Sunday, July 3, 2016

Reflections in Mumbai... From Amsterdam :)

Such has been the norm for Internet luck this trip... Just as I'm ready to publish a post, I lose the connection :) We just arrived in Amaterdam for a short layover and are scheduled on time for Minneapolis @ 12:30 CST! 

Here is the reflection from approximately 9 hours ago:

As we sit here in the Mumbai airport, it's a surreal feeling reflecting back on the past few weeks. It's been both a fast trip, feeling like our arrival was only yesterday, and a long trip in looking back on everything we've done, everyone we've met, and all the places we've been. It's utterly exhausting, and wonderful, all at the same time. 

This morning we went to visit the Aga Khan Palace, where Ghandi was held from 1942-44 following his famous speech kicking off the "Quit India" movement in August of '42. It was a great way to end the trip, a humble monument for a humble leader. 

We also visited some gardens on the way back to UBS, but didn't stay long as the rain chased us away. After final packing and showering, we were invited to the home of Prem and Rachel Bagh, Mennonite faculty at UBS. It was wonderful sharing stories and hearing about both of their family's history in the growing Mennonite church in India. One example of many relationships we left wishing we had more time to invest in! However, they have some plans for Kate at Bethel College next year, so staying connected will be no problem :) 

After a long and rainy drive to the airport, check-in, immigration, and some waiting, we are now ready to board our flight to Amsterdam. Like I said at the beginning, this time for reflection has been welcome, and the reflection has only just begun. 

To start though, Madeline Troyer shared with me this reflection from our interaction yesterday with the Australians at the Mukti Mission. I think it's the perfect way to leave this blog as we prepare to board. 

So grateful. 

When we went to mukti mission there was a really awesome God connection that I was able to make. Just this past half a year I have changed what I have been wanting to study in college from physical therapy to sustainability with an agriculture focus. As I have been learning more about myself I realized I could enjoy studying and working as a physical therapist but I love learning about nature and sustainability more. 

When I tell most people this the first question I get is, "what is that and what can you do with that major?" My answer is always "...well, it is coming up with new ways to do agriculture in a way that is green and can be sustained. And when I have looked up jobs that you can get out of it nothing really comes up but what I would like to do is go over to other countries and help them with their crop production. I have no idea if this is a thing or what it would be like for a job but that is what I would like to do." After I say that, people either think that that sounds really interesting or they say that it sounds interesting but I can tell they are really just wishing me really good luck and think physical therapy would have much more job security and be more practical. 

Since I have decided that this is what I am feeling called to do with my life there have been some people who have really encouraged me and even given me ideas of what I could do out of college along the same lines of what I would like to do. 

Going to Mukti mission was something that was not planned in our trip but something we just decided to do. While we were driving there in my head I prayed a quick prayer that God would show us why we were going there and that we wouldn't just have a wasted day. Then at lunch there was a group of Australians who were doing a short term mission there. When I asked the one guy what he was doing he said that he works with agriculture and is here helping them with their agriculture program at the mission. After asking more questions we learned that he worked on a small all organic, work with the land, farm but that he has done many missions to third world countries to help them learn how to farm with the land and increase their production. You could tell he knew his subject well and was full of ideas. When I told him that he was doing exactly what I am feeling like I should do with my life he said that there is a great need for that kind of thing. Meeting him was really the perfect affirmation that I needed. He affirmed that this actually is a need and something that I can do. 

It is cool to see the connections God will put in your path once you become open to what he wants and you are willing to diverge from plans you may already have. 

- Madeline Troyer