Week 2 in India / by rebecca keating

Man oh man I wish I could capture every sunset perfectly, every shift in the sky that I've marveled at while being here. The earth is so lush and beautiful -- I'm going to be so homesick for this place. 

Man oh man I wish I could capture every sunset perfectly, every shift in the sky that I've marveled at while being here. The earth is so lush and beautiful -- I'm going to be so homesick for this place. 

June 9 8:34pm

It’s super amusing to me — I pay for 4.5 GB of data on Airtel every day and on good days I get 2.5 GB. . .on a normal day I’ll get about 1.7 or so. I’m deciding to call it a blessing that I’ve run out of data for the day at 8pm. I’ve been saying since Tuesday that I need to compile a new blog post and, well, it’s now Saturday night and I’m finally here to string the words together. 

Anyway, what a week! I’ve just completed my second full week in Sielmat.

Adapting to new places, especially remote and dramatically different cultures, is so funny to me. The first few days you’re acutely aware of every single difference and quirk. This small village in Northeast India will never be on Condé Nast’s top 10 travel destinations. There are no Air Bnbs here and definitely not air conditioning. The power goes out at least five times a day, and I consistently find ants in my bed. But then, all of a sudden, you stop comparing every detail and just live into the moments, fully alive and still aware, but in a different way. 

I have wild amounts of pride for where my family comes from. . .it’s an honor to have Hmar blood flowing through my veins. I’m one of so few people on this whole planet that is half Hmar half caucasian (Irish mostly, right dad?), and during my stay here, I want to learn every single thing that I can from this place and it’s people. 

Conducting fieldwork has been going pretty well. Making friends and not being lonely has been 100x easier than planned. I’m leading worship twice tomorrow! It’ll be my first time singing in a church in over a year. I’ve missed it a lot and I’m really grateful to get to have worship opportunities out here. 

There are parts of me inside that are hasty, telling me I need to conjure up real good and thorough conclusions about the trip so far. But they’ll come in their time, I’m confident of that. I’m not leaving myself anytime soon. So while being with people is really life giving and amazing, my most savored parts of the days are my morning hours alone with Jesus. So in place of thoughtful and brilliant conclusions, here are snippets of more journal entries from my quiet times this week. . .

June 2 10pm

I was sitting, listening to the clanging of some instrument out in the hills, thinking about telling Pi Choung what time I would be eating dinner tonight. But then I remembered that clocks and schedules don’t run people’s lives out here. It’s in more civilized (I’m not sure if that’s the right word) places that time is everything to us. After having this thought, I turned the page in the book I was reading, A Handful of Quietness by Harold Rogers, and I read, “civilization has caused us to become clock watchers.” No way, Harold. 

As I am sitting here reading, as the rain goes in and out, I come to realize how sacred and special these days and moments are. I must not hurry them away. I must not frantically check the time because months down the road, I will be homesick for all these minutes I get to spend in creation, undistracted and in the Word, and with people I never knew I’d grow close to. 

June 5 9:07am

I’m excited to trust You with my emotions today, Jesus. I’m excited that I’m deepening what it means to let them be taken captive by you. 

June 6 12:06pm

Truth is becoming internal. I can’t wait to see what truths become ingrained in me throughout my time here. 

I ventured out to India with the song “New Wine” by Hillsong as a prayer deep in my heart. I'm singing it in church on Sunday, and I'm so excited to share my prayer with the community.

“I came here with nothing but all you have given me / Jesus bring new wine out of me”

“I lay down my old flame / To carry your new fire today”

These words were prophetic over my personal mission in coming on this trip. I don’t have all the words for it yet. 

June 7 9:12am

When I sit outside of the shadows. When I don’t have to wear any makeup or special clothes. When I can prop my legs up on the railing and drink in the sunlight. You radiate beams of stillness into me. There will be no anxiety within me today. 

June 8 8am

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord determines his steps. . .”

Am I willing to take this to the grandest extreme? If every single plan I made or decided for the rest of my life was redirected by You, would I obey? If you called me to move to India next summer, would I do it? Would I do it cause I have to? Would I do it cause I trust you? For those who want to plan their lives to a T, the way of Jesus is not safe for them. For those who want to accomplish all that they desire, the way of Jesus might not be so accommodating. 

I’m not saying it’s bad to plan or that all of us should forfeit designing our lives. But I am saying that we must always hold things loosely. We must always be willing to release our own plans and ideals for the sake of the cross. This school year I was so guilty of clinging to my ideals for plans and situations. During these days, I’m realizing what a waste of energy that all was. 

(Sidenote: At this point, I don’t feel called to move to India next summer, it's just an example;) 

June 9 1:15pm

Wow dang social media sucks kind of. It is so not good to just sit around on a more low-key day and scroll. I feel so much FOMO, so out of the loop of what other people are doing. And it’s funny because it’s 3am back at home and if I were there right now I’d just be asleep. lol. 

I have SO MANY MORE words to share!! God is moving me and purifying me and all I can do is overflow with praise. 

 

I can't even put into words how fond I am of Rosie!! Thankful for this gal pal of mine. 

I can't even put into words how fond I am of Rosie!! Thankful for this gal pal of mine. 

Movie night on the balcony :-) 

Movie night on the balcony :-) 

ALL THIS WAS LESS THAN 5 USD. THANKFUL N BLESSED. 

ALL THIS WAS LESS THAN 5 USD. THANKFUL N BLESSED.