Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team — August 20, 2016

Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team


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We had a team. We had all our support raised, ready to join our friends in India who were working endlessly at getting a fledgling little church off the ground and headed towards independence.

They had gone before us and blazed the trail, learned the ropes, made all the mistakes they could keep us from making ourselves. I remember always joking that they were our test dummies, and I was glad we didn’t have to pioneer the field of New Delhi on our own.

There were some behind us, following the path of fundraising and raising awareness about the need of our field. They would join our team of two families and we would link arms with one heart to reach the country of India. God would work in our midst, and, together, we could see Him doing something there. We had all dreamed together for years. We were just dying to see those dreams manifest in reality on the other side of the world.

417911_10201205177995317_119377220_nBut months trickled by, and as the pages turned on the calendar, we realized what we feared had come to fruition. We weren’t getting entrance into the country we longed to live and minister in.

We were devastated. We found it hard not to question God as he crumpled up our plans and crafted something entirely different. It still looked like a torn apart mess to us, but we trusted it would unfold into a legible, beautiful story one day. We were honored to be a part of it.

But…he sent us somewhere without a team. No one we had any ties to resided in this new (to us) country, Nepal. Not a single family was behind us, aiming to join our side a year or two later.

It was so difficult to say goodbye to the dream of a team and embrace this new role as pioneers for our board. We’ve been so blessed to meet some wonderful new friends here, and truly, we are working together to reach this country with the gospel.

But I miss our team. We had a Bible-inspired name and sweet little babies to grow up together.

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Our team may only have 4 members, but they’re it. My tribe. My co-laborers. I know God will use this tiny team if we stop pining for more members and move forward alone, yet praying that God will add some bodies to the bench.

My kids don’t have ministry experience or much fundraising to speak of, but I believe they are an essential part to this team, and I know God will use Team Taube as we work together here for His glory.

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Who’s on your team? How can we work together to reach the world?
Talk to me in the comment section below!

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Earth-shaken, Fire-forged Love — February 17, 2016

Earth-shaken, Fire-forged Love

Is it too late for a mushy-gushy post? It’s my blog and I do what I want to.

Valentine’s Day has had me reflecting on the love the Lord has so generously blessed me with. First and foremost the unmatched love of Christ in my life is beyond compare to any temporal love that could be shown to me this side of heaven. That, in and of itself, is a totally and completely WORLD-ROCKING concept when I consider how abundantly full my life is in the L-O-V-E department.

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See what I mean?

The mission field has changed me. It has changed my husband. It has changed our marriage. It has changed our love. Our love may not of the Hallmark red-pink splattered fuzzy hearted type, but it is a lot of things less glamorous…but better.

Our love is shoulder-to-shoulder language learning, one of the hardest and most humbling experiences of our lives to date.

It is waking up to an earthquake and falling asleep again feeling safe in his arms.

Long walks stumbling around fallen bricks and our fears for our children growing up in this strange place.

Being led across the busy streets of Kathmandu in complete trust of the man that guides me.

It is sitting at our farmhouse table morning after morning, sipping our hot water (yeah, we quit coffee…and I don’t want to talk about it) and reading the word of God in a language that lights it all up for us.

Our love is my man sneaking out to the laundry room to start a load in the middle of the night while we are graced with power.

Snuggles that start solely for warmth. Cooking love-laced goodies on hot plates. Falling asleep on his shoulder on our millionth taxi ride. Walks with our daughter showing us her “secret places” she is unaware are public knowledge. Sharing our bed with a handsome little man who refused to sleep for the first year of his life. Rushing around in supermarket sweep style a few times a month. Squeezed-in cheesecake dates into our busting-at-the-seams schedule. Crashing into our bed at 8 o’clock after long days and waking up in groans and shared contempt for mornings.

It is joys, hardships, and countless stolen moments of peace among the crazy. The hug that chauffeurs me somewhere else. The kiss that takes away the stress if only for a moment. Romance is something I don’t remember much. But that’s not to say I don’t know love. I know it well. Maybe better than most.

  

I know our love. And I wouldn’t trade it for the love that storybooks and movies are made of. It has been forged in an on-going war to win the world. And it sure sounds romantic when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

And to think…Christ loves me MORE. And this ain’t a fairytale! It’s good and TRUE news our love weathers this place to share.

