Friday, November 9, 2012

Week 7: Banjara, snow and a Palace

This week was a lot of the same except the more we are here the more God breaks our heart for the things that break His. India is a very interesting place and the city we are in is pretty unique in that it has very little foreign influence. I mean, you have a Pizza Hut here.. but the pizza tastes Indian. The population is 2 % Christian and idol worship is practiced freely and often in the streets, in stores, even in the labor-ward where we work. When sharing about Jesus people are pretty open but often they just tack him on to their already running list of things to worship. No relationship with their God, just a struggling and scrambling to appease, celebrate, and hope that one can squeak ahead in this life. People live from festival to festival spending money to present food to a particular god and then after the offering has been made the food is just tossed aside and rots. It's heart breaking that people are suffering from malnutrition as food rots on the side of the street. There is very little hope here. Its just a cyclical life of striving and surviving. One just does the best one can hoping to edge a little further ahead for the next life. God wants so much more for the beautiful people He created! He wants them to thrive, to be loved and to live in relationship with Him. He wants them to live with purpose!
Daily life in the hospital has opened our eyes to a lot of the injustice that happens. There is definitely a lot that happens there that shouldn't happen. Things go on there that everyone is aware of but a blind eye is often turned. One of the worst acts of extortion is where the simple act of handing a woman her own baby as she leaves the hospital requires a pay-off from the patient transport women (a certain amount for a girl and more if it's a boy); a crime against the already most-poor and struggling families. We come face to face with it daily and although it's easy with our Western way of thinking to just stand up and say, "Stop doing it! Refuse to give the money! say, 'who are you to demand money?'" But the problem is much bigger and deeper and can only be unearthed by prayer. It's a problem of worldview. It's a problem of being too exhausted to fight a system when you are just trying to make it through the day and so you become a victim to that system. It demands someone from the inside stepping up and changing things. It needs prayer and God to bring revelation. We keep praying for God to reveal himself one person at a time and for a spark to ignite an unstoppable fire of revelation of Gods love and purpose for India!
I am so amazed at the opportunities we have gotten as we welcome little lives into this world and to represent God's love for His creation, both male and female (girls usually are not received well.. a topic for another day!). It's been so great to share in the mother's excitement and to show excitement for baby girls being born because we know they are created in God's image. This often breaks off the typical reaction of rejection that takes place. We break the curse of rejection over that little girl's life and speak love and acceptance over her!!
In our 7 short weeks here I have been able to welcome 8 babies into this world! I have also gained so much hands-on experience in other areas of patient care such as placing IV's (which I love.. I am my mother's daughter :) ) mixing and hanging IV meds, giving injections and just gaining important knowledge. This school has been difficult because it has been so time consuming but we are so thankful for the BAS and this opportunity to learn in a way that few get the chance to.
We have 2 weeks left in MGMH before we move South in India for 3 more weeks. We are weary but are asking God to give us a renewed strength to finish strong and to see fruit! I have been reflecting on the fact I never wanted to come to India, although I said if God called me I would go. Since being here I am indescribably thankful for the opportunities and experiences that God has given us. It has been difficult to live normally here (especially for our children) since we stick out and get far too much attention. But God has been faithful and we have seen the beauty in the Indian people. God has created us all and I am again amazed at his breathtaking creation of people and their beautiful differences.

Little Jonathan born on Tuesday

Adorable brother/sister twins that I got to watching being delivered and then care for after. They were so precious and kept trying to eat one another's faces.

This week I was also able to go to a Banjara slum and teach hand washing with some other teammates. We were also able to give some antenatal care to some women there. It is always an honor to sit in their humble homes and care for them. The Banjara people are nomadic tribal people usually from the north west of India although the largest population now is in Andra Pradesh in the south east of India. They live in slums throughout our city and still follow a lot of their traditions. 2 of the women we did Antenatal on said that they will deliver at home with older women assisting. Sadly since in the short time we have been here I have seen a good handful of Banjara women in for emergencies where their babies did not make it. It is such a blessing to go into these communities and empower them with the knowledge of simple things that can save lives. Teaching them so that they can teach others.
I leave off my portion of this blog with a picture I couldn't help but take. It makes my heart happy.:) it was on the side of a coffee stand. -Heather

The Palace
So for the field trip this week the kids and I went to Chowmahalla Palace. It's where the Nizams of Hyderabad would receive royals and dignitaries back in the day. We're talking early 18th, and 19th centuries. A Nizam was a monarch that controlled Hyderabad, even under British rule. Overall it was a nice little field trip. The kids got to run around a lot and look at some interesting stuff. What I took away from it all was that once upon a time Hyderabad was a shining gem of a city in India. There was Delhi, and then there was Hyderabad. It was this amazing metropolis filled with culture, commerce and the arts. Sadly, all the foreigners I shared this with had the same reaction: "what happened?" I think that pretty much testifies that this city has past her glory days. It's still a beautiful place though, if you know where to look.

This weekend we were able to take the kids to a place called snow world. It is essentially an indoor simulation of winter. Although nothing can replace the real thing it was fun for us to run around and toss some man made snowballs at each other. :) the kids thought it was great and it was nice to give them one hour of snow since they will not get any real snow this year. Thankfully they supply you with coats, wool socks, boots and mittens!


They had a sledding hill that was very unsafe for kids so daddy was gracious enough to pull them around on sleds :)
We went to the Marriott close by to have coffee to warm up (as one does) and our kids were having a great time being silly.

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1 comment:

  1. Very cool about the indoor snow simulation place. I think that would go over big in Arizona! Continued prayers ascending on your behalf!