Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother House

May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in.
--Mother Teresa 

Mother Teresa's Tomb in a small chapel at Mother House
During our last trip to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), we were able to explore some of our Baptist roots with a trip to William Carey's old stomping grounds on the outskirts of modern Kolkata.

A few weeks ago, however, we realized that during our just-completed trip to the city, we should see a part of the life of a saint (well, not technically a saint according to the Roman Catholic Church... yet) whose name is much more common than Carey's: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, or Mother Teresa.

The compound where Mother Teresa lived the last half-century of her life is just a plain building down a small alley off one of Kolkata's busy streets. We wouldn't expect anything more pretentious or extravagant of her.

Mother Teresa lived in a small room at the top of these stairs, with a bed, an old wooden table with two benches, and various boxes for filing papers and letters related to her work as the founder and head of the Missionaries of Charity.

The small museum in no way led you to think of Mother Teresa as any super-Christian. Rather, the entire compound (which is still active) led you to see Mother Teresa as just an ordinary person (Um, yeah, they saved the toothpaste and toothbrush she was using at the time of her death... a little weird, but yeah for Colgate.) who gave her life--like Carey did--in uncomfortable circumstances in order to show the love of her Savior.

And they heard James had sat on William Carey's 200-year-old chair, so they made sure to enclose Mother Teresa's stool (and the chair she used after she was sick) in glass.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Vision... To Reality

A couple months ago, we mentioned a friend of ours who, driven by his own dreams and paid for with mostly his own resources, had opened a free medical clinic for day laborers, prostitutes, and other poor residents of a slum in our city. After being open for a while, the city tore down the clinic in order to improve some infrastructure, and our friend was rebuilding the clinic this winter. 

We were excited that in early April the clinic re-opened sooner than expected, so the needy in this part of our city could once again have access to this greatly needed resource.

Spending your time, your money, your energy for a bunch of people who can do nothing to pay you back? Who could have inspired such actions?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Really, South Asia? Part Fourteen (Monkeys in Love)

Although they are a menace to much of the local population

(we heard on The Discovery Channel that 40 people die because of monkeys each year!)

At times monkeys are just fun to watch! 

(See our blogs here, here, and here!)

Look at how cute these little guys are!

While we were at the zoo in Delhi, we saw a sacred Langur Monkey wandering around, just doing whatever we wanted to do. 

He looked like just another spectator at the zoo.

So what was his favorite exhibit?

You guessed it: Just like any warm-blooded male mammal...

He wanted the female just beyond his reach.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Girl Meets Wall (Ouch!)


By the initial thud, you would not have thought anything had even happened.

By the cries after the blood flowed down Rebekah's face, you would think she needed surgery.

The "Help me, I'm dying!" reaction only lasted a few minutes, though. We soon were able to calm her down, stop the blood, and get her to pose for some silly faces!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let's Begin Again!

Rebekah had an entire week between the end of her previous school year and the beginning of the her new school year. I guess we have to keep them busy or there is no telling what type of trouble they might get into!

Oh, how Rebekah has grown since the beginning of school last year! We think she is about 5 inches taller, but only about 2 pounds heavier!

And her backpack has gotten about 10 pounds heavier!

She is also of the age where playing is much more fun than going to school, so we try all kinds of "encouragement" to show her how much fun school really is. I guess hanging out at home with mom, dad, and her toys just appeal to her more than school right now.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sharing the Little Things

We have each been consumed with language for the 1 1/2 years we have been in South Asia.

But we have each also had outlets for breaking the language-study monotony and "getting our hands dirty" in some ministry here in South Asia, trying our hardest to engage the people of South Asia where they live.

Kristie has been enjoying working in an extremely poor, closed off village of migrant workers near our home for over a year now. We have showed you before Kristie sharing the story of Easter with these people for the first time, using various techniques to gain the interest and trust of the community, and providing for the physical and spiritual needs of the villagers

While we usually just pay for whatever small costs are incurred in this ministry out of our own pockets, a recent special gift from Kristie's home church has ensured that these ministries will be able to continue indefinitely. This gift was not huge, but it does not take much to change lives: buying a few hundred beads, some string, and some bags of chips.

On Good Friday, Kristie was able to share repeatedly with perhaps the largest group yet of children, women, and even men about the condition of man without God, and the hope God provided through Jesus on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

While the colored beads of the "salvation bracelets" are so common in the USA that they are almost cliche, to those who know nothing about the God of the Bible, or the Incarnate Son, these colors represent a Hope that is new to them.