India, Part One

* This is the first of a series of posts about our trip to India. It was life-changing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of what God did!

 

I am sitting in the Frankfort, Germany airport. There is a cacophony of languages around me, and I am fascinated.

I am on my way to India. It is not a country I have dreamed of visiting, but I get to go and help Indians to increase their skills in telling their countrymen about Jesus. I am 15 hours into our 25 hour trip.

My eyes are blurred with sleep deprivation. Words are not coming easily. My heart aches.

The first time I went to Italy, we spent seven hours in the Frankfort airport. I sit at a McDonald’s McCafe, maybe even in the same booth I sat in seven years before, and I think of how different I am from the young mom who took two kids overseas for five weeks and couldn’t look back.

There are five Phipps now. I have a few more grey hairs and a few more pounds. There are also places on my heart that have felt a pain I didn’t know existed. I feel more deeply now than I ever dreamed possible. I have learned that I want my life to be about nothing other than proclaiming the gospel–to non-believers, to believers, to myself. I have also learned that as much as I think I know the gospel, Jesus has more to teach me.

Seven years ago, I longed for a country’s salvation like I have longed for few things. I dreamed and pictured a life filled with a language I learned at 34. I believed I could do whatever I put my mind to and tenacity would win out. My life was simple, as was my faith.

Seven years later, I have grown up. I understand now the complexity of life and decisions and missions and relationships. My faith is deeper. I have trusted the Lord for so much more than I dreamed possible.

As I let all of these thoughts wonder through my head, I wish the result was a lessening of fascination. I only continue to dream of my life in Italy, however, and all I wish we would have seen happen in the name of Jesus. It drives me to prayer. What started seven years ago still grips me. It is evidence of the Holy Spirit, and so I participate in what He is doing. I do my part. I sit surrounded by countless nationalities, my eyes struggling to stay open, and I pray.

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