Sunday, 1 July 2012

The end where it all began...

'The bus arrived at 8am to pick us up for the first day of school The minute the kids saw us it was 'auntie' 'uncle'! over and over again. You get on the bus and lots of little hands grab yours and pull you in all directions to the seat closest to them. They are beautiful children, all with dark hair and big brown eyes. They're street children so they aren't very clean, but you see past that and the beauty shines through. They all have marks and burns on them from various different things, and some of them have minor disabilities.'

'On the way home from school one of the children fell asleep on me on the bus which was so cute! He was holding my hand and I was stroking his fingers. Knowing that this child sleeps on the streets every night breaks my heart. I didn't want to leave him there knowing where he's going back to.'

'As you would expect with coming to a place like this, there is a lot of poverty, and hunger and need. People crying out to you on the streets for food and money, and we are almost forced to just walk on by. I want to help all of them, I want to take them in my arms and bring them to a safe place. I want to show them Jesus and show them there is hope. I want to feed them and shelter them. But I can't. I have to just walk  on by, as if they're not even there. I always flash them a friendly smile when I can, but its not enough.'

'When dinner was over they have a small amount of play time before getting back on the bus and dropped off at their various "homes", or should I say parts of the street. Its amazing to see the beautiful smiles on their faces as they run back to where they're going to sleep for the night. Like the real world doesn't matter, its just one huge playground.'

I can't believe that I wrote these things about 8 months ago. Time has gone so fast! Its good to read back over these things. I've spoken about them for past 2 months and its so easy for it to become normal and forget how I really felt. But actually these thing are still very much alive in my mind and my heart.

Tour finished with a few days at IMC, spending time with the other teams and planning for the final commissioning service which happened yesterday (30th June). It was really nice to see everyone again, and the final event went really well. It was so sad to say goodbye to everyone, and so weird that its actually over.  But looking forward to seeing them all again in the near future. I've made some life-long friends whom I love dearly. 

As of yesterday I am officially an ex-action teamer. Its been a difficult, challenging, draining year. I've been home less than 2 days and I'm ill. But its been an amazing, life changing, eye opening, inspiring year full of brilliant surprises, love and happiness. I've experiences things I never thought I would, fallen in loved with 50 children, saw first hand freedom, witnessed emotional and physical healing and grew so much closer to God. 
You, whoever you are reading this, have followed and experienced my journey with me. You have heard the troubles and the trials, the ups and the downs, the laughs and the love. I'm sad its over, but happy to be home. Its so weird not being a part of BMS anymore. All that time raising money, training to go overseas, living in India, training for tour and touring the UK and now its done! I feel a bit lost! 
So where do I go from here? Well, the summer is full of relaxing, working, a week in France, New wine, and most of all, spending time with the people I love and miss. Then come September I'll be heading off to the University of Creative Arts, Farnham, to study photography. 
Before I finish my final missioning it blog, I want to thank you all so much for your support, financially, emotionally and prayerfully. Its made such a difference to my time. Couldn't have done it without you!
My overseas mission work may be over for now, but it doesn't end here. I have the rest of my life to experience so many more adventures, see so many new things and to live out the life God has planned for me.
So here begins my journey, missioning it...

My amazing journey, cue the music...


First team photo


Free hugs!

Sober night out at training

Early Christmas at IMC

First day in India

Moving in


First Indian clothes

First day at school

Experiencing the real India


Entally girls hostel


Selmar at Babycare


Village trip with Benjamin Francis


My birthday surprise

My birthday with all the staff


Girls hostel

Sari day at school

Saying goodbye to Steve

Goodbye to Alfred

Goodbye to the girls at Shanti Dan

Boys hostel

Goodbye to Emmanuel ministries church

Goodbye to Assemblies of God church

Goodbye to the Pounds

Goodbye to Benjamin Francis

Goodbye to Joseph and the chefs

Good bye to the children at school

Goodbye to Jupiter aka Mr. Nag and the rest of the guards

Goodbye meal with Anu

Goodbyes to Shanka and the Jesus mobile!

Goodbye to Karjol

Goodbye to the wonderful staff

Goodbye to Anu

Goodbye to the cleaners

Packing up our room!

Final photo outside the guesthouse


Tour training

Back at training church

My church, tour week 1

Big church day out, Littlehampton

Leading the youth at the church weekend away, Ipswich

Meeting new friends on the last week of tour, Bristol

Last church service in our Saris!

Final action team photo.