Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moving Mountains.

Hello! So, so much has happened the past few days, but I'm going to try my hardest not to overload you. First, our original plan for our last week here was to go to Darjeeling to work in an orphanage. However, they are not allowing tourists in anymore because of angry, possibly violent strikes going on. Peace talks on that won't even start until mid-August, so that won't work. Instead... we're going to Nepal! We will spend time in small villages there so that we can digest everything we have done and seen and I'm so excited!! I can't wait for the change of setting either, for it to be cool and calm.

At work on Saturday, they had a birthday party for all of the July birthdays and it was so wonderful! There was so much joy and excitement. The children that they usually keep separated were allowed to be together, and all of the girls wore sparkly pink dresses. After breakfast, instead of exercising the children, we sat them all on the other side of the room with the older, not so severely handicapped children. The birthday girls' faces were painted and they got pink flower crowns for their heads. The rest of us got white dots on our foreheads and birthday hats. Then the music was turned on and we celebrated! The children that could move jumped and ran and danced their hearts out, and the children that couldn't were lifted into our arms and spun and bounced around. We were laughing and dripping in sweat and it was just beautiful. That's the only way I can describe it. And they each got a candy! Quite the treat for them. I worked with the other girl without eyes, Rahki, and she is so sweet :) She can't speak, but she could clap perfectly on beat to the music. She loves music; I sing to her all the time.

Yesterday, I got to go to Grant's home where he works with him. Usually, only men are allowed, but on Sundays, ten other volunteers can go to wash the street children. As we walked up, children ran into our arms screaming "Auntie, auntie!" It was an interesting experience... I had fun, but I was also deeply discouraged :( The thing is, I just wanted to love these children and play with them and wash them and feed them, but they were raised in a way that made that very difficult. While we were playing with them, they just tried to steal everything we had on us. They pulled a girl's earrings from her ears and yanked hair clips and ties from all of the female volunteers' hair. One girl wanted me to pick her up and spin her like I was doing to the other children, but as I started to spin her, I felt her fingers slowly pulling at my hair tie. I had to set her right down and tell her it's not ok. Another girl actually yanked it from my hair and ran while I was cuddling another child in my lap and I had to chase her down. I'm just so sad about the whole situation. They have been so robbed of their childhood that they couldn't enjoy being spun around or juggled for. They just waited for Grant to drop a ball while juggling so they could snatch it and run. I know it isn't their fault; it is how they were raised, but it makes me so incredibly sad to think about it. India has a bigger problem than I realized before I came. I thought I was ready to describe it, but now I feel that it won't come out right. Let's just say that there is intense poverty, but there is also a spirit of trickery and greed that plagues the streets of Kolkata, deep in the hearts and traditions of many, many, many of the people here. It's impossible to describe.

On that note... Some things we've been discussing in our group meetings recently are the power of prayer, faith, miracles, and all sorts of things like that. We read specifically the part in Matthew where Jesus drives a demon out of a boy when the disciples couldn't. When they ask why, Jesus says something along the lines of "you have such little faith... if you had even faith the size of a mustard seed you could move mountains!" What does that say about Jesus' followers that we aren't seeing more mountains moving? Is our faith really so small? Why do I get so caught up in the work that I don't take the time to lay my hand on the head of each of those children and pray with all my heart that Jesus would heal them? So many questions like that have been coming up for me. It seems that India is a place of joy and misery, wisdom and ignorance, answers and a lot more questions.

Anyway, sorry if that didn't make sense. That's what I get for waiting to share so much information. As always, my heart is with all of you just as it is with everyone here. I miss you, my family and friends, so much everyday. Can't wait to see your smiling faces and feel your arms wrapped around me.




Another world is possible.


  1. Thank you for the update dear daughter. I love you and I pray for you.

  2. "PS

    Another world is possible."

    I'm so happy about this. It makes me remember that oddly heated argument we had about the possibility of peace in this life. And how I still wholeheartedly believe there is hope. I love that you have been able to see such destitute poverty and disheartening events yet are able to still believe that change is possible. I think optimism is the first step to getting there.

    Oh, and I love you, and Grant, and everyone you are with with all of my heart. Give my love to those who need it :)

  3. Jennifer, I miss you so much and love you with all of my heart! I can't wait to share with you the things I have seen. I think about you every single day. Really. Thanks for loving me <3 I'll spread some of that love around :)