Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Quick Story: Monjou
Most Excellent Friends and Family!
I apologize for not being able to post formally through an internet connection. In addition to having a pretty break-neck schedule (i actually came as close as i ever have the other night to literally passing out from fatigue), we have had virtually NO internet connection. I purchased a data pack for my iPhone (for a mere $70...yeek!) that has at least allowed me to post some pics through Twitter, and my amazing wife and fellow Kingdom-Commando (Sami) has posted to let you know where you can get at those. But i managed to hit a reasonably strong connection here and wanted to drop you a quick story to give you the "flavor" of the kinds of things we're hearing, learning and experiencing this time.
If you've been to India with one of our India teams working in Kalvai, you've probably had a chance to meet a captivating young girl named Monjou. Everyone falls immediately in love with her bright smile, twinkling eyes and sweet demeanor, and she is quick to rush to each team, learn names and love well. We tell many stories about this young woman because her story is such an amazing one to tell, but i wanted to tell you the latest as i thought that each of you would appreciate it.
I talked with Raj this morning about various people in the village and he began to talk about Monjou. He said, "You know, i asked Monjou recently what she thought she would be looking for in a husband some day soon (Monjou is about 16, and will probably marry within the next year or two). She said, 'a husband should love me, not be an alcoholic, not beat me, and should respect me'. 'Very good!', i said, 'Do you know any boys that will fit this bill in your village?' Monjou looked at the ground and sadly shook her head. 'No', she said, 'there are no boys like that in this village.' So i asked her, 'have you ever seen boys like this anywhere?' Her dark eyes brightened and she said, 'oh yes, Ay-yah (a term of great respect and endearment that means "dear uncle"), i have!' I asked her 'where have you seen them?' and she smiled. She said, 'i have seen boys and men like this when GCC, Life Mission teams and members from the church (Shower of Blessings) come to our village. You all care for your wives and for one another with great love and respect. Someday, i would like to have a marriage like the ones i see in your lives!'"
I'm actually crying as i write this, and am not sure whether it's because Monjou has so few prospects for what she sees and desires so fervently, or because our own teams and partners love well enough to stand out so much in her mind to set a higher standard. But either way, the amalgam of both joy, sorrow and a commitment to "doing something" about righting the wrongs in the lives of the Irula men, women and children like Monjou grows in me daily. I am grateful for the continued passion and example set by our Indian brothers and sisters at Life Mission and Shower of Blessings Church, and for the privilege of partnering with them to bring "Up There Down Here" in ways that bring hope and healing here and now just as much as for Eternity!
Know that your loved ones over here are serving with amazing stamina, courage and outrageous love and compassion! Hell is trembling... you can feel it in the smiles and hugs of the people we are loving well in the village!