Off to India!


In just two days, I will be departing for a two week trip to India. Traveling with me will be ten other individuals. We are heading to Naya Akola, India which is located pretty much in the center of the country. Now Naya Akola is not on any Trip Advisor list of places to visit in India. In fact, the village contains not much more than a run down school, a few shops and a handful of huts and houses. But just on the "outskirts" of town sits the campus of Children's Fellowship of India, home to nearly 200 orphaned boys.

Now whenever I travel to India ... it takes only a moment off the plane in Mumbai to realize that I am not in Lancaster County any more! The smells, sounds, sights in India always initially appear WEIRD to my senses – very different from what I am accustomed to smelling, hearing and seeing back home. Some of these sensations are pleasant, many are not. Talk about feeling out of one's comfort zone!

As I was reflecting on this, God reminded me of something I often say – and it is a reminder that I need to "hear" anytime I travel outside the United States.  Just because something is different does not make it either WRONG or WEIRD.  So people in India drive (if that’s what it’s called – it’s actually more like a demolition derby!) on the left side of the road.  Different? Yes. Wrong? No! So Indians like to eat their food hot and spicy. Different? Yes. Weird? No!  Just because people eat differently, dress differently, live in a multitude of different ways – this makes them neither WRONG nor WEIRD. 

Now there is a lesson in this for ALL of us.We all have our ways of doing things. Often  we encounter others who do things or look at things differently than we do. We must remind ourselves that DIFFERENT does not equal WEIRD or WRONG. Rather we must, with God’s help, learn to graciously “bear with each other” (Colossians 3:13). 

 Thanks for stopping by . . . 
pj 

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