Saturday, June 28, 2008

what a week is has been!!

this week was spent in the hospital, and let me just tell you it wasn't my favorite time. actually, it has probably been the hardest four days of the trip thus far. not only am i not the biggest fan of hospitals in the states, but hospitals in foreign countries definitely are not my cup of tea, this hospital especially. i'm sure in other places in india there are more advanced hospitals, but this one was founded in 1838 and although i know the technology and equipment is not that old, a lot of it seems like it. i know i can't paint a good word picture for you as to what it looks like, but the best thing i can think to describe it is a hospital that you would have seen in movies from the 1950s or so where all the wards are separate and all the patients are in one big room on uncomfortable metal beds. the nurses all wear white saris and they still wear hats.

regardless, as challenging as it has been, it has also been a blessing. i was able to hold some adorable babies in the nicu, catch the very tale end of a mother giving birth, and pray for patients throughout the entire compound. it was humbling, challenging, frustrating, and an incredible growing and learning experience that is for sure.

i am quite excited to get back to the orphanage though, that is for sure. i can't tell you how excited i am for the children to be climbing up me for me to hold and for me to end up having two of them in my arms at once! nor can i tell you how excited i am for the older girls to teach us more tamil words, to eat chapattis, and spend time with our tattha (johnson), to continue encouraging the staff in their english, and to essentially be in the middle of a haven the Lord has created as the mountains and windmills surround us.

regardless, the Lord has continued to show up, and i cannot tell you how thankful i am to be here serving Him in the capacity He has deemed fit for the summer. while these last four days were a definite struggle, i began to truly learned what it meant to give thanks in all circumstances, and i was reminded of 1 Thess 5:24 (i believe) that says, "He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."

that verse has spoken to me on two specific different occassions as i have been on this trip; the first being when i was incredibly overwhelmed at the beginning of the trip when we were trying to figure out our programming for the staff at the orphanage and the second being the second morning before we headed to the hospital. i was so blessed by that verse each time i read it that i almost cried...

tomorrow morning i will be preaching at a church, and the remainder of our day will primarily be spent working with people from the congregation; sharing some of our stories with them and hopefully hearing some of theirs. we aren't completely sure what it is going to look like, but i have no doubt that the Lord is going to show up. He has in so many ways thus far, there is no need for me to doubt now.

i can't wait to share with you the ways He has answered my prayers for a sense of wonder nor can i wait to share with you about how the Lord used an egg to speak to me. i am amazed, astounded, blessed beyond all measure, and so thankful; yet, i know i am nothing without Him and continue singing praises to Him for the simple fact that His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. we are all inadequate, but we also must be grateful that he chooses to use us anyway.

i'm not sure when i will have access to the internet again, or if i will before we leave india, but please keep praying for us as we are here. and know that you are being lifted up in prayer as well. what a blessing it is to be halfway around the world from all of you and know that we are still serving the same Almighty Father. be blessed today, my friends.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

oh my what a week!

it is crazy to think that tomorrow our trip is officially half over...actually it has brought tears to my eyes many times just thinking about it. i can't imagine leaving the people i keep falling more and more in love with and i just keep praying that i will be able to live in the here and the now and soak up every available moment while continuing to love boldly.

this week was full of some ups and some downs. the three of us girls spent an absolutely amazing time out on the roof marveling at the lord's creation one night this week and the staff seems to be improving on their english. the children are always a joy to be around and seriously they are so beautiful. i can't wait to show you all pictures. they have completely captured my heart even though they can't have more than a two sentence conversation with me. it has been so encouraging though because the little girl (who isn't so little as she is in 7th grade now) my family sponsors finally has warmed up to me and i now call her my tangai (tan-guy) or little sister and she called me her akka or older sister. it's a blessing and i smile just thinking about her...

on a negative note...i somehow managed to get a little sick this week. i'm better now, but for a few days i was very thankful for the fact we had a western toilet in our bathroom. i only ran a fever for one day, praise the lord, and am not feeling much better. good enough actually to try and eat indian food again :)

this tuesday we leave for the hospital, and wednesday our work begins there. it will be quite challenging, but at the same time, i am looking forward to how the Lord is going to use us there and how He is going to move. please be praying for us--especially for me and jess as we are not too excited about having to leave the children and work in a hospital. and also, a week from sunday i will be preaching at a church, i definitely could use your prayers on that one!!!

there's so much more i wish i could tell you, but my time is limited. i want you to know that i appreciate all of your prayers so very much and know that this trip would not be possible without you. i mean that...

i'm not sure when we are going to be able to access the internet again, but know that all of you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers untill i can communicate with you again. may He bless you and keep you until i am able to talk with you again. i can't wait to share so many more stories and pictures with you when i return to the states!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

as i sit here in this very small cubicle, i am able to be looking out a window onto the streets of india. and also, three boys are sitting right out in front of the window staring at me. i'm not sure i'll ever get used to the stares that we "white people" receive when we go out into the town.

regardless...our first week of time with the staff and children went so well. it's hard to believe we've been here for nearly 10 days, but it's also hard to believe that we have another four weeks here. i am absolutely overwhelmed at that thought but know that i am going to be crying like a baby when the time comes for us to have to say goodbye to the children and the staff.

