So, India was so beautiful and so stressful! I can’t say I loved every minute of it since we both got food poisoning twice, but we do love that we had the Indian experience and so thankful we had the opportunity to visit our friends who are serving as need greaters there! We have so much respect for those who are able to live there. It makes Thailand look like a piece of cake!!!
When we arrived we went straight to Agra since it has been a life long dream of mine to
see the Taj Mahal. I must say It does NOT disappoint!!! It is stunning! No photo can do it justice and I’m so thankful to have seen its beauty in real life and learn more about this amazing piece of architecture. Every thing else in Agra we found to be a bit over whelming..the noise, the cars, the pollution. But that was nothing compared to our next two days in New Delhi!!!
We purposely planned very little time in Delhi… I enjoyed the chaos of it all and would have liked a little more time but Aaron was done with it the minute we arrived! It really is amazing to see just HOW many people are everywhere we looked…We all know India has a lot of people, but to actually experience it and feel it is unreal. It’s like everyplace we went felt like Time’s Square. And of course we ran across a few things that took us by surprise, like the constant cows just walking on busy roads, the “community cup” that was attached to the public water fountains for all to share, and the public bathrooms that are literally on the street for all to see as we walk by. And let me tell you, the street samosas are amazing but definitely should NOT have eaten them…or atleast not 4 of them…we were very sick the next couple days!!!!! Delhi belly is no joke!! We thought we could handle it since we’ve survived Bangkok-belly and Bali-belly…but no amount of preparation had us ready for Delhi belly!!!!
Then we were off to see our friends serving in Jodhpur. It was such a relief to meet up with friends and feel a little piece of home. We loved following them around and joining in on their chaotic schedule and see all the blessings of their assignment. We are so proud of them for handling all the challenges with grace and joy. One of my favorite things she said was one of the things she loves most about India is that “at any given moment there is always something making you just a little uncomfortable” I was like ….what?! you love that?! But it made me so proud of them because despite everything they found joy and love for their assignment!!!
The ministry there was UNREAL! coming from Thailand, we were so impressed that pretty much everyone we ran into can speak some English, so even though we don’t know hindi we could still preach. A lot of places in India have full on English congregations and they are super productive. I never realized that before! So many people are looking to serve where the need is greater in English but don’t want to be preaching to tourists or expats. Here is an amazing place you can come to where you can preach to local people in ENGLISH!!! From what we learned from our friends and from what we hear went on at the most recent Gilead graduation, India is BOOMING right now and begging for need greater’s to come!!! A good ministry makes all the sacrifices and discomforts worth it, and we saw that first hand from the joy of our friends.
We were able to take a few days off with our friends and visit a city 5 hours away. Our friends actually have a bible study there with a man who found the “why study the Bible” video on facebook and filled out a request for a bible study. Our friends are the closest witnesses to him, so the study online most weeks when the man isn’t able to travel to the kingdomhall. I loved seeing his huge smile on his face when he told me proudly “I am the first person in this city who knows about Jehovah” He’s only a few chapters in but already has the missionary spirit!
So speaking of serving in India, in light of all the attention it is getting right now by potential need greaters, our friends just started up a blog to help future visitors navigate some of the challenges of moving there. Definitely check out her site and pass it on to anyone you know of who is interested in visiting India!!! I remember when we came to Thailand how helpful the few blogs that we found were. Getting answers to practical questions about what to pack, what transportation is like, and how to avoid getting sick, etc, really was a life saver for us. There isn’t as much information on India, so I know our friend’s blog will help a ton to anyone in that situation!! She is also a professional photographer so brace your self for some BEAUTIFUL photos that will make you want to go to India!!!!!!
Here’s a few of our favorite photos from the trip. If only photos and video could capture the smell….