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Tell me about your earth-shaken, fire-forged love!
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

 

 

 

How Hospitality Saved my Christmas and Changed my Heart — December 28, 2015

How Hospitality Saved my Christmas and Changed my Heart

Showing up unannounced at someone’s house on Christmas…GASP!

This would be a shocking act in American culture on this holiday and, really, on any day on the calendar. Typically, we aren’t fond of visitors finding their way to our doorstep without a serious heads up.

With some hesitation, we committed this heinous crime on Christmas Day here in Nepal. We gave a friend and his daughter a ride home from church and declared that we would come in and say hello to his wife who was hindered by a headache from attending the special Christmas service that day.

From the backseat, I heard the warning call, “Paul and Amber are coming over. Put some tea on.” Or something like that. It was in my second language, ya know.

And that was it. I didn’t hear on the other end if she became frazzled and rushed, overloaded by the stress of unforetold company. I worried if we had somehow overstepped our bounds. I know she loves our kids and would want to see them but does that still stand on Christmas Day with a headache?

Thankfully, it did. I pushed my worries aside as we shoved our American-size selves into her tiny apartment. We joined her on the balcony where she was  bent over a fire, cooking sel roti, a traditional sweet snack prepared on special days, and she greeted us with HUGE hugs, smiles, and squeals. What was I worried about anyway?

She shared with us the meal (complete with meat!) that she had prepared for her little family. We felt a guilty but thankful that they would welcome us into their family on this special day. Though we were absolutely full to the brim from the feast at church, we found room somewhere for the smaller feast they offered.

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We stayed and chatted an hour without a word of English and went home satisfied on sweetness and with smiles that just wouldn’t subside. This precious family had saved my Christmas.

I so enjoyed our Christmas celebration at church and just adored how Christ-centered that week had been. Though, I would be lying if I tried to make you believe that this was the state of my heart throughout the week in its entirety.

I had a wandering eye to Christmas celebrations happening Stateside. I longed to be with my family in the house I grew up in taking in the sights sounds, and smells of familiar holiday tradition.

But while everyone was knee-deep in pre-planned Christmas festivities, I was being loved on by precious people whose language I don’t yet fluently speak and enjoying treats they had set aside for their own family…all during my spontaneous stop-over.

I had been residing in the selfish hole where I had surrounded myself with all my wishes and wants that blocked my view of the blessings around me. This family’s gracious hospitality had pulled me out, embraced me, and opened my eyes to the amazing things God has done here and the wonderful people He has put in my life.

I have a new family here. And while they don’t resemble mine in any way and their traditions are much more reserved, I realized the basis of their treatment of us has the same underlying cause of the most precious moments Stateside.

They love Jesus. They have servant-hearts. They love us and they love our kids. Not because we don’t butcher their language on the daily (we do) and not because we don’t make silly cultural offenses (we do). But because they realize the big thing that happened on Christmas, and it changed them.

They live in a culture that doesn’t see what Christ has done. They walk in a world that doesn’t give Him a thought. They realize the weight of what has been done in their lives, and they aren’t afraid to pass it along.

I have seen this family love and serve believers and unbelievers alike. They have learned hospitality from this culture where it plays a big role in daily life and relationships, but theirs has a special touch. It has a touch of Jesus. And I really believe that his open home, open door policy plus a touch of Jesus can really bring a wonderful change to this world that has long forgotten or never known the Christ who came so many years ago.

Perhaps those who wouldn’t look for Him could stumble upon Him over a cup of coffee at my table, sitting on my couch playing Uno, or sharing freshly popped popcorn on the front-porch.

Maybe after casual chit-chat about the latest movies and where I bought the kids shoes, I could tell them what brought us to this wild and wonderful place and the amazing plan we have lived out in light of the gospel.

Maybe the greatest, most life changing moments don’t ALWAYS happen at the altar. Maybe they happen in our homes. So maybe it really wouldn’t hurt to invite someone into the tornado debris and toddler tantrums. Maybe here is where they could meet Jesus.

Announced or not, I can welcome visitors in and introduce them to the greatest friend I’ve ever known.