it's such a privilege to be here, and i have cried many tears while i am here. to some of you who know me, that will come as a surprise because you know i don't cry often, and let me tell you it's come as a surprise to me as well. however, i know that so much of me is overwhelmed at the fact that i am back at the place where i left my heart 3 years ago and where i know i am going to have to say good bye to again not knowing when the Lord will open up the door for me to return or if he ever will.

i do ask for your continued prayers; thankfully, i have not gotten sick since we've been here but that has not held true for stacey, jessica, or my dad. i am thanking the Lord currently that i don't like vegetables because jess and my dad are convinced that it was some vegetables they ate for dinner that made them sick.

terry and jeeva, the couple who runs the orphanage, have been such a blessing. although their english isn't very good, they still manage to make us feel more honored than anyone in america could ever imagine. it's difficult though, because we want to serve them, but in their culture they don't necessarily understand that and are so hospitable...and we don't want to be rude and tell them no. oh, cultural barriers.

i feel like i have so much to share, and actually, i know that i do, but words on a blog don't do what i am learning justice. the Lord is so faithful and i am so very, very blessed and honored that He has chosen me. His grace is far more sufficient than I ever realized and i cannot explain to you how freeing it has been to come to that understanding.

regardless. your prayers and thoughts are appreciated more than i can express. i ask that you would continue praying and that you would specifically be praying for me as i am to be writing a sermon to give at a church in two weeks. not necessarily my cup of tea, but we'll see in what ways the Lord moves on this one :)

i will be updating again hopefully next saturday, so until then, know you are all in my thoughts and prayers!

Monday, June 9, 2008

so it hasn't quite been a week since we left, but oh, do i feel like i've learned more in the last week of my life than i have in such a long time. i wish that i could put into words everything that has happened and the ways He has moved, but words truly would not do it justice.

there have been multiple times where i have been overwhelmed, exhausted, completely drained, and have absolutely no confidence in myself, but how amazing is it that He meets us where we are at??

as soon as we set foot in the airport when we first arrived, i remembered why i fell in love with this country, and when we arrived at the home, i was reminded of that again in an even stronger way. the children have clearly captured my heart, again, and i love them each so much even though i cannot pronounce their names or speak any of their language. i wake up every morning thanking Him for the beauty that surrounds me; mountains, banana trees, palm trees, and windmills, and then i thank Him again for the fact that there is ALWAYS a breeze where we are and for the fact that when the power goes out it doesn't stay out for long. i could do without frogs in the toilet and scorpion looking thing in the sink though. but regardless, what a blessing it has been to be back here with the people i admire and have prayed for consistently for the past 3 years.

i am amazed at how He has moved and how He has worked...seriously. i never understood what it meant for Him to be made strong in our weaknesses until i have been here. i have cried out to Him on so many occassions and He has shown up. i know i am not doing this on my own strength and i cotinue hoping that He gets ALL the glory, honor, and praise.

i wish i had more time, but unfortunately i do not. next time though, i am sure there will be more. i cannot wait to share in person with each one of you about everything when i return home. until then, i will continue trusting blindly and loving boldly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

i had full intentions of signing on here today and writing more in depth about how everything has finally come full circle, but wouldn't you know, my day was crazy today and it's currently 3:00 a.m. and i must go to bed. in just over 8 hours i will be pulling out of my driveway and beginning my trip to the airport.

one thing i do want to share before i go to bed is that yesterday in the course of packing i happened to find my journal that i kept when i went to india my senior year of high school. it was amazing to read back on my experiences there and i am so thankful the Lord was able to use that to remind me why my heart is where it is and ignite the fire in my heart again for what us girls are going to be doing for the next six weeks.

to anyone who may be reading this, your prayers are appreciated more than you realize. you have no idea the difference it has made, and the difference it has the potential to make. please keep praying as we actually begin our travels. i will be updating as time allows.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

two days. unbelievable.

although i'm sitting quite comfortably in my living room as i write this, i know that back in my bedroom there are suitcases that need to be packed, dirty clothes that need to be washed, picture frames that need to be made, insurance that needs to be bought, devotions that need to be planned, phone calls that need to be made, and the list could go on and on. even though i am a planner and have tried my hardest to not to get behind on stuff, my to do list hasn't seemed to get any shorter these past few days. i guess that's just how life goes sometimes. i have no doubt, though, that everything will all get done in the next 48 hours.

in other news. life at the Fleck household is never dull, especially when my dad is either out of the country or preparing to go out of the country. and now that he's gone and i'm preparing to go, i guess i should probably breathe a sigh of relief that nothing too huge has happened or gone wrong--praise the Lord. take for example the tornadoes that were in wabash this week. yes, tornadoes are a big deal so that is huge, but the thing of it is there really wasn't much damage done at our house...a few pieces of our fence around the pool were blown out and a branch from the maple tree in our front yard was broken. but travel down the road to where my grandparents old house is less than 1/4 of a mile and you would find tops of huge pine trees were broken off, big branches from their maple trees completely snapped off, the old-school TV antennae laying flat on the ground that was taller than the house, and if you would travel another 1/2 mile to our other neighbors house around the corner you would find trees that had been uprooted in their yard that were bigger around than barrels and taller than a two story house. and although we were without power for 15 hours, at least it came back on; our church was cancelled this morning because of the fact there still was no power there and the telephone poles were still down. all that to say, i am very thankful i serve a very big God who is my protector.