Wow, as I sit down to write this article, it is hard to know where to start! The Lord blessed our trip to India so abundantly that it is hard to condense it all. I guess I will begin with sharing how the Lord answered my prayers regarding the heat. I typically struggle with the heat and didn’t want to ruin my trip by being miserable all the time. I had been asking people to pray that I would be able to tolerate the heat, but I hadn’t even considered the possibility of the Lord cooling it off for the time we were there. But that is exactly what He did! The day we arrived it was 98˚F in Coimbatore and the Rajans told us that it had rained the week before and it had cooled off. I was very thankful for that news and that it wasn’t as hot as it could be. Fast forward 2 days to Monday when everyone began arriving for the conference. In the afternoon we had a wonderful rain shower which cooled the temperatures even more. It felt wonderful to have a cool breeze! Sarah told me that the children at Agape Home and Torbay House had been praying and fasting for the past 3 months that there would be rain the week of the conference. Now to those of us who live in the USA, rain in May is a very common occurrence. But in India they hardly ever get rain in May, which is their summer season. Well let me tell you, the Lord answered their prayers BIG time! Other than the first 2 days, we got rain EVERY DAY that we were in India. The news was reporting that they haven’t had this much rain in Tamil Nadu during May in the past 30 years. Wow, do we serve an amazing God or what!
One of the struggles I had was the language barrier. There were many people I so badly wanted to communicate with, but couldn’t. When only a couple handfuls of people speak English it is hard to have enough interpreters to go around. And very few of the English speakers were women. I was internally struggling with this, but wasn’t sure what to do. On the second day of the conference, I noticed the ladies trying to help one of the kids fix one of the rubber band bracelets we had made during the kids session earlier in the day. I decided to go see if I could help since I knew how they were made. After I helped the child fix the bracelet, I noticed the other ladies standing around and I motioned to ask if they would like to make one. They shook their heads yes. So I ran back up to our room and got the bag of rubber bands and “looms” (which were plastic forks). I went back down and spent the next two hours making bracelets with the ladies. That was such a blessing! Two of the members of the group, Sarah Rajan and the house mother, Grace, both speak English and they would help us out when there was a language barrier. But it was so cool to be able to have a connection with the ladies without a ton of words! Later on that evening I realized how that was such an answer to prayer! I had wanted a connection with the ladies and the Lord blessed me with that. The other two evenings we did similar things but it just wasn’t the same as the evening when the Lord orchestrated the event.
Saying goodbye was very hard! I was dreading that moment when we had to give our final hugs goodbye! The ride to the airport is never fun because there is so much to say, but I didn’t want to say goodbye prematurely. When we arrived at the airport, the Rajans went into the visitors area inside the airport and we had to go to the passenger area. These two areas are separated by a fence, which meant we had to give “fence hugs” when we said goodbye. We walked to a clear area of the fence and began the dreaded goodbyes. As Sarah and I hugged goodbye there were many tears streaming down both of our faces. The bond in Christ that we all have is amazing! One of my favorite things from this trip was getting to bond more with the entire Rajan family as we spent so much time traveling and ministering together! I can’t wait for the time when we are all in heaven together and there won’t be anymore goodbyes. One of my favorite sayings is “Here, there or in the air” because as a Christians we have the assurance that we aren’t saying goodbye forever, just see you later. This trip to India was most definitely orchestrated by God and we could tell we had many prayer warriors in the USA praying for us! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the prayers you offered on our behalf! Love you all! – Joy