Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well! I'm so excited to be writing you!
I have not been able to have internet access until tonight and this will probably be the only time. Thanks to those of you who prayed for my health. I was sick most of the trip here but by the time we arrived in Hyderabad, I was feeling much better! PTL!
I am so happy to be here in India! I don't know how to explain how I feel. But I will try. So far our trip has been wonderful. When we first got here, there was so much newness all around me and yet it felt familiar. Even through some of the difficult parts with communication, getting used to the food and smells....it has been so good. I've been asking alot of questions and soaking up my time here as I know it will go by fast.
I feel the Lord so near to us here. His grace on this trip is so evident. With each new experience here, I feel like I see Him more. Personally, this trip has been very healing for me. First it's painful, then it heals. I'm so thankful for what He is doing in my life and those around me here in India. My heart is so compassionate and passionate for the Christians here.....it's HUGE to have family (Les fam) be apart of that. Leslie will be speaking at church next Sunday. We pray that we are a blessing to those around us and not miss an opportunity to minister and encourage them.
When I'm out in the city walking and observing the culture and people, I keep reminding myself that this is where I'm from. The place, culture and people of my birth. I've gotton to spend two evenings in town down Hyderabad. The best way I can describe it is that I feel a deep connection here. It's not because I feel comfortable here or even that I fit, but when I traveled to Jordan earlier this year, I was a visitor. Here, I feel different, like I belong, more than just a visitor. A connection. I don't want to live here but I've realized that this trip is a milestone in my life. ONe of the most important things I will ever do. The nation of India is significant and important to my life. I think it always has been, but now I know the reality of it.
Today I thought to myself, I think the fragrance of India is permanently in my nose and the taste of curry forever in my mouth! ha!
We are staying in a small town near Hyderabad with Leslie's oldest half sister Sugunda and her husband Jonny. Those two along with Les's oldest whole brother Augustine met us at the airport and have taken such good care of us! I don't know what we would have done without them. We have been so blessed to build relationship with them and we truly feel apart of their family. I think Leslie might be related to the entire country of India, because SO MANY people have come to see her and been waiting for years for their long lost sister. Not just immediate family but extended EXTENDED family and friends have traveled far to come meet her (us). I like to call her "Queen Leslie" here. She has been a bit overwhelmed by this. :) The second day we were here, we met Leslie's father. We sat in a tiny bedroom with lots of Indians sitting on the floor (including me) as her father told Les and Lyndl his testimony and what happened when he gave her to Esther. It was emotional to say the least. It's amazing to see people that look like her. Everytime I look at Augustine, I see my sister. There are 5 other sisters that we have laughed with, cooked with and spent time with. I will never forget their kindness and hospitality.
The rest of my family is coming tomorrow. I'm excited to share this experience with them. Next week we will travel about 3 hrs away to 2 small villages. One is where Leslie's father lives and the other is the place of our first home when we were given to Esther, the Bungalow.
We plan to spend 2 full days searching for something of my biological past next week. I'm still believing for something! Thank you for hoping and praying with me.
I love you and miss you dearly.