realize how small my faith and trust is in you. I pray for their protection Papa. You know the persecution they are facing. You know the danger they are in. Place a hedge of protection. Strengthen them in their walk with you. Increase their faith and trust in you exponentially. You and you alone know what they will face in the days and weeks ahead. Prepare them as only you can. Again I thank you for each of these lives that were transformed and I pray that more will come to know you. In your sons Holy name Amen Baptism Baptism 2 BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Today I cried.

I cried at the thought of leaving the Khalpur slum kids.

I cried at the thought of not seeing them again.

I cried because we did see them.

I cried ...

And the sweetest thing happened the kids I was crying for wiped my tears away. I am not sure I have ever been so touched.

And then they cried on me....

We pulled away with I love you's .... Through glass.... Them watching us as we drove away.

A part of my heart remains there....

My prayers for them are protection and blessings... May something change... May we bring the change. ... May we be the change.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red lights...

Tonight we had the opportunity to venture in an area of Kolkata that most don't go... The red light district of town. I haven't done my research on this area but from what I have been told it's the largest red light district in the world boasting 30,000 plus prostitutes. Crazy to even fathom. The sad part is that many of these women are under the age of 17 and many are being trafficked.

I don't have a grasp on how large in city blocks his area is, but regardless there are different areas that hold more or less "danger" than others. I am told that in one part men may actually be dragged into these brothels.

As we walked in this area, the streets were crowed with men, women, and vendors. As you can imagine we were a center of attention. Being looked at, talked to and about by those around us. None the less I was a tad bit uncomfortable and stayed close to one of the guys. At one point, a lady on the street leaned over and said something to me-- the translation was that I was looking good. I can now say that I have been hit upon in India... Lol!

As we walked by doorways you could look in and see more women in the background. From my understanding the women out on the street are the cheap prostitutes but the more expensive ones are inside. The inside of these places are like a maze. Each room holds girls of all ages and nationality. Each floor brings more girls and the cost increases.

I can't even begin to fathom the thoughts. I can't even begin to imagine what they think. Many are there unwillingly and can't escape. Many do it willingly believing that they must do it to survive or for their family to survive. Regardless of why, they are caught in a web of lies and deceit and feel trapped.

I hope as you read this that you will consider praying for these women and girls. I don't have any names but God knows who they are. Pray for their bondage to be broken. Pray for their hope and that they don't lose it during this season of their life.

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I tend to bean eye person. I tend to want to make eye contact . To want to hold the gaze of people. To look straight into their soul to connect in a way that can only happen via their eyes.

I have been doing that her in India. Driving on the street. Walking in the villages. With the kids . With the adults. With our team .

Going deeper than surface. I tend to enjoy the surface... But truly trying to be intentional of going deeper... Going further.

In India, I can't speak Bengali... But I can speak with my eyes. I can speak love. I can speak confusion. I can speak trust. I can acknowledge the people as people.... So I make the eye contact so they know. It's with the kids I tend to focus on here ( more do this year than last). But it's most interesting to do it on the streets as we drive or as we walk. To look intently at someone and give them a little head nod. Again to show recognition. Usually it ends with a smile from the other person with a slight nod...

It may be just a small way to create peace. Regardless... I feel that i see into their heart. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop