Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love Like Jesus'

I wish I could share the many different patients I have seen. My first day here was a TB clinic day. Three people every second die from TB in the world. I had heard of these devastating statistic but its different seeing the faces.
This evening we went to a concert that hospital staff organized to raise support and provide awareness to the local community for poor patients that come to the clinic. There is a discounted clinic here where the poor patients only pay 5 rupees ($0.10), but sadly the poorest of the poor can’t afford even that. Jeff shared a story of a patient that had been suffering from TB for years and had spent money on treatment that turned out being insufficient and incorrect. When this 32 y/o lady arrived at this hospital’s clinic she weighted only 25kg (55lbs). This is not rare, might I add. I have seen many patients that weight near that weight and one that only weighted 22kg. Months of treatment went by and she was not gaining weight so she was asked why. She responded by sharing that beyond the cost of the medication and transportation to the hospital, her family was only able to afford a meal a day and shared five ways between her, her husband and three children. This is only a glimpse of what is seen at this hospital. I hope to share more of both the pain we see as well as the exciting things happening here that will dramatically help these patients’ cost decrease and improve their care as lives are transformed through continued caring. From the hospital wards to the clinic, in the midst of such devastated lives, I get to see such incredible Christian care showed to these people who God made in his image and passionately loves. I sadly have seen how I would have denied it at home, how tightly I have held on to my own wealth, time, reputation, health, and family that I continually must surrender to the Lord. “He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to gain what He can not loose” (Jim Elliot).
“How blessed is he who considers the poor, The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble.” Psalm 41:1
Just so you know we are at an EHA hospital in Herpertpur.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Days and lessons from India

Picture of the day...The way these people can balance things on their head amazes me...Too bad she caught me taking her picture. Woops! Oh well!

We are doing well, still healthy(Praise God) and now understanding a bit more how things work here. God has surely provided in more was than we could have even thought to pray for. When he arrived, I'm pretty sure they were not aware of our arrival and unsure where to put us. We had no orientation, but God provided others to help us most of the way. Our new friends from Holland showed us all around the campus, how to get food and when it's served, where to get clean water, where and when to show up for required events, how to do laundry and so much more. Praise the Lord for his provisions and protection.
We had a movie night with them and two others from India here. We watched Slumdog Millionaire. It was so interesting as we would get the play by play of what all the scenes were/the background and what was really going on from the Indian perspective. That was surely a fun night.
I have also become the "PE teacher" for Jeff and Janet's kids. We had our first PE today. It was full of jump roping and double dutch. Such fun and I believe successful as they all left quite sweaty. I look forward to more time with them for sure!
God has surely been teaching me so much about my own sinful nature and a new realization of the love and grace that He freely offers. While I was saddened to see the Hindu life and the fear that rules the lives of the followers, I have see how I too allow fear to rule times of my life. I become selfish, disillusioned and fear to surrender. I've often overlooked God's loving nature and that He truly has a plan for us, help, hope and future...not to harm or take away/destitute me with anything I fear to surrender. This is one thing that God has shown me and I continue pray through.
Being here has open my eyes to a whole new world. We have seen the reality of the battle of not flesh and blood, but powers of darkness and Satan's powerful work. On the flipside, we have seen and heard amazing stories of God's power over darkness and stories of people's conversions like never before. I have been blessed to see, in new ways, what a mighty God we serve.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
We love you all dearly~

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Glimps of India

Before church in Darha dun

Grounds worker at the hospital

Off to the "Department Store"...small grocery store

My Valentine...A dozen roses from Brent

A local tailor at the bizarre

electric coil + water

Yesterday was again a day of first time experiences. I did my first hand wash load of laundry. With language barrier and the people's explanations/directions being different, it leads us to my mistake. Brent and I were given two plastic buckets to fill with water for bathing and washing clothes. We were also given a piece of coiled metal. While I didn't really understand how this could be remotely safe or even work, I asked for explanation several times. She kept repeating that you stick the coil into the bucket of water to heat it as you plug it in the wall. Simple enough, right? We have two guys living in the same "apartment" and one of the guys was sitting at the computer and walked me through it one more time from across the room. I somehow stuck in the coil without electrifying myself, but after a while we were sitting in the common room and he looks confused at me and asks what a noise was. I'm thinking it's a normal noise for this strange contraption, but we jump up, see smoke rising. I had melted two large holes through the bucket and melted the plastic all over the back of the coil. He couldn't believe that I mangled the bucket and heater like that and that, nor why I didn't put it in the designated metal pail...My thoughts exactly...we weren't ever given such a pail to begin with...Well,learning the hard way, but eventually finished the laundry in his pail, hung it out to dry on the roof and breathed a sigh of relief (and hoped the monkeys wouldn't come back on the roof and steal it)
Another day in India...another adventure

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arrival at Herbertpur

We have had some difficulties getting Internet. The local cafe has not been open and we have to wait until Dr. Jeff is back for a password so updates may be sparse. We took a taxi from Lon & Sarah's and were not sure where to go when we "arrived." All we knew was two names to ask for and that I was not sure of because I couldn't understand them very well over the phone earlier in the day. Eventually we were taken to our "plush" accommodations including 2 twin beds, 2 buckets and a small cup to assist in the "shower." In addition we have some electrical heating device to plug in to warm the water. Staci is very excited because we have a space heater. So far the food has been good. We thought we might initially loose weight on this trip but it is not looking like it so far.
Our first day was quite ruff, we like to refer to it as culture shock to make us feel better. We weren't sure if anyone knew what to do with us. Staci and I were split up and were later able to comfort each other with similar mornings of confusion, grief and frustrations during a 2 hour walk through the tea garden. We continue to return to the tea garden which is quite beautiful. We are doing better now as we are quickly adjusting. Today we took a run through the tea garden followed by a frigged bucket bath. Our survival, guidance and orientation to what in the world is going on here has been completely provided by some new friends of ours from Holland.
Hopefully we will able to use the Internet more in the future and post pictures. We are trying to plan a weekend trip to the Himalayan foothills this weekend.

Namasta (Hello in Hindi)

We are now at Lon and Sarah's in Duradam (or something like that). We had a incredible 5-6 hr train ride there from Delhi. Incredible in that I, staci, felt like a 5yr old with my nose stuck to the window...never have I see such poverty, extreme slums in masses, such brilliant color, dichotomy in socioeconomic class, idolatry, and randomness and trash. I am not able to come close to describe the sights. From early, 5am, to late into the night, streets are packed with people pushing carts of produce, strange trinkets etc to sleeping in the middle of sidewalks all over, beggars in plagues, cows walking freely all over and incessant honking of horns. Today, we even saw a massive elephant carrying a large load of small trees on it's back with a rider. The stranger thing about it was that the elephant was slowly walking down a major "highway/perimeter" of it had all the rights to be there that a car would have. Needless today, it has been an eye opening experience.
Since at Lon and Sarah's, it's been so nice to hear how God has been working in their lives and those around them. It has been such so neat to hear their stories. We had a nice Indian food lunch, went on a scooter ride with Lon into town. Sarah and I were at home and the boys went out and came back with a dozen roses for each of us girls to celebrate Valentines.(very sweet! red roses with glitter) This evening we went to a market and bought fabric for another "Indian dress/suit" and then went out for drinks at a cafe. end off...we had hot showers! ahhhh, incredible! That about it for today. I'll have to do a retro update for the first couple days in Delhi.
we love you much and are so grateful for your prayers. They have surely been felt as things have gone so smoothly, peacefully and without problems.
P.S. What would have taken 5 minutes has now taken over an hour. Got to enjoy the world wide web especially in rural India.