This year, I resolve to keep my door open a little more often, linger a little longer, and tell my frazzled spazzy self to take a hike in the name of Christ-honoring hospitality. To find the heart inside that loves the people Jesus does. Which is, uh, everyone.

Christ-centered hospitality saved my Christmas. Maybe it could save someone’s life. Jesus takes our measly offerings and does pretty awesome things like that.

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What do you resolve to improve in the New Year for the sake of the gospel?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!

 

Fleeting, Flying Time — November 14, 2015

Fleeting, Flying Time

I have found that TIME FLIES on the mission field.

I know that time passes at the same speed in all parts of the world, but it sure does feel like that clock ticks a little more quickly here! Sometimes the days feel so long but by Wednesday, it seems like my week is over and Saturday church rolls around before “Sunday” school is over. We arrived in March. I blinked and now it’s November! And I kind of speak Nepali which is pretty mind-boggling! I remember struggling to say my name and now I’m telling stringing stories together and making sense… most of the time.

I’m a stick-figure version of my former self and if I don’t have gray hair yet, I’m sure it’s on the horizon. How did my daughter’s hair get so long and when did my teensy babe start climbing up our front door? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but my husband has changed too. He is totally in his element. He’ll be nearly Nepali soon.

It’s been 4 months since my parents were here? That mirror we said we were going to fix before they got here is still hanging…still broken. I miss them like crazy, of course, and I know they’d think I’m losing it, but it honestly feels like they were just here. At least I can still ride that high.

Friends in America are having babies I didn’t even know were on the way when we left. People have gotten engaged and married. Others have been diagnosed and gone home to heaven.

The furlough that once seemed so far away now seems right around the corner. I need to get a move on learning this language. It’s about time to start a church!

If I’ve never acknowledged how short life is, and how we aren’t promised tomorrow, after 6 months on the field and some crazy close calls, I’m facing the facts now. The lives of the lost are passing just as quickly without anything to show for it. Am I going to make use of the time God has given me to change the course of someone’s life towards eternity?

Or will I just let the days slip by without much more to show? I remember feeling anxious as a child watching the sand spill quickly into the bottom of the hourglass. Time is just about up. I can’t wait until tomorrow to get serious about the things that matter: filling myself with Christ, reaching the lost, training my children, helping my husband fulfill his God-given calling.

The broken mirror will just have to wait.

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Have you had times in your life or ministry that just seemed to fly by?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

When the going gets tough… — February 5, 2015

When the going gets tough…

The Tough (that’s what I’m calling myself as of RIGHT NOW) gets writing!

It’s a little bit of strange experience returning to my blog. I was never really great at keeping up with it, but I always enjoyed working on the posts I was able to write, and it certainly helped me to process through a tragic time in my life.

I find myself in a strangely similar time, though it is not something I have experienced before. What I mean, is the disappointment of this particular day in my life is much like the disappointment of my due date rolling around.

Like my due date, today was supposed to be a BIG, EXCITING day in my life! After over 2 years of support-raising, we were leaving for our mission field, New Delhi, India. Our last meeting of deputation was over, our support was raised, our bags were packed, we had said our goodbyes. Everything we could do in order to be ready to leave had been done.

Our family at our blessing service at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA.
Our family at our blessing service at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA.
Prayer with leaders at our "last" service at our home church, Grace Baptist Church in Middletown, OH.
Prayer with leaders at our “last” service at our home church, Grace Baptist Church in Middletown, OH.

However, after months of praying, hoping, and trusting the Lord to provide our visa, it did not come. Reality set in on Tuesday when we were forced to cancel our flight and travel plans. We continue to pray, hope, and trust as we wait for an answer from the Consulate of India. You can read more about our visa situation from my husband, who is much more knowledgeable than I, here and here.

Waiting is truly the hardest part. I love the USA, but it honestly pains me to be here right now. As I tried to explain to my mom as our departure date was drawing near, “The only thing harder than going is NOT going.” I am realizing now just how much truth was in that almost prophetic statement.

So, tonight, instead of braving through 15 hours of air-travel with a soon-to-be-3-year-old and an 8-week-old infant, we will be spending a little extra time with our family before we take the next steps as the Lord paves the way for the Taubes.

Bittersweet for sure.

