Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 9--Women's Retreat

The day finally arrived. For months we have had our speaking assignments and have struggled with "what can we say to these amazing women?" Fortunately our fearless leader, Judy Stallwitz, started off the morning with expressing the love that we brought from Hillside. Although she felt yucky from a bug that is going around amongst the foreigners (us), God spoke to all of us through Judy. She talked about the seeds that we can scatter in our own fields and watch as God helps them grow. The Aggies may not be scoring well in football, but our own Aggie Queen scored a win and gets the trophy!

Our seasoned mission trip extraordinaire, Tricia Hemelstrand, treated us in the first session by outlining the story of Esther. Connie Garrett went next and blew us away with thought provoking questions and amazing perspective. Connie claims to not be a speaker, but we have learned otherwise and she now has a second assignment Friday night...a reflective time of her experiences here in India. Sic 'em, Connie!

We have seen and heard so much here. My head spins from all that goes on. If you are a person that likes calm and quiet, India may not be top on your list of vacation spots. But if you want to be around people with hearts of gold and love for their country and countrymen, this is definately the place to be. I am one of the strange ones that likes quiet at home, but I have learned to listen hard to the sounds here. The cackling of the car horns makes me laugh and I'd love to have one of them for my car. I might describe life here as ironic. Again with the contradictions. It is noisy, and yet, it is quiet. Chaos reigns in traffic and yet the drivers are calm. The noise from the horns protect other drivers, biker and those walking including the cows; quiet on the street is eerie.

A sound that has brought inexpressible and glorious joy to my heart is the sound of the women praising our one true God. Can there be a sweeter sound? We came half way around the world and find we have more in common than not. It all makes me crave Heaven more but being here reminds me that the crops are ready and workers still few. I hope I never quit signing, "Pray for India, Pray for India, Pray for India; won't you join me? -- Lisa Bradshaw

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