It’s been too long since my last update. Internet access is limited in India. Plus, I wanted to live fully in the moment by staying away from my phone and the social network.
Today when this message posts I’ll be trekking into the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal for my next mission. When I last wrote I was landing in Hampi, India from the YWAM training base in New Zealand.
It’s hard to believe how fast the time past in India, how much I accomplished there, and how much that place changed my life. India has been on my heart since I was a kid but I still didn’t expect to be this in love with a country.
Third World Culture Shock
It was a 51-hour journey on three planes, a sleeper bus, and a boat. On the bus from Bangalore to Hampi I found my self stuck to the window.
The dirtiness, the fallen down houses, children playing in the trash, the sounds of horns honking and muttering languages, the smells of trash burning and sewage water winding through the dirt. It felt like I was in a movie.
Our team’s vision for Hampi: “Share love to the unloved by recognizing the unrecognized, befriending the friendless, and serving the servant.” We decided that we would lead people toward God by loving them and serving them instead of just preaching to them with empty words.
In Hampi, we volunteered at All Tribes Café to relate with tourist and climbers. On our days off, we traveled the village on foot and invited people to the café. At the café we served them coffee and became their friends. Then after 4:30 each day, we climbed with them in the boulders of Hampi.
Early in the trip I felt called to help the younger generation, and almost right away that door opened. One day, a young boy came to the café selling postcards. He was around 16 years old. When I first met Him I had no clue the amazing impact our team would have on his life.
At first hello it seemed like he wasn’t even alive, just a zombie walking around asking people to buy his postcards. From his face you could tell that he had never smiled or experienced true joy.
Over a little time I learned that his name was Gallipa. Then he started opening up to me with small questions and he told stories about his life.
Soon I figured out he had lost contact with his parents at a young age due to his own health complications. He was forced to go live with his uncle where he earned money to help support his family. He was so young and broken. My heart dropped for him and everything he’s been though.
So, I made it my first goal in Hampi to change his life! It’s hard to believe I was only there for two short months and Gallipa isn’t even the same kid. I can’t describe it. He now has one of the biggest smiles on his face, and he loves to dance and make jokes with the group.
What’s most exciting is that the week before we left India, we lead Gallipa and his friend to Christ! I’m positive that Gallipa is going in a completely new direction with his life, and I can’t imagine what will become of him.
Gallipa is just one example of the many differences we made in Hampi. We spent so much time in the nearby villages, acknowledging the young people and showing them love.
Photo: Gallipa on right.
On Christmas day, I was away from family and friends for the first time in my life. That was difficult. So I spent the entire day with YWAM friends visiting kids with candy and colored pencils and other gifts.
First, we went through the streets of a popular slum in Hospet. It was located 1 hour from Hampi by boat, bus, tuktuk, and foot. We also visited orphanages in two other villages that day.
I think we blessed around 300 kids with gifts and companionship that day. Even though I missed my family and wished they were with me, this was the greatest Christmas of my life.
Photos: Here are some of the kids we visited that day.
1. Third World Snacks
We found a scorpion and decided to eat it.
2. Snakes In The Bed
I regularly found deadly creatures in my room and in my bed—scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and pythons.
3. The Monkey King
During week 6 we stayed in Chitradurga and our team was coached in climbing by the world famous Monkey King.
4. Murphy Hank Bobbycox
He is the brown puppy in the middle, my adopted Indian street dog. I raised him for 7 weeks.
5. Professor Starfox
One week I volunteered at a college. I taught English and tourism, and had awesome conversations with the students. I told them my name was Professor Starfox. lol
6. Fight Club
I came across an underground wrestling arena. The bleachers and arena floor made from dirt.
Saving Girls From Sex Slavery
I landed in Nepal a few days ago, where I will be working with one of the greatest sex trafficking prevention teams in the world. It is estimated that 10,000-15,000 girls are trafficked from this country each year.
These girls are ages 7 and 24 with an average age of 15. They are tricked with false marriages and the promise of education and employment. Then they are shipped across the Indian border, sold into brothels and forced to become prostitutes.
Most of them come from poor high mountain villages outside of Katmandu. That’s where we are going!
The team we’ve joined has a proven method for saving girls from sex slavery. Just recently they went into a village notorious for trafficking. Because of their efforts the villagers vowed: We will not sell another one of our daughters into slavery!
By the time you read this message I’ll be trekking high into the Himalayan Mountains with the potential for waist high snow at times. We’ve chosen a village and we are going to stop sex slave trafficking there too! Our team will build relationships with the villagers, show them love, and help them find other ways for surviving so they wont have to sell their daughters.
I wish I could tell you more, but I’m out of time for now. Please pray for me more than ever. The opportunity is beyond words. I want to make a difference.
It will be a long while before I’ll be able to write. We don’t expect to have Internet or phone service for most of this mission.
Now more than ever I’m positive this is how I want to spend the rest of my life. There is such a worldwide need for missionaries to go out there and help people.
Please continue to support me with your finances. One time donations are still a big blessing, and what I really need right now is committed monthly supporters.