Wednesday, July 14, 2010

India trip [day 35.]

We're so selfish. 
It deeply ashames me to be a selfish, spoiled American.
It started at the train station on my way to my second trip to Raichur, where beggars covered the floor like tile, sleeping so as to not feel the hunger that may or may not kill them, and the ones who where awake surrounding me on their knees, begging the American for something, anything, that could keep them alive one more day.
Begging the American who daily complains about the wealth I have, constantly wasting food, taking advantage of how amazing it is that I can eat this week. 
They're so happy that they can sleep somewhere warm tonight. Warm, with rats crawling over the sleeping bodies, cockroaches resting in their matted hair, dirt covering their bodies like a second skin. How dare I complain about my lack of air conditioning when I should be rejoicing that I have walls? 
At our church, there is a certain woman who weeps with joy during worship every Sunday. Her hands raised to God, it's obvious that her heart is overflowing with the love of Christ. This past Sunday we gave her a ride to her "house." I put that in quotations because it was sheet metal and tarp sloppily put together to provide shelter from the constant rain. I was shocked. We get angry at God for not giving us that job promotion, for not giving us everything we think we deserve. Yet this woman, this woman on the brink of starvation, revolves her entire life around the time she spends with Christ. She puts all her hardships aside, for she knows that something so much better is coming. Her life is James 1 exemplified. I was in awe and sick to my stomach with memories of my past unthankfulness.
Then there's the orphanage. The boy who doesn't ever speak because his father looked him in the eyes as he murdered his mother and then committed suicide right in front of him. The girl with only a few of her fingers and toes because that's how her mother would punish her. The boy with knife scars all over his body. The countless, countless beautiful little girls who will never be blessed with children because of the abuse their fathers put them through. The innumerable number of children who grew up eating animal excrement, trash, anything they could get just to stay alive. 
And here I am, making "such a sacrifice" by giving up my summer to come here. Here I am, disgusted by the thought of not being able to shower at least every other day. Here I am, practically devastated because I have to sit in the dirt sometimes.
God is showing this to me to reveal my own greedy heart. Not in a rebuking manner, but a deeply humbling one. This trip has made me view everything I own so differently. For a while, I'm going to be so happy with what I have, thankful to be able to sleep in a bed, blessed to have a school I can go to.
The sad part is, I know it won't last. Maybe a month after I come back, if it even lasts that long, I'm going to start throwing fits because a restaurant gave me the wrong order, because Chicken Express gave me two chicken strips instead of three, because my mom punished me for something I did wrong.

I don't deserve any of it. I should be the one living in the tarp and sheet metal. 

I'm so lucky.


  1. Hannah, this is one of the most touching and moving things I've read. Thank you for sharing your WHOLE heart and for the depth of your honesty.

  2. This is why we sent you to India. For missions, yes, but also for an experience that you will never forget, that can change you on a heart level. Thanks for reminding us how blessed we are.

  3. Thank you- what a great reminder!! What a great conviction!! Truly wisdom from the Lord, and not just the ramblings of some teenager

  4. Wow--I think the lady worshipping hits home with me most!

    Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you.

    We are praying for you

  5. Cody and Aimee are friends of ours, and had shared about your blog with me. This post was what it truly is all about...thank you for sharing from your heart. We are all SOooo blessed in America!

    Won't it be interesting to see who has the choicest of seats at His banquet table one day? I'm sure the tin shack lady with her arms raised high will, for once, have one of the choices seats. God bless her...she is so precious in His sight. May we be imitators of her faith.