I love mission trips.
But I never would have picked India.
First and foremost, I am not a fan of long plane rides. I spent 8 hours on a plane from New York to Madrid in college, and all I could think about was how much I was dreading the long flight back. Anytime you can take a substantial 3 hour nap and wake up and still not be halfway to your destination – I’m not down. Especially when it involves confinement.
I used to think I was claustrophobic.
One time, in fifth grade, a teacher I didn’t like put me in the corner between the wall and a metal filing folder and I worked myself into a panic attack to convince her I couldn’t be in a closed corner.
For those of you who don’t know, India is far, far away from Tennessee.
This is apparently the quickest way to travel 8,378 miles. Did you read that? 8,378 miles.
To tell you the truth, I actually didn’t know where it was (geography was never my strong suit) until I finally told God, “Fine, I’ll go.” It’s hanging out over there beside Bangladesh, near China. Almost 8,400 miles away.
I don’t even want to know how long that plane ride is going to be.
Before I decided India was a go, I started to see it everywhere. I literally mean everywhere. I would be sitting on the couch going through Pinterest and see mentions of India. At church, missions were mentioned and photos were shown from India. It came up in books, in movies, on television. It eventually became comical.
I met a friend in Starbucks one afternoon after I came back from Passion, and she asked me to explain the whole India decision for her. “Why India?” Even as I was telling her about all the signs and sightings, a girl walked into the shop in full Indian garb, with the jewel on her forehead, and all. “See?” I said.
When I was in Atlanta for Passion 2013, I took MARTA – the train, from where I was staying with friends, to the conference center downtown. One morning, the train was packed and I ended up sitting beside an older gentleman who didn’t look particularly thrilled to have a stranger share his bench. I chatted with other Passion students around me before glancing back over at the man beside me. He had opened a newspaper, and lo and behold, the headline of the page he was reading was about an incident in – you guessed it: India.
My friends and family have started to notice the signs, too – it’s fun to see them point out sightings when we’re together, whether it be in print or otherwise, and gasp. I’ve reached a point where I’m just ready to be there already. Of course, that isn’t true – clearly, God’s putting me there in the fall for a reason, and my heart probably has a lot to undergo before I’m mentally and emotionally (not to mention spiritually) prepared to go.
But in the mean time, I’m making the most of reminding myself that I’ll be there in a few months.
I ordered a map print from Megan at Sparrow Mercantile this afternoon that I’m super excited about.
It’s a vintage atlas map printed with Joy To The World. This one happens to be a map of Russia, but Megan was sweet enough to make me one with a map of India. I literally can’t wait for it to come in the mail!