Sunday, December 16

duniya me aaya.

this is wonderful news!!!
Funny how things keep changing, huh? My two years here are turning out to be very little like I planned for them to be. I'll still get to take a mini trip over the border every six months, but I can come back any time I want.  Originally I was planning on doing some work in neighboring countries for a couple of months at a time twice a year -- now I can come right back and keep working where my heart is. Now I get to be here for Holi, the most colorful of the Indian holidays, and experience the ripening Eastern summer.

Some more news that is not so wonderful::
Ok, so I bought a moped, right? It's cute and it's awesome and I rode it a couple of times. But it was impractical. And i was never able to get it registered. Then last week, I got a quote of $800 to fix my computer. Instead of doing that... I've decided just to get a new one. I'll have my boyfriend-bearing-gifts bring it to me from the states, i think! :) So in order to get the money to pay for that, I'm selling the moped. I tried to be cute and independent, guys, it just wasn't in the cards for me. But hey! The new computer will be nice!

The past three days have been full and especially meaningful. PMI has started its Christmas parties... seriously, hold on; they're underway. Off the top of my head I can count nine that i'm invited to or helping with - there is one for every branch of outreach. I thought i would be overwhelmed by all the programs, but I've made it through two so far and find myself blessed in their wake - it's wonderful to celebrate corporately in community, and it's wonderful to remember the miracle we commemorate. On the thirteenth, PMI also held a blanket drive. We drove late into the night distributing hundreds of blankets to the cold bodies housing the precious souls who sleep on the streets. It was a very moving and heart-stretching thing to see the way things go in the the open air of Old Delhi at night. The first blanket I gave to someone was almost immediately stolen off of his sleeping body by a well-dressed man who, i'm told, probably went straightaway to sell it back to the shop where we bought it. I saw men and teens huddled in groups and taking drugs together, which is not something i'd ever witnessed firsthand. I saw a family with two young children and a baby on the sidewalk sleeping together through the drizzling night. I watched a friend of mine briefly share the Truth of Love and the Greatest Gift - the reason for our love and our giving that night - over and over again.
I think I liked the blanked drive so much because it was similar to what I feel I'm doing here. I can't change everyone's life. I can't give all these wanting people everything that they need. But i can do small things that may in the long run make some difference. I can encourage, i can share, i can put forth an effort that lets people know love in a place that does not often love them. Regardless of who I am with or who I am trying to reach, this, i feel, is my mission here: to do small things with the power of great love for the purpose of encouraging and strengthening the Father's priceless children.

Here it is, mid-December. Here we are, doing urban Work for the Greatest Reason. Here i am, a member of a Family who knows the miracle of this season. Here twice this week, i've found myself with them out caroling! We often sing Hindi carols - songs which have adopted both the depth of the meaning of Christmas and the gorgeous haunting quality of the typical Indian melody (it's not just with their food that these friends of mine prove my heritage bland). We marched and drummed and stood and drank so much chai from so many friendly houses. I found myself gaily harmonizing, clapping, and dancing in a circle of my brothers and sisters. We rode in a school bus to each of our destinations singing and laughing all the way. I enjoyed watching out the windows as our voices, mingled with the resonance of guitar and djembe, rang out on the streets and people turned to hear, to see.
There we were, redeeming the din of Delhi. There we were, making sure there was someone in Delhi dancing because the Truth had set them free instead of dancing because tradition had stolen their hope by telling them to. There we were, singing to Delhi the Best News. There we were, beautifying the noise of the city by transforming it into praise.
Praise is potent. Fellowship is dynamic. Service is significant.

and carols hold all the goodness of Christmas.
येशु मसीह की - जय !
Yeshu Masih ki - Jai!
Love from Delhi,
Julie. Caroling.

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