Here was our first (and likely not the last) cultural blunder today. We didn't have electricity all day in our room. Later this afternoon we were spending time at our first orphanage and talking to one of the pastors and he laughed when we told him about our room not having any electricity. He said, "Did you try putting your key in the key slot?" I guess in India you only have electricity in your hotel room when you use your key in a special slot…good for a laugh. Our hotel is VERY nice and safe. There is a huge wall around it, like a fortress, and the hotel itself is very modern and wonderful considering what I prepared myself for.
We didn't hit any cows today, thankfully. That is a capital offense since you are hitting a glorified, deified person. Someone today said that one of the Exodus Israelites must have escaped and come to India (think about it).
I got to interview many of the kids at the orphanage in Delhi. The kids are amazing! They are so happy and you can tell they really feel that their orphanage is their family. Some of their parents have died and some abandoned them, but some of them freely offered them to the orphanage so they could get an education and have a better life.
One so awesome set of three brothers told us that their mom became a believer in Jesus when her son (the youngest on the far left) DIED at the hospital and a Hopegivers pastor came and prayed over him, and he came back to life! So their mom asked the orphanage to raise her boys so they could eat and get an education and learn about Jesus. She comes to visit them regularly.
There are many oriental-looking kids in the orphanage too. These are mostly from a state in the northeast called Manipur, and some possibly from Tibet. The Nepalese kids have their own look too, and they are all just absolutely beautiful.
One kid, a wise but young "preacher" who is only fourteen, talked to me for a long time, sharing his testimony. His parents both died, his sister died, his brother went off the deep end (from the sorrow), and he has had to wrestle all of this out with God, asking the usual questions: Why me? Why not someone else? Who will be there for me? But God has worked amazingly in his life and he is on fire to tell his story and how God has given him so much hope and joy in spite of his losses. He is such an inspiration. He told me two verses that God has kept on his heart are:
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up." Also, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
Here is a cute response I got from my Dad about today's post:
"Dear Julie, What a wonderful surprise to know that you are safe and having an incredible adventure. We are proud of you and love you. Please don't hit a cow, and don't even think about butchering it if you do! Please take care of yourself and your friend, and please keep up the e-mails. We think about you all day and night, and will be blessed when you come back to Wyoming. I love you bunches! Yo daddy.