It’s Saturday morning in India and I have been at Beracha House for about 18 hours now. Pastor Paul, Sejji, and four of the children greeted me at the airport. They were such a welcome sight. When I was here in January I felt a fair amount of culture shock because life here is quite different from life at home, but after only ten days I settled into the culture and to my surprise I still felt that settled sense yesterday. In some ways it felt as though I never left.
When I first arrived at the Beracha House the children were actually a bit tentative with me. We really connected last time I was here, and I’ve been writing them pastoral-type notes every Saturday evening or Sunday morning, so their tentativeness surprised me a bit. I think they had the feeling like, “Is this man for real? Does he really love us so much?” They are, after all, orphans and they’re still getting used to being loved.
So, we all gathered on the porch and at first they just stared at me—they didn’t say a word, they just stared. I asked them one question and then another, but all I got was one or two word responses so I decided to take some time and pray with them. I gave thanks to the Lord for such a smooth journey, and for seeing fit to send me again to this blessed place. After that we sang a number of songs together and two of the children quoted Scripture to me.
Rachel, who is only five years old, quoted Phil 2:1-10 without missing a beat and then Elizabeth, who is 8 or 10 years old, finished off the entire chapter. It was very touching. This time of worship and sharing began to break the ice but what really melted it all the way was when I said I’d like to play soccer with them again.
Oh they were so excited! They grabbed the ball, escorted me out to the “soccer field,” we chose teams and played for two hours. It was such a wonderful and bonding time, and I’m grateful to the Lord for it.
After that we sat in the dining area and just spent some time together. They asked me to sing my infamous rendition of “how do you solve a problem like Maria,” and then they asked me to tell them a story which I did. We finished up the night by looking at a world map together, praying, and eating dinner. By then I was completely wiped out and went to bed!
It’s hot this morning, at least for this Minnesota boy. The children tell me it’s quite cool which frightens me because I already feel like I’m living in a sauna. I don’t like the heat, but the Lord will help me. I count it a real privilege to enter into the way of life here at Beracha House, including the difficulty and discomfort.