Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An update from India!

Wow! What a whirlwind the last few days have been! We've driven from Birmingham to Oxford, AL -  flown from Atlanta to Korea, then flown to Thailand, then flown from Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai (Thailand).... spent three days there before flying back to Bangkok (Thailand), and then hopped a plane to India!

We've been blessed with pretty good flights - especially the first 2 (This is where I say all sorts of good things about KOREAN AIR - sooo much better than Delta - and where I'll share that on the 6 hour flight from Korea to Thailand we had 2 rows of seats to lay down and sleep on - we were so grateful!) so we've been handling jet lag pretty well. Our 3 days in Chiang Mai were spent resting and hanging out with our good friends the Wards, including their precious new addition Teanna!

How sweet is that little giggling face?! She is seriously the happiest baby I have EVER seen! I snagged this picture from facebook, but I can't wait to get back in 3 weeks and get my camera focused on this little one!

We arrived late last night to India, and we've spent the day settling in our new "home" (for the next 2 weeks) and preparing to visit our Children's Homes tomorrow. It's been a bit of an adjustment here - since it's been almost 4 years since we've been to India. I'd forgotten how LOUD it is! I'm really thankful I brought earplugs, or I would not be able to sleep through the music and honking horns outside our window!

We're also adjusting to the food here... pray for us (kidding...sort of...) Neither of us like curry, and it is in everything (somehow, it was even in the french fries I just ordered!) and the spices are.... well... HOT! We each drank over a liter of water at lunch, and from what I remember of my last trip, the spice in that meal was nothing compared to most Indian food! But if spicy food is our biggest problem, then I think we're doing ok. As I've found little things that annoyed me today (because living and working in third world countries is not always "comfortable" ;) I am working hard to remain grateful. The TRUTH is, I have so much to be thankful for!

I am trying to give myself some grace too, as I think my mind and emotions are a little overwhelmed from all the transition this week! I keep waiting for the inevitable moment when I speak Thai to someone in India....or Hindi to someone in Thailand (when we return in December).

And speaking of my emotions - today I had a rough morning. I'd forgotten more than how loud it is here, and what the food tastes like....I'd forgotten how difficult the spiritual climate is. It's hard to explain really - and some of you may think this sounds kooky or too "supernatural" for you, but there is a spiritual darkness and chaos here that I just can't quite put into words. I woke up this morning crying for no reason, struggling with depression, and feeling like a weight was literally sitting on my chest. Thankfully after a prayer from my husband I was better - but I was naive to think we wouldn't have to actively fight this chaos and darkness DAILY. Please pray that we will have discernment every moment of the day and night - that we will know when and how to pray - and that we will be LIGHT in the darkness here.

As I'm rambling through this "stream of consciousness" here, I want to share an update with you today about Asha House (one of the Children's Homes we are partnered with here in Delhi). First thing this morning, I got an update from our partners, telling us that 3 new children came to the home this week. My initial response was excitement, and I tweeted about how I couldn't wait to meet the kids. But as the day has worn on, my heart has become heavy. 3 new children in our orphanage, means 3 more children without a mom and dad. As thankful as I am that they are in a safe and loving home tonight, I am grieving the fact that they are orphans. I can't imagine what they must be feeling right now. I've been praying that they are comforted during this transition and that they know they are loved. Please join me in praying for them - all I know right now is that they are 2, 4, and 5 years old. I'll share more of their story next week.

As I write all this, I'm not sure if my heart is ready for this country. There is so much to grieve here, and at the same time, there is much to celebrate. I'm looking forward to sharing each experience with all of you!

I'll leave you with a quick video update Rusty shot today. I felt like I was in the circus with the crowd we drew - the only white people to be seen, randomly shooting a video in the middle of a busy street - apparently we were quite the sight! I wish you could've seen the crowd huddled behind Rusty while he shot this... it was so hard to stay focused and complete my sentences with all of them watching! (haha!)

If you haven't done it yet, then I hope you'll sign up for our blog updates at The Sound of Hope, follow us on twitter, and "like" our facebook page, so you'll be sure to see all of our upcoming videos, stories, and pictures!

Thanks so much for reading, and thanks for your prayers and encouraging comments too!


  1. Ericka, my sweet friend! I will definitely be praying for you and Rusty while you are in India. It is such a hard country to experience, but so comforting to focus on the reason for you being there. You are there to love the kids at staff at the children's homes. Praying that you be a light for Him.

    "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

  2. Love what you are doing. Have a wonderful and blessed trip!

  3. Anna - I LOVE that verse...what a great one to focus on during this trip. The kids are definitely an example of something "pure, lovely, and praiseworthy" - it's such a blessing to be a part of their lives!