My flight leaves in about 4 hours, and I have an hour left before I leave to the airport. As I sit here typing up (probably) my last blog entry, I can't seem to wrap everything up. Maybe a part of me doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that the relationships and ministry work I have built and worked up until now will be no longer a part of my day to day activities once I get on the airplane. I won't be seeing these students every day; I won't be able to fellowship with the AECS staff/students; I won't be serving in the youth group at BKC each week; I won't be able to eat meals with David and Moses or Naomi and Purna; I won't be able to eat authentic Indian food anymore; I won't be working with the awesome pastors and staff here. It's such a sad thing to see that all these relationships I have built during these past months is soon to be held accountable only by prayer (and thankfully, Facebook!).
Looking back during the months I have served here, I am humbled by and in awe of how God has used my limited talents and knowledge here in India. During the months I was here, one of the things I struggled with a lot (especially during the beginning) was doubting why I was sent here and questioned how I was serving and glorifying God during my days. As I was saying my goodbye's today, I was showered with God's grace and love through these students: we had an ice cream party with all the fourth standard students, and they came up to give a word of encouragement, lifted up a prayer for me, and gave me gifts after gifts. And to think that me teaching English, coordinating their penpals from the states, and helping set up a special ed classroom, would have made an impact in their lives? I surely don't doubt as much as I did before, and I can confidently say that if an impact was made in their lives through my teaching, that it was only by the grace of God. I pray that when the students remember me, that they would remember more of God's faithfulness than my teachings; I hope that when they think of their penpals, they would somehow be reminded of God's love; and that when they are reminded of the ice cream party and any other fun/goofy times we had, that they would be reminded of the joy found only in Christ.
More than the ministry work itself, what really touched me were the relationships I had built with the students, staff, pastors (and their families), and the AECS staff. What I'm going to miss most about India are the relationships I had built. And maybe, this is a part, if not most, of what missions are about: building relationships (whether through teaching or serving together), using the talents God has given us, and glorifying God through these relationships. And I am not typing this proclaiming all the things I have done. When I think about it, there were so many days when I felt lazy, tired, and exhausted which made me not want to teach or do anything that day (it's a lot more tiring here for some reason). There were so many times when I walked into class or into my discipleship group with an ungrateful and a doubtful heart due to discouraging encounters here. And honestly speaking, there were too many times when I was too stubborn to see that the things that I struggled with here were just a culture difference. Even through my lack of heart, God seemed to pull through and remain faithful in His calling and the works He is doing here in India.
Now what have I learned these past months? What has God taught me?
God has stretched and taught me in terms of ministry, missions, teaching, culture, relationships, serving, working, the different religions, my future/career, and many more. I can't really seem to wrap up my stay here in this blog. All I can say is that God has blessed me with the relationships I have built here, and how He has used me for His kingdom with my minimal and limited talents.
If you would like to know more, please contact me and we can talk over coffee or something! :)
Also, please keep these following requests in your prayers:
- for St. Paul School, PU College, and AECS
- the staff, teachers, students, and pastors
- for blessings and growth upon the ministries that are already planted here
- for more (and many more) workers here in India
|One of my fourth standard classes watching a video made by their penpals in America!|
|A few of my discipleship students at their graduation|
|Chinese New Year's = dukgook|
|grabbing a meal with p. yohan|
|Eating dinner with a member from BKC|
|Yumm street good (except for that not so tasty Indian dessert!)|
|Going for a ride with Soleng!|
|The special ed class we launched!|
|Eating dinner with P. Yohan and his family!|
|During the opening service for the special ed class!|
|Ice cream partayyyy with the fourth standard students!|
|A special gift, word of encouragement, and prayer by the school's headmistress, Helen|
|The many gifts my students gave me :')|
|Auntie Jothi who makes the best chicken curry in the world! (she made me lunch almost everyday!)|
|Shopowner uncle in front of teacher's quarter. When the power would go out during the nights, I would sometime come out and eat ice cream while talking with him (I promise he's not as angry as he looks in this picture!)|
|Last time eating out with David and moses!|
|A few of the staff/pastors at AECS during my last meal!|
|I spent my last night spending with P. yohan and his family talking til late at night. David fell asleep hahaa, but they have been like family to me during my stay here. And I wasn't able to get a recent pic with P. Abe, but I wanted to give a special shout out to him. He has been my mentor here and has encouraged, supported, and stretched me in many different ways! |