"He [God] seems to say to us, 'You have tried, I know; But stand still now and see the salvation of God. I will do what you have failed to do.'" (Revival in India: 1905-1906)



This last Sunday was a special day in the life of my local church here in Mussoorie - Baptisms! We all first met at the church building for worship (and also to congregate everybody together before trying to venture off the mountain as a group). The chosen baptism location was in Dehradun (an hour and half drive down, except during tourist season when traffic is nuts ... oh wait, that's now). So the church hired a bus that holds 44 passengers which is why we fit slightly more than 50 people. There were also personal cars and motorbikes. Anyway, so we left church to head for Lacheewala, a park with a river - beautiful setting, lots of people. Long story short: nine people were baptized, fun playing in the river, and great chicken biriyani (a deliciously flavorful Indian rice dish). And then back up the mountain we went.

Ah, food.

Anybody for a game of cricket?

Baptism: what a beautiful witness/sign of God's grace and forgiveness and the church's role in compassion and edification

And finally, just floating on the river. Good day.


exit & re-entry

I just wanted to send a quick note out (though with really slow internet, "quick" should come with a disclaimer).

I am doing my exit interview at the end of this week. eMi does this about a month before departure so that what is discussed about re-entering our home culture and leaving the culture and community that we have learned to call home ... these things can soak in. We will talk through what stumbling blocks we might encounter, what specific things could trigger culture shock, and how to move back in with as much grace as possible. Also on the agenda is how I have seen God here and how I feel God has changed me. So many deep, introspective ponderings and questions. I will let you know if I pass. (just kidding).

Two new interns have arrived from the states, and two more will arrive in two weeks. The summer interns here first went on a project trip and then have come up the mountain to continue and hopefully finish the work they have started. It was fun to listen to their stories of all the "firsts" they experienced during this first time in India. It reminded me of when I first arrived and the newness of everything. There is something spectacular about it - seeing God's children here and His amazing creation with fresh eyes. I want to hold onto the part of that which enables me to be utterly amazed at the depth of God's movement ... every where I go.


monsoon rolls back in

(This makes more sense ... though it is sufficient to be a stand alone picture ... with the previous post, and also the one before that. Just to let you know.)
This is looking towards Dehradun (the big city down from the mountain where I live) on the same sunsetting evening as the Himalaya picture prior. The clouds are starting to roll back in. And we had another storm that night/morning. You can actually watch the clouds climb up and over the hills as they move north. Once again, absolutely beautiful.

monsoon clears (momentarily)

(This post makes more sense within the context of the last post.)

So monsoon cleared and cleared the dust with it. This is our view from our front yard. Foot stool to the Himalayas. Sunsetting over the mountains. Beautiful! This is the clearest that I have ever seen the mountains. Not only is the first layer of snow caps visible, but also a layer behind them. Honestly, I was just happy to stand outside without feeling wet with the ability to see the hills nearest our hill (one layer back).

I am sure I am now no longer to seek pity for situations while living in India (like the fact that I am still wearing three layers of clothes at all times ... and it is June!).

monsoon = rain

So many people around Mussoorie have been saying that monsoon is here, has been here, and it was early - really early. Let the fun begin.
Exodus 40 - God settled over the tent of meeting like a cloud ...

One of the best things about monsoon season is that you can know, visibilly, that God's presence dwells witin our camp ... thickly many times and as the season progresses, continuely without stop. How to describe it? How about "dense fog advisory" for the whole day with on and off rainshowers (heavy at times), and on and on wetness (which means always wet). It is spectacular to see cloud at your feet - white cloud vapors flowing at ground level and eye level and roof level and sky level and ...

I know I am making it sound absolutely wonderful, where you might be tempted to say, "I want a monsoon too!" Let me simply emphasize that everything is wet, all of the time. Everything turns green with growth because of it. The grass (yes, grass appears), the leaves on the trees, the trunks on the trees, even the roads grow green! Some of it is leafy, but most is mold - and lots of it. The mold has not hit heavy yet but I have been told to just wait. No more hanging clothes outside ... they will just get more wet.

Does anybody have a slip-and-slide? That could be really fun living in the mountains with a constant sprinkler/hose source.

Oh, but when the rain stops ... glorious! The rain clears out the sky so much. The Himalaya mountains seem at arm's reach (okay, a little farther than that). Yesterday was one of those days. Just before sunset, the clouds broke and God's glory broke through. I am trying desperately to get a picture posted. For now, I am sorry to leave you with only: "it is absolutely stunning easy to stand in awe of God's masterpiece."



I have been really distracted these last couple of days. It has been hard to keep focused. It is like at some point I turned a corner where I knew that I am leaving India and this chapter of my life. Even though I still have seven weeks, I feel like I am on my way out. I would like to stay in it here. I still have a bit of work to do; I am still living here in Mussoorie in community; and God still wants to continue to shape me. And it does not help that there is this large "white board of destiny" that holds our lives in four month intervals. It is now the beginning of June, May is erased and September will be added in its place right next to the already posted June, July, and August - all laid right before our eyes in the center of the office. I do not know about the rest of ya'll, but our year seemingly goes by three times as quickly. So no wonder why I feel like I am already back in the States and needing to figure out what life will look like in 2009 (nevertheless for the rest of 2008).