The first time I saw her, the solemn look in her eyes flooded my head and heart with questions–
Was she really as sad as she looked?
Was she just camera shy?
Is she happy?
Does she know she is chosen?
Pinki Roy has been waiting for over six months for a Compassion International sponsor; is it silly romantic notion to believe no one chose her because she was destined to be mine?
In ten days I invite you to journey with me to one of the most impoverished cities on the planet, Kolkata, India. That is where Pinki lives along with two siblings and her parents, and if all goes according to plan, I'll get to meet her, to look deep into those chocolate eyes and somehow communicate my illogical love for her.
I'm sitting at Smoothie King, sipping on a $4.69 Angel Food smoothie, and I'm trying to reconcile the irreconcilable: the price of my drink is almost a week's worth of wages in Eastern India. That bewildering thought fills my eyes with tears and I'm thankful this place is small and maybe no one notices.
As much as I've tried to prepare mentally…spiritually… emotionally…physically for this trip, can I really prepare heartfully?
This trip is outside my comfort zone. Let's start with the 15 hours in a plane; a tiny tin can suspended above the clouds with the security measure of a floatable seat cushion and the convenience of a toilet. Security and convenience–I have nothing to worry about…
…except for the risk of exotic disease and the potential for my stomach to erupt like Mt. Vesuvias WHEN I'M NOT NEAR A BATHROOM (keeping in mind my shy bladder and even more reclusive bowel) and temperatures that may as well be boiling to this spoiled, air conditioned Southerner (already 100+). And I'm traveling with strangers, and not just strangers, but STRANGERS WHO CAN S A N G, and I don't sing, AND DON'T TELL ME TO MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE BECAUSE THE SOUND THAT COMES OUT OF MY MOUTH IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT JOYFUL TO THOSE STANDING TO MY LEFT AND RIGHT.
I'm not even sure what that encompasses, but I think it will involve an exchange…
- of love (not just giving, but receiving)
- of preconceived notions (I'm rather certain it will unravel on its own accord without regard to my colorful imaginations)
- of agendas and "need to know" (instead, goin' with the flow and a heapin' of "whatever")
- of who I am (for who I'll be)
Compassion's work to release children from poverty isn't just tired rhetoric; it's not administrative cost heavy and service light. The way they work through local churches with a holistic approach to treating the "whole" child is altering history one life at a time. I can't believe the opportunity we'll have to observe this work first hand, in order to tell you the stories of lives impacted by Compassion.
Lives like Pinki's, and as a result, the rest of her family's.
And maybe, just maybe…those somber, serious eyes of her will be smiling when I meet her.
Would you consider sponsoring a child now? When I checked, there were 20 children from India alone awaiting sponsorship (clicking the badge takes you directly to children in India, but there are children from all over the world waiting for someone like you to find them.). Should you decide to sponsor, please, let me know. We shall dance a little happy dance together :).
did not realize you were among the group going to india. found you on the facebook group. loved this post, love your heart. i cannot imagine how you will be changed. have to admit, i am actually jealous!!
i’ve never been here before, i’ll stay awhile and read.
Sweet Robin, I know Angie Smith personally and if you can’t tell from her blog, she is the kind of person who will make you feel like you’ve known her for years. Y’all will love each other. I will keep you in my prayers. And that precious little Pinki.
While I think you do need to soak up the sadness of that smoothie being a week’s worth of wages, I also would encourage you to not feel BADLY about it.
My mother and I (she’s in Kenya) have had that conversation … I don’t think you should apologize for being a US Citizen, with the luxuries that it affords.
The difference between you though, my dear … and the majority of other US Citizens is that you have a global heart.
Just the fact that you made the decision to go? Enough preparation as you’ll need. I promise you.
Your heart cannot be prepared for what you’ll see, experience, feel or learn. Let it be and don’t worry too much about being heartful.
It will come naturally to you!
Can’t wait to follow your trip. You will grwo so very much by this.
I’ll be reading daily as you make this journey – watching you grow in mind, spirit and heart. And, you know what, I bet your “sanging” IS a joyful noise unto the Lord because it’s all done with HIM in mind. BUT, girlfriend, when it comes to the human race, well – I’m right there with you. NO ONE wants to be close to me when I’m SANG’in. Amen.
Blessings to you and yours (including Pinki)…Suzanne
We were able to meet our Compassion daughter from India. It truly was a life-changing experience.
Indian kids don’t smile for photos. It’s considered sassy. 🙂
I can’t wait for your trip. so excited for you!
Oh, I love this post, Robin! You have a gift and you are going to inspire others with your tender heart. I am praying for safe travels, a toilet when you need it, and that your body cooperates to all these changes.
Thank you so much for following the link from Facebook!! I understand what
you mean about “jealousy”, but I imagine it’s less about jealousy and maybe
a bit more about coveting ;). This whole experience boggles my mind daily,
and we haven’t even left the country yet! (and I’m wondering, what else did
you read? lol…you didn’t comment again, so I sure hope I didn’t scare you
off! Maybe my “100 Things”??) Thank you, too, for your sweet words about
this post…yeah, you can usually tell when I’m moved :).
The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller :). I can’t wait to meet
Angie and EVERYONE on this trip; so far, I’ve only met Spence IRL and he’ll
do in a pinch ;). Thank you for your enthusiasm, encouragement, and most of
all prayers. It’s not hollow thanks…I mean it sincerely and completely!
Ahhh, Naomi, wise, you are. Your advice, solid and sound. Thank you for
offering perspective and “permission” to accept my lot in life. We can’t
help where/how we’re born…we can help how we respond to it :). Thanks for
your encouragement (and directness!).
Thanks, Hollie. With every moment that passes, I’m more eager and
Thanks for “makin’ plans” to tag along :). Perhaps YOU can stand next to me
and we’ll make all kinds of noises! I do wonder what God hears now that you
put it that way. Hmmm….:)
I’m more convinced than ever that our (cyber) meeting was not an
accident–do you know how helpful your insights are? Sassy? Ooooo, I hope
she’s sassy!! 🙂
Amy, can I just say that you HEAR my heart?? Your specific prayer speaks to
those minor anxieties that are rumbling around my head. Thank you, friend!
Beautiful post. You encompass all the thoughts and emotions I would be having were I going on such a trip. Is it wrong that I am all too happy to sit here in the comfort of my own home and read about your adventure?
Robin, I will be praying you through that trip.
(Well, you know, I won’t be doing it alone, but I just want you to know that I’m with you in prayer. Is that even coming out right???)
I am so looking forward to reading about your experience. God is going to use you and change you, and it’s going to be amazing, reclusive bowel or not. 🙂
Robin, you have to do me a favor. If you happen to meet a little girl named Moriyam Gomango, PLEASE give her a huge hug from Kacie. Moriyam’s Compassion station is in Kolkata, and she says she is in the
“7th Class” I’ve been sponsoring her for 7 years.
I love, love, love youl.
I’m helping two girls from India. You’ll be rewarded after thy demise. God bless.