India was one of the countries that I was very excited to go to this summer. Two summers ago when I did the whole Global Journey trip for this first time, India was not one of the countries I was looking forward to. Serving and loving orphans sounded like a great thing to do, but not the most exciting for me. But after we left India two years ago you would have had to literally drag me out of that country. I did not want to leave those Indian kids. They were so young, yet they were the most servant hearted and loving people I have ever met. They were incredible, and I fell in love with those children. So, going back to those children was a dream come true. I could not wait to spend that sweet time with those sweet children again.
A couple days before the trip began our team found out that we were not able to go back to the same orphanage, but we were going to go to a different orphanage. I was a little sad about this news because I wanted to see those same kids again. But, this new orphanage also sounded exciting, and a little overwhelming because we were told they’re going to have over 600 kids there!
So, we arrived in India. After we landed, we had lunch at a McDonald’s, and then we were ready for the 13 hour bus ride to the children’s home. When we arrived at the orphanage it was really late and dark so we didn’t see any children that first day. The next day came, and after getting prepared for the day, I went outside to play soccer with some kids. I had a great time playing with them, but something was different. They just were not the same kids that I’ve been looking forward to. They didn’t act the same as the other kids. They were not what I expected.
So during the first half of our time in India I was a little stressed and overwhelmed when spending time with the kids. Most of the boys at this new orphanage spoke little to no English, and it was very discouraging not being able to communicate at all. The boys were also much different than the boys I met the first time I was in India. They were very rough boys. For example, every night we had prayer services in the evenings where some people from our team would do programs for the children. When it was a night that I was not doing the program, it was hard. Throughout the whole program I’m stopping the boys from yelling at each other, from hitting each other, and from picking on each other. This was a non-stop process. It just made me upset, to the point that I did not want to be around these kids.
Looking forward to India I created this expectation, this dream, of how the orphans were going to be and when they did not fufill that expectation, we clashed. Then one of the days in the middle of the week God reminded me of this passage, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” God reminded me that we are all sinners, and we are not be perfect. I expected perfect children.
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.” Luke 2:32-34
God showed me what it really meant to love people. To love someone means not to expect something out of people. It means selflessly giving yourself to others.
These orphans are beautiful children and I did not give them a chance from the beginning. But by the end of this week God was helping me to love and to understand God’s love for us.
God is so good and I am just beyond blessed to be apart of His journey.