The gift of a ministry — August 10, 2013

The gift of a ministry

I’ve always been a dreamer, and I’ve long dreamed of serving God in BIG ways. I’ve specifically asked that God would use my passion for writing in HIs kingdom work. The answer to that plea, however, was not even close to what I had envisioned or ever would have dreamt up myself.

Though I wouldn’t realize it until a few days later, the answer came on the morning of May 14, as I lay heartbroken in an ultrasound room having received the news that the precious boy I had been carrying for 21 weeks was no longer thriving inside me. We shared the news with family but didn’t let it go much further for a little under 24 hours. I wanted my secret pain to be just that- secret.

I posted a status update on Wednesday morning, 8 hours after Ezra had been delivered and about 5 since we said our final goodbyes: I delivered our precious baby BOY (approximately 17 weeks gestational age) at 12:35 this morning. Sweet Ezra Coleman weighed 5.8 oz and was 7 in. long. We thank God for the gift of life, no matter how short, and we rejoice knowing our son is safe and whole in the arms of Jesus.

It was short and to the point. It communicated my heart at that time, but it didn’t express how painful the experience was. I wasn’t ready to make that public knowledge. Maybe I was putting up a strong front as I had done for my family. I spent much of my time making sure no one was uncomfortable, which, of course,in hindsight, I know was pointless. We were all hurting.

The next morning, when I woke up, along with tears came an idea that seemed like it had been planted in my head: I couldn’t keep this story of grace to myself. I had to write the ways that God was working as He was doing it or else He would never receive the glory that He deserves for sustaining us the way He did during this excruciating time in our lives.

So I wrote. Through tears, through doubts, and devastating grief. I wrote with family next to me, trying to comfort me, but nothing was as therapeutic as putting it down. Writing has always been a release for me. It made me recognize His hand in it all, put into words those He spoke to me, and accept what He had allowed in our life.

But that was not all I hoped for it. I wanted it to, first, bless the name of the Lord, who gives and takes away. I also wanted it to speak to those who had suffered loss or who were experiencing difficulty in their lives. I wanted it to say, “God is good. He knows our pain, and He will carry us.” Finally, I wanted it to speak to those who grieve that have no hope, that I have it only because I have Jesus Christ.

It was hard to do, but I wrote. And people read. People from many cultural, family, and religious backgrounds. I heard from many people whom I had never met who wrote to tell me they were touched by Ezra’s three part story. When Ezra was born, my ministry was born. And though, like his life, it may have been short lived, I am thankful it had its moment.

I will likely never have as many readers as I had those first few days after his birthday. I will probably never have the opportunity to influence like I did during that time, but I do know that I can minister to the heart of each mommy that suffers this kind of loss one heartbreaking case at a time. While my ministry was once many words in the public sphere, the words that mean the most will be the ones silently uttered to my Heavenly Father. I can pray for these women in a way that most people can’t. It may sound strange, but my loss paved the way to a dream come true!

If I had known that being used in a BIG way would mean MAJOR loss in my life, would I dare to dream? I’m afraid I would not. I’m just glad that God is the author of my story, and all He asks of me is to tell it!

 

All Things Added — June 25, 2013

All Things Added

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

At times, I have felt a little silly about how much I don’t know about India, the country to which our family feels lead. For months, we prayed that the Lord would send laborers to India to fill the great need for the gospel among its millions of inhabitants. I don’t think I ever really thought the family to be sent would be the Taube family. However, when it came down to make a decision and begin raising our support, it was a no-brainer. God had put India on our hearts, and it was there to stay! Here is an excerpt from my blog the morning after announcing our plans to begin deputation to reach the country of India:

Last night, during the teachers/workers meeting at Vision Baptist Church, my dear husband wrote me a little note. This is not an unusual occurrence in any given church service or meeting, but this was a very special note.

It read,”Pastor asked me if we wanted to announce that we are going to India tonight.”

replied, “Up to you, babe.”

“Are you 100% in?” Quite a weighty question for note-passing, wouldn’t you say?

After a shorter pause than I would have anticipated, I quickly scrawled, “YES!”

I have to be honest, at this point I knew little to nothing about this country to which we had dedicated our future. In fact, I just about Googled myself to death the night before our first meeting because I was nervous that someone would ask me a question I couldn’t answer and my cover would be blown. I had just about