A year ago, I saw glimpses but now there is unrelenting and indescribable joy pouring from the Holy Spirit’s work inside. I look at her and long to learn it in my own life. She is beautiful, in her yellow saree, gracious in her slow and gentle words. She makes the little ones speak to us in English , pointing their shy, little faces upward with her palm. She is fearless in her loving discipline of the older ones. They call her Auntie and the respect illuminated daily is unreal. She is mom to many here.
And this week, she became a mom to us too.
She is a servant of the gospel. She is always cooking and visiting and laughing and explaining and translating. Her prayers are meek and gentle, beneath her covering of reverence to He who has overcome. Her posture before the Lord in prayer in itself, offers glorious testimony to His grace in her life. I am challenged by it. Even her words, calm and quiet in recognition of His greatness in our lives. I appreciate the spirit of meekness at work inside of her. She laughs at the days to come. It’s a trust unsettled deep inside my heart as I fret and fear and plan for the tomorrow that isn’t even promised.
This week, they bought us Sarees and before the nights’ end they flawlessly answered to “mom” and “dad” at the sound of our voices.
There was something fitting about their protection over us and their love for us that became overwhelming standing in that little fabric shop as they chattered over which color saree would look best on Syd and I. Dad pointing to one and mom to another. Back and forth they went, language we couldn’t understand but with a love that made perfect sense. It came out quietly at first, unsure how they would respond to us offering up such a title.
They laughed and grinned. So we just continued saying it. And it has stuck.
Dad tied the scarf around his neck to show us how to do it and I nearly fell onto the floor in such laughter. [He has it off within seconds of us pulling out the camera, of course.] He then proceeded to tie each of our scarves around us and in this moment we were overwhelmed.
For this daddy-deprived daughter, it was a moment I could testify to the hand of God once again so graciously redeeming an area of my life once shattered. I don’t think I will ever forget this moment, where the God who has drawn me to Himself back home, came and touched me with a father’s love half way across the world. What grace!
It is a humbling moment for us all.
Sam (dad) is a dreamer, a visionary. God has surrounded this place with protection and favor. The testimony to this is unreal. Sometimes, when Sam is storytelling, I can’t even reconcile his words as anything but fiction in my limited mind. He preaches the word with boldness and cares for the least of these with more compassion then most. The plans God has given him for the future are abundant and I am excited to watch them come to life! I love just sitting across the table from him over dinner, listening to him carry on about more vision and dreams for this place. Either Syd or I always keep a notepad within arms reach now, as we have to-do lists everywhere. God is at work through dad, though, and it is so good.
Time with mom and dad is doing something in both of our hearts and I think they will forever be just that—our Indian daddy and momma.
Today mom was talking and said “Sam did this….” And she paused to correct herself. “Oh, I mean, dad did this…” What a blessing this little family continues to be.
And what a blessing our extended Indian family is as well. I have never seen the body of Christ fleshed out as such a close knit family until arriving here. It feels as though we have forever been family, sometimes. Even with the ones with whom I cannot understand a single word. That has to be only the holy spirit at work, right?
I am so thankful for the body of Christ. The one that made a way for us to come here for a month and the one that has so graciously welcomed us into their life for the month and far beyond, I imagine. Many times we find ourselves standing in front of church or parents or students and testifying to the hundreds of Americans praying for them right now. We tell of God’s provision for us to be here dealt out through the gracious hands of our church family and brothers and sisters back home.
They don’t know whether to laugh or cry and it is funny to watch their faces teeter back and forth as we stand before them.
They are grateful to you back home, friends. And so are we!!
Daily, I find myself thinking about heaven. I’m catching glimpses and longing for the day more and more. Someday, ALL of us will fall to our faces before the Lord and cry out. All tribes, tongues and nations together at once. It’s a promise I can’t soak up enough, as I realize one day each of them will worship in unison with each of you. A bond unseen and never broken. We really are a family, all of us here in India and all of you back home in the U.S. God is great and greatly to be praised!
Today, we give thanks for dad and mom, each of you back home, and our family of Christ here in these villages. We are encouraged and exhausted!! Thanks for your prayers, always.
Written by Courtney Osborn