Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Justice and Forgiveness

In my last blog post I wrote about how I have been challenged during my time in Kolkata. Seeing girls who had been sold and subsequently trapped in the sex trade brought to the surface feelings of compassion and love as well as intense anger at those responsible for the selling and abuse of these girls. I felt deep love and compassion for the women who are trapped in these situations and deep anger at those responsible.
God has been challenging me on my anger and sense of injustice. It is easy for me to judge these people for their actions however God has challenged me to love them as well. They are entitled to God’s grace just as much as I am. God’s grace is sufficient to cover all sins. This has been quite hard for me to work through. I feel like there should be some justice, why can’t God get His thunderbolt and aim it in their direction? When it comes to me though do I want my sins judged as harshly? No
My thoughts and actions show that I think I have more entitlement to God’s grace, love and mercy than others. This is obviously not correct but my thoughts prove that deep down this is what I believe. I think of the story of prodigal son told in Luke. I am like the older brother, instead rejoicing at the return of the younger brother I sit and sulk in a corner at the injustice of it all.
This has really challenged me and made me re-examine my motivation. If I am doing this work purely to bring glory to the Father, then I will love all unconditionally. However if I do not love all and harbour resentment and anger then my motivation is myself and my feelings. Wow, hard stuff.
I am grateful for the refining that God is doing in my life as I walk this journey with Him.

Kolkata Visit

A few days ago, I got the chance to visit Kolkata reconnect with the team there, just chat and hangout with the women. It has to go down as one of my best weeks since I left New Zealand. As soon as I arrived, it felt like I had come home. The hard part was that this was only a short trip and I still have at least 10 months before I am back for good.
I spent my days up in finishing with the women, trimming the threads off and checking the bags before they were packed up ready to be sent. From the moment I arrived the girls addresses me as either didi (which means Aunty) or in the intimate pronoun form. I spoke with the girls laughed with the girls even got told off for distracting the girls. “didi ekhon kaj korechi. Jokhon Cha khabo tokon bungla bolbo” Now is work time at cha time you can speak Bungla. I also gave some advice here and there for the girls who were sick or had hurt themselves as well as other foreigners who were sick.
The time spent here has been such a blessing. It has been difficult living and learning in a country that is not my old home or my new home. It has been a bit of a time of limbo. I know that Dhaka is the best thing for right now to get myself ready for Kolkata however it is nice to have a glance at what is to come. I am excited about what is in store.
I have been challenged by God in new ways and those thoughts will come in the next blog once they have been processed a little more. Hope that life is going well for all of you who read my updates and that you will continue to journey with me as I live life here in Dhaka and then Kolkata.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hard Times Fun Times

So the last few weeks have been hard at times but on the whole fantastic.
I am still tracking along with my Bungla studies which at times can be hilarious. The other people in my class do not have English as their first language so we often have to act things out so that they understand. A couple of days ago we were reading a piece of text that had an interaction between a doctor and a patient. Our teacher spent about 15mins trying to explain what diarrhea was. By the end we had pictures and everything. Hilarious.
I am still looking at new ways I can practice my language outside of class time, and found children to be most helpful. They are naturally inquisitive so ask a million questions. One of the helpers at the place I am staying have two children and I love to chat with them. They laugh when I make mistakes but are the most patient teachers.
Through this same worker I have met people from the area she lives in. Most are poor and can not afford quality health care. She takes me to see people she knows are sick for me to help.
One lady I saw last week was 15 weeks pregnant she had classic symptoms of a urinary tract infection. The week before I saw her she had been to the doctor handed over the little money they had only to come back with a set of results she didn't understand and a large supply of medicines she didn't need. The one medicine she did need (an antibiotic for the urinary infection) was not in the stack of medicines, despite test results saying she had a urinary tract infection.
As a nurse this stuff is really hard to see all of that money wasted when she and her family have precious little to spare. I am thankful for the experience I have had and a skill so that I could practically help this person and others. I am humbled to involved in what God is doing in this community.
The crazy occurrences of life here still happen but it now doesn't feel crazy it just feels normal.
I head to Kolcutta in a few days to reconnect with the team there. It will be the first time since I made the decision to make Kolcutta my home that I would have been back. Almost two years ago. But first I have a Bungla exam to take.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chadpur and other thoughts

So I got the chance to go to Chadpur last weekend. I went by boat it is 4hours there and 4 hours back. I travelled on my own which was super entertaining and fun. The trip started with a CNG ride (a CNG is like a motorised scooter thing that has a cage to protect you while you dart through traffic) it can take anywhere from 1 -2 hours to get to the ferry landing from where I am staying and I left an hour and a half before the boat was due to go. Not so bad except that about 30mins into the trip my CNG broke down. He told me sorry no problem 1 minute, HAHAHA unlikely I thought. However I gave him the benefit of the doubt and 1 minute later he had found a "mechanic" and they were working on the CNG. 20mins later we were on our way. In the mean time I was thinking I am going to miss the boat. Anyway I got there as the boat was pulling its horn ready to depart brought my ticket, made it through the rugby scrum and on to the boat just in time. PERFECT. The time in Chadpur was great, I was on my own so had no choice but to speak Bungla which was hard work but fun for me and the locals :) The trip back was not nearly so exciting as I was delivered to the ferry terminal by motorbike. However the motorbike trip was a little awkward side saddle with two hands on my back trying to balance. No helmet of course.
I have also had my first Bungla exam which I am happy to say I passed with no problems.
Generally life has been great here, it good to be back overseas but hard as well. I have seen friends come and go and there is more of that to come. The rains are coming more often now and I think the monsoons are coming. Will keep blogging and sharing my life here with all of you.