He restores my soul

its been pretty easy to get wrapped up and caught in india. with all that we do there is not much time for rest. for me especially because this is such a patriarchal culture, things that alex would normally do or help with, she can’t. so it can be very easy to forget to take care of yourself. but without caring for yourself, your body begins to shut down and reach its breaking point. that comes much quicker in a new living situation. we had just had our a/c unit installed, it only took 9 hour too. pretty fast right? the best part about it was that the outlet the unit is supposed to plug into has no electrical current. i was not to happy about that. my reaction was to completely shut down. all the little things that had upset me before caught up with me and not being able to get a/c was the last piece missing for a breakdown. my breakdowns involve a lot of silence and just tuning out the world around me. but that isn’t a good solution to any problem. it won’t fix the a/c, it won’t get us internet in our flat, and it won’t help in resting in the Lord. i’ve been reading the Good and Beautiful series by James Bryan Smith (total shameless plug. the books are fantastic) and each chapter ends in a spiritual discipline. this one was praying Psalm 23. its filled with all kinds of truth and goodness that comes from the Lord.

“He restores my soul.”

He truly does to. as i was reading through it, i realized how i wasn’t resting in the Lord. i was putting myself through the motions to get through my days. and true rest is so rewarding. a spiritual discipline that flips what you think are your priorities and places God at the forefront. it allows you to know Him and all that He offers. it’s a wonderful refreshment from all the chaos that comes from life in india. and i can see better through the chaos, through the unknowns of the day and love and serve better in each day.

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Happy 25th Birthday, PK!

Yesterday, September 24th, was Preston’s 25th birthday. And his first birthday in India. The staff and kids at Hope of Life wanted to make it extra special and make him feel like he was truly at home, so we threw him a surprise birthday party! It was incredible to see the impact that he has already had on these boys and the staff. They loved on him extremely well, prayed over him and celebrated him. It’s always encouraging to see that my husband has such an impact on others lives. I’m not the only one that he shows Jesus to on a regular basis. He is dearly and deeply loved.

 

Here are some photos from the party… it was a traditional Indian birthday party. Complete with a game similar to Hot Potato, where when you are caught with the “Potato” you have to sing a song. Although, they made us dance when we got caught!

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Us in our traditional Indian dress after the party.

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This lovely balloon popped over us later in the party.

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We also had the privilege of feeding each other cake, which if you were at our wedding, you remember it being the most awkward part.

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The chaos when the balloon was popped and the confetti flew!

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Happy birthday Preston King! You are loved more than you know!

P.s if you didn’t wish Preston a happy birthday, you can email him at preston.king42@gmail.com. Or you can always just email him to encourage him. 🙂

rescue.

I read a book recently about hard seasons, grace and change. It was most fitting after the year that we had leading up to leaving for India and even more fitting for the strange transition phase we found ourselves in. There’s a part in the book where the author talks about how central to the message of the gospel, is the principle of being rescued. And until you are really truly rescued from something bigger than yourself, you can’t really understand the gospel. 

And I absolutely understood that. I grew up in a home where I was at church every Sunday and Wednesday. I was the quintessential youth group kid. My mom used to punish me by taking away church instead of making me go to church. I knew all the verses, all the worship songs,  I knew how to have a quiet time and for the most part, I thought I understood. It wasn’t some big act I was putting on or anything. I really did think that I got it. But it wasn’t until college that the Lord started to do something deeper. And that had everything to do with rescue. I got to a point where I needed to believe in something bigger than myself. Where I needed to know that Jesus was so much bigger than my apathy. That my pride was incomparable to his goodness. That my selfishness was no match for his kindness. That He would woo my stubborn nature with his kindness. And that He could and would rescue me from all of these things and more. 

In those moments and many more, it started to click in ways that it never had before. I started to understand what it meant to cry out “Hosanna” knowing that I was deeply in need of a Savior. I learned what it was like to not be able to move out of my own strength but to let the Lord be my strength. I learned that I was a sinful mess, that we all are; but that He loved me anyway. I understood what I had been rescued from and who would ever want to go back to pride and apathy when they had tasted and seen that the Lord was and is good? 

