I asked Trevor if the men in the city object to living in a pink city and he told us they're fine with it because everything is pink—the houses, the bath towels, the bed linens. He might be right because we even saw a big group of burly men carrying around pink shopping bags.
One thing hard to get used to is the beggars! It brings to life so much of what the Bible says about them. The children look so sad and desperate, and even though they truly are needy, they also know "how to work it." It's hard not to give to them but you have to be careful because, if you give to any of them on the street, you will be mobbed. So I usually wait till I get to the car and then give them something as we are leaving. Sadly, I have also learned that when you give to the children, they don't get to keep it. They are actually working for someone.
Last night we finished the evening by going out to a restaurant called, "Nero's." It was small and simple, but the food was so delicious! Someone said it's in the traveler's guide book as one of the best places to eat in Jaipur.
Every time we get ready to eat, Sam says this signature blessing: "Dear Lord, we thank you for this food. Amen." When I laughed at how short and sweet is it, he explained that a friend of the family used to come to their house and say fifteen minute dinner prayers to which his dad jokingly commented, "Anyone who says a prayer like that at the dinner table is trying to make up for their lacking prayer life."
After dinner, we were outside and some beggar dude was milling around us and he recognized Sam. It was weird that here, even in the heart of 17 million people, a street person recognized Sam. It seems that everywhere we go, Sam is recognized. That can be good or bad depending on who is doing the recognizing. In the last year Sam has literally lived as a fugitive, not knowing who he can trust or not. That would be a hard way to live, but he just laughs about it and keeps going. He has such a happy heart, and I see that he really trusts in God's sovereignty in his life, a peaceful place to live indeed.
While at the restaurant, we were joined by two of Sam's successful businessmen friends from Jaipur. These two young brothers graduated from Emmanuel community (for-profit) schools. Many people send their kids to Emmanuel schools because it is among the finest educations. The kids who come out of those schools are very smart and speak good English, and usually get into good colleges.
I was completely surprised to find out that these two young men are Hindu, yet they love Sam like a father. Sam said that the gospel is shared even in the Emmanuel schools, but anyone is welcome to attend (there is a tuition for these schools, which is separate from the orphanage schools). So Sam tells us that one of the young men at the table with us left his job and family last year when Sam went in to hiding and stayed with Sam for three months just so he wouldn't have to be alone! Sam says this young man would lay down his life for him, that's how much he loves him.
The two young men explained to us how much Sam has impacted their lives. I asked Sam why they are not believers and he told me that they are from a very high caste family (upper crust Hindu) and to leave their caste they would lose everything. But he says the one who stayed with him in captivity reads his Bible and talks about God with Sam regularly. It was very touching to see how Sam invests into all of these people with such love, acceptance, and tenderness. And you can see the loyalty and love from these young men in return! It is so inspiring! Literally everywhere I go, I learn more about how these two men—Sam and M.A. Thomas—are impacting so many people and changing a country with love.
So far the weather is sunny and rather warm (probably 80 degrees)! Well, that is all for now. We are ready to start a new day. Can't wait to see what adventures are around the corner tomorrow!