Processing-ish.

. A lot to process. The following is a failed attempt to do so.

It’s all a lot to let in

The sights.

The sounds.

The smells.

The millions (literally) of people walking past you…

The hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The food (which, two days in, my body violently and mercilessly rejected).…

this whole new world that has become my whole new world…

I’m not completely sure how you’re supposed to let it all in.

How do you let in the little girl tugging on the bottom of your kurta with her palm outstretched to you?

How do you let in having to walk away and pretend she’s not there because you know the money is not going to her?

How do you let in the filth, dodging urine and feces on the sidewalks,…and not let on outwardly any negative emotion you might feel on the inside?

How do you let in the unimaginable traffic? (There’s really no good way to describe it. You have to be here. It’s this strange…completely unorganized yet organized utter chaos)

How do you let in the warfare? I have had many sleepless hours. Last night, I literally felt as if I was choking from anxiety, as endless thoughts such as, “You can’t do this,” “You’re not good enough” “Everyone else here is more fit than you” ran furiously through my mind.

How do you let in walking through a Hindu temple watching countless people throw their money to statues, bowing down in reverence to pieces of plaster,…dancing and singing to objects made with their own hands?

I didn’t very well. It hit me the hardest of all. My hands shook as I held up my camera, and it kept every ounce of strength within me not to burst into tears. I fought them with all I had for all the people kept smiling at me…and I didn’t want them to see me weeping for them. I’ve never felt such darkness.

My heart shattered into a million pieces all over the ground of that temple.

It would be easy to ask, “Where are You?”

But, He is here. He has not abandoned this city.

On Sunday, I was able to visit a home church. The pastor spoke a little Hindglish (my word) so, some of the girls and I could understand him. It was awesome.

I’ve heard such incredible stories of how He is moving here.

The group here has been able to share little snippets here and there with English speakers we run into.

Today, I went with my partner to get manicures at a salon. One of the sweet manicurists commented on how she liked my henna. I told her my friend did it for me and that there was a story that went along with it. I asked her if she’d like to hear it. She was very eager. I held out my palm and gleefully said, “This is a TRUE story from G’s Word.” Then, showing here the different corresponding parts on my hand, I was able to share with her the story of “the Bleeding Woman”.

Lifting her up.

Greater things are yet to come in this city.

I love the giggles I get when I smile at girls/women sometimes. They love it. Whenever I make eye contact with any woman, I give her the toothiest grin…and they just beam back.

A group of women laughed at me when I told them my name in Hindi. Apparently, my Hindi is not so great…ha (BUT, today, I told a group of little children on the street my name, and they all repeated, “Sharaaa!!” So, I’m not THAT bad, okay?

I love riding in autos. It’s absolutely horrifying, but, it’s so much fun! The wind blowing in my hair, and almost running into/getting hit by things is fantastic.

I love the moment when I was sleepily holding on to one of the poles in the metro, and an older woman taps me on the shoulder and points to the seat she’s in, as she gets up taking my place.

I love another moment on the metro, when my partner and I were the only women on the men’s car, and a man motioned to trade places with a guy in our group so that only he and our two other guys could be around us to help shield us from the stares.

There is so much joy here.

You might have to look a little for it, but, it’s here. And, it’s beautiful.

Today, we walked around lifting up the area around us. As I walked through mud puddles and trash, I thought of the filth in my heart, and how dirty I was before He saved me. How it was not after I had cleaned up, but, that while I was YET a sinner, He died for me. And, if He died to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost, then He can without a doubt save any person in this city. There is no one outside the reach of His hands.

He also brought to mind the Psalms and how every single person in this city was knit together by HIM in his/her mother’s womb, is fearfully and wonderfully made, and His works are WONDERFUL. It’s easy to look around and see bad things. But, the truth is, His works are wonderful. He intricately designed each and every one of the millions and millions of people here. He knows every single one by name. He knew everything about them before time existed.

I want them to know that. I want them to know their Father loves them. And, I want Him to help me love them like He loves them in order to point them to Him.

On Thursday, I leave for my city. I am begging on behalf of the people of my city, that you lift me, my partner, and them up, pleading on our behalf before the Father.

This is a war.

But, here’s the good news.

We win.

Miss you all.

Shara.

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