In India, especially with the kids we are working with, rescue is all around us. These kids get the gospel because they understand what it means to be rescued from something. For some of them, they were rescued from life on the train station, a life where they collected bottles to make money, solicited passengers and were forced to sniff glue just to get through the day. Others were rescued from horrible family situations, or family life where they didn’t know when their next meal would be. And now they have a bed to sleep in at night, 3 meals a day, school to go to and people that love them and tell them about who Jesus is. And that He is powerful and can do all things and it makes sense to them, because He rescued them. He gave them hope. He gave them a future that is so much brighter than anything they could have imagined. 

 

I pray that this reminds you of the ways that you’ve been rescued. And that you’ll thank the Lord for what He has and will continue to do in your life. And if you’re in a place of waiting to be rescued, that you’ll reach your arm up and let Him rescue you, because I am confident that He will. 

 

we’ve been in Kolkata for a over month now. that month has been a very long one, one that has felt like a full year. we have experienced a multitude of things in what has really been a very short time period. we’ve been kicked around, pushed around, thrown around, picked up and then kicked down again. but, we are still here, we’re still standing, and we know we are in the place that God has prepared for us.

 

we started off our move with Alex being sent to the hospital for a pretty nasty stomach bug. we actually ended up going two times within a week we started in the ER. she had IVs put in, had some blood tests and 6 hours later we were sent “home” with some meds. well that didn’t work. we had to go back and that time we had an overstay that ended up being two nights and three very long days.

{afterwards we had heard of stories of other couples that packed their bags and ran for home because they were met with illnesses right off the bat}

 

the first two weeks of us being in Kolkata, we lived in a hotel. we had separate twin beds and we constantly digging through the 9 very large very packed bags and boxes we brought over to find the simplest of things. {other people in our line of work have flats lined up for them to move right into. we only moved into ours a full MONTH after we landed. we’re still waiting on furniture to be delivered}

 

many times we set out with a plan only to find out that you have to throw it out the window. life in india is different than life in the states (not that we didn’t already know that) but it isn’t something that you can completely prepare for. you can go into the next stage of your life with so many expectations, ones that seem harmless and good but can be expectations that wreck what is lying for you in reality. a lot of what we have learned in this very long month of living Kolkata is to have a lot of patience, a lot of faith, and to be able to laugh it off. the things that you plan for a day ahead can and will change the next morning, and if you’re lucky you’ll learn of it before you arrive at your destination.

 

i’m glad that i have an amazing wife and friend in alex who supports me, keeps me grounded, and loves me well through this transition of ours. we are a pretty solid team and we both point each other back to God when we are struggling or when we are doing great. all we have to do is seek Him and look for Him in our lives. we’ve come this far with that faith and know that that faith will continue to carry us through whatever He has in store for us in the future.

 

Jai Masih Ki

 

p.s. alex has pinkeye. poor thing can’t catch a break. pray for quick healing.

sunday gratitudes.

on this beautiful day that the Lord has made, we have a ton to rejoice and be glad in! First and foremost, we are pretty sure that we have a flat and that we will move in on Friday and Saturday. Only pretty sure because this is India and anything could change at any second. But we are so excited to have an address and soon to have our very own place to settle into.

Other things we are thankful for today:

2. Getting to FaceTime with the Kickers this morning and getting to watch most of the LSU game.

3. A LSU victory! With an offense! Can I get an amen?! 

4. Washi tape. Preston and I have so many things that are the exact same here. Flashlights, keys, cell phones, etc. I love having washi tape to distinguish. It’s the small things, right?

5. We’re starting Hindi tutoring tomorrow. Pray for us! Ha.

6. Chocolate Ice Cream. 

7. Our bicycles! We just took a night ride to Subway and to get ice cream. So fun. 

8. Having other Missionaries that live in the same building as us. 

9. Getting to serve the people we work with when they come to our house, just like they serve us when we are at the home. 

10. a wonderful ladies fellowship yesterday with all of the women from the church we attend here. Such a sweet time.

11. Sunday naps. 

12. a church filled with people who are so passionate about Jesus. 

13. the internet. it’s so nice to be able to communicate more regularly. 

14. today was the first day since i got out of the hospital that i really felt 100%. So thankful. 

15. the overwhelming peace we both feel about living here and being here. we are both very comfortable and know that this is exactly where we are supposed to be in spite of all the chaos of the first few weeks. 

that’s all for now. as always, thank you for praying with us. we are so thankful to have such a supportive group of people backing us and supporting us! 

jai masih ki!