Every time I go to Mussoorie, it becomes more and more like home. And every time we go, we are treated more like family and less like guests. We have more opportunities to be the servants that God created us to be.
Ephesians 2:10 was the theme of our Design seminar. Linsey, Quyen, ChrisO and I had the privilege to work with the younger boys (and the girls!), ages 6 to 12. It is amazing to me to see how they are growing from the small things that I met three years ago into young boys with their own personalities, quirks, temperaments and passions as God forms them into the men He has destined them to become. We were able to "see" who were some of the leaders, the pastors, the administrators, and the servants just by watching them interact together.
One of the unplanned but most God-driven happenings of this trip were the totally unexpected people whom God placed in and around Mussoorie while we were there. Prakash, co-founder (along with Joe) of the Boys' Home, was there, apparently primarily to meet us and share with us more of the stories of the Firs.
Bruce and TJ were able to interview him, and several of us had the opportunity to talk with him. He has some amazing stories.
Another brother who happened to be there was Brother Muktaar from Kashmir. A graduate of the Bible School at Firs, he is the one who, in order to help support his orphanage in Kashmir, makes the rugs and pillows that we were selling a couple years back. He shared his testimony as well.
The most random meeting came during the last leg of our journey from Delhi to Dehradun: a "chance" encounter with Sanjay Narang, a friend and former classmate of David Matsuura's from Woodstock. Creighton had the opportunity to talk with him at the airport after we landed, and we ended up joining him and his general manager, Pindar, for dinner at his hotel in Mussoorie, Rokeby Manor. (The photo is from the Web; we were there in the evening.)
All told (and I DEFINITELY want to tell more!), it was a fabulous adventure. God sustained us even when many were physically sick. It was so good to have lots of first-timers with us, to see this gift through new eyes.
My takeaways from this trip:
1) TJ has much more compassion than he imagines :)
2) Jessica's call to this ministry is overwhelmingly stronger than her palpable fear of winding roads! She was amazing!
3) My calling to this place has not changed; in fact, it becomes more real every time I am here. It begins to move from nebulous ether into moldable clay, still in the process of taking shape, but more definable than before. I pray often that it will soon become much more concrete and visible.
4) God's hand is on this place and this partnership. It is so wondrous to feel His joy every time I think about this fellowship of ours.
Thank you, Sharon, for administrating each leg of the travel. It was long, but it went amazingly smoothly, and the recovery layovers were sweet.
Ben, your advance work made this trip flow so smoothly. You were our thirteenth member of this trip (almost literally, as much as we got to see you on Skype!).
Dean, thank you for your ministry of prayer. God's Spirit was so present during our entire journey.
Creighton, thank you for sacrificing your time with your family every year to be the shepherd on these trips. It is so fun to watch you working with the older boys at Firs. Their eyes light up as you impart your God-given wisdom to them. And watching you release more and more authority to the team is a testimony to your growing confidence that others will soon be leading teams while you stay home and cheer!
And thank you, my beloved prayer team: Gina, Jill, Heidi, Sandi, Patti, Greg and Charisa. No prayer team was ever more appreciated or loved than mine! Your ministrations allowed me to fly! I love you.