Thursday, February 20, 2014

Henna and Alligators

What do alligators and Henna have in common? Normally, not much, but they've both opened doors to some incredible conversations about my trip to India. I believe that each person on our trip had a purpose for being there, but all of us are called to share our stories and bring awareness and support to an incredible community. Tonight, I feel privileged to share a two short stories with you.

While there, several of us girls got Henna ink on our hands. Ten days later, my ink is still there and has raised more than a few eyebrows. Several times people have asked if they are authentic and ask why I have it. I view it as an open door to share a little about the work happening in Kolkata. Today when I was running through the Starbucks drive through (I cheated a little and used my gift card for a coffee), the nice barista asked me about my hands. I could tell by his expression that he could relate to my quick story. He shared that his church has a boys' home in the Dominican Republic and that he's excited to go on another trip there this spring. We probably would have talked a lot longer but the car behind me was less understanding of our story-swapping. I drove away feeling joyful and prayerful for his trip, while remembering my own.

While I was away, I picked up alligator keychains for the people on my work team. I wanted them to know that I was thinking of them while I was gone. One of them told me her kids were asking about the little alligator and again, a door was opened. When she told them about the kids I got to meet, they showed great empathy - especially for being so young. After hearing about them, they asked if they could support them at Christmas this year. How cool is that?! These kids get it at a young age - it's not all about them. They can see beyond more "stuff" and understand that the kids in Kalphar are really no different, but happened to be born into different circumstances. They took the opportunity to pray, which is really what these stories are all about.

So thank you. Thanks for listening to my stories. Thanks for praying for people you'll most likely never meet. Thank you for your open hearts. Most of all, thank you for helping me continue to find God's purpose in this trip.

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