Friday, July 2, 2010

July 02, 2010

We arrived in India this morning at 4:00am. After going through customs and collecting our luggage, we were eagerly greeted by Isaac, one of the staff members from the Shining Stars Centers for Youth Development. He helped guide us to the St. Anne's Retreat Centre, which is where we are staying while in Hyderabad. He brought us out to his waiting car and a taxi bus and helped us load all our belongings into the two vehicles. After a few minutes of packing we began our one hour drive to the retreat centre. Along the way we all sat in absolute awe of our surrounds and that we are actually in India! We could not have been more excited to be here!

Once we got to the retreat centre, the staff allowed us to check in and we got the keys to our spacious, lovely rooms. Seriously, they are amazing! Then, we were served breakfast 8:00am, still trying to adjust a bit to the twelve and a half hour time difference! Can you believe that we are on the other side of the globe!? We’re still in shock! But it was nice to have the morning to simply relax as a team and get to know the retreat centre where we will be living for the next month.

As we walked back to our rooms, a few of the girls noticed an open door leading to a balcony, so we decided to check it out as the view here in India is beautiful! As we began admiring the scenery, we noticed a set of stairs around the corner that led to the roof, and at this point some of the men had joined us as well. Naturally, we climbed up the stairs to the roof. It was breathtaking. We felt as if we were standing on top of the tallest building in the middle of the city, being able to look out as far as the mountain ranges allowed.

The scene before us was littered with densely packed buildings and houses. They were almost ancient looking, sporting chipping paint along almost every angle, scattered with pieces of clothing hung out to dry, and screaming character with their assorted colors. All enclosed within the confines of the beautiful mountain ranges. And, not only was the view breathtaking, but the sounds were almost mesmerizing. Cars honking for sometimes absolutely no reason but to warn another of its presence, stray dogs barking as they roamed the streets, and a constant flow of traffic noises and chattering added to the soundtrack. We were all taken captive by the beauty of this place, and as we sat up on that roof together, we began to talk about why.

The people and the landscape simply are, and they make no apologies or excuses for it. The buildings are full of character in their worn condition and broken appearance. Almost as if to say that they are content being so, just as they are. It’s a rather beautiful thing.

See in America, we have becomes so consumed by the American dream. Our motives and condition are fixed upon the attainment of certain things or ambitions, perhaps a house with a picket fence, the best car, or a put-together family. And even when we fail to attain such measures, we lie. We put on a fa├žade to mask the imperfections, telling the world we have it all together, when in reality we are falling apart.

Life here is unapologetic. It is what it is. There is such vulnerability here. No attempts to display false perfections. Brokenness is reality, and it is on beautiful display. May we learn from this place, from these people. May our brokenness lead us into relationship with this nation for which God is yearning.

This is India.

1 comment:

  1. the update P...God is going to show you mighty things...praying for you that God transforms your heart and changes so many lives because of you being there!