Okay, time for a less cryptic blog post than my 6:45 AM ramblings. ;)
Last night, I found out that there had been a miscommunication with my friend Bethany as to the dates I was going to be in Europe with her. She will be in another country with the team she’s working with and won’t be available to go to Paris and such with me as planned.
Immediately, I was pretty disappointed. I have NO idea how this happened….all of our communication mentions these dates, but somehow it got messed up. I definitely don’t blame Bethany at ALL – we are both pretty disappointed about it.
After a Skype with my parents who made a phone call to the travel agent Courtney and I used, and $500 later, I will be coming back to Kansas on Tuesday instead of Friday now. I land in Wichita at 10 PM and am so looking forward to being back home.
This whole trip has been surrounded with problems. Discouragement. Frustration. Distractions. I knew when I was so discouraged before I even LEFT to come that it would all be worth it, that something huge was going to happen and make everything worthwhile.
But as the weeks have gone on, it’s only gotten worse. There have been problems around every turn for myself and the people I am serving with here. I mean, a car wreck, not having a driver for our last few scheduled VBS’, and SO SO SO many more things…it is SO hard to not just be super discouraged.
Paige has even said that times like these just make her want to pack up and go home. I’m not sure what the heck is going on here, but we are/have all been pretty weary at some point recently.
A few days after we got here, she started to share a new worship CD that she had gotten with us. It’s PHENOMENAL. One of the songs on it was really powerful for her because of all that they had been going through before we arrived. But as we have ALL got slowly more weary and faced many things, I think we have all started to claim it as our anthem here.The bridge is the best part – “When I don’t understand, I will choose You. When I don’t understand, I GET to choose You.”
As my days here wind down, I’m frustrated that I haven’t really seen what all this has been for. I kept waiting for something great to happen, something that I can point to and say, “THAT is what the devil has been fighting so hard against! But he didn’t get the victory!” But, that hasn’t happened yet. And we leave Ongole in 2 1/2 days.
I talked with Paige about this at lunch today. She talked about her first trip to India being filled with phenomenal things, then her second trip, she brought Sean and wanted him to see all the great things she had seen as well. She was so discouraged by the end of the trip that not a single big thing had happened as so many had before.
That night, she had a dream about Doubting Thomas. He didn’t believe that the other disciples had seen Jesus after He had risen and refused to believe so until he puts his fingers through the holes in Jesus’ hands. After this happened, Jesus said “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” (John 20:29. I like how The Message translation puts it here)
Paige said this was so huge for her in realizing that she wasn’t in India to see a huge show before her eyes like she had seen last time. But she had to have faith that God was there, God was moving, and things she will never know about happened for good from that trip. Believing without seeing.
This is EXACTLY where I am at right now. I’m discouraged because so many things have happened to get so many people down. And I have yet to see God show up and move in a HUGE way as I so expected to with all the problems we had. But this was just the reminder that I needed that maybe this time I WON’T get to see. Maybe this time it’s about growing my faith that me being here DID matter. About growing my faith that God is working through everything, despite the insane spiritual warfare going on in this country right now.
Please be in prayer for India. Something HUGE is going to go on and soon. There has been so much spiritual warfare going before we got here and ever since we have arrived. It’s affected me, Courtney, Sean and Paige, the Fadely’s, the Sterling team in Hyderabad right now, and the girl from Missouri volunteering with SCH right now. I don’t know what is going on, but there is a BIG fight to keep whatever it is from happening!
All my missions trips in the past I have seen great things and believed. I have come home with great stories from camp in the Philippines, from being in India last year and the huge things that happened in villages, and from helping so much in Mexico.
This year, I am coming home with stories of spiritual battles and a growth in faith that God WILL have the victory. Perhaps not while I am here. Perhaps not for awhile. But in His timing, this war will be won and something HUGE will happen that will make everything we have all faced be so worth it. And I am finally at peace that maybe it won’t happen while I am here to see it with my own eyes.
But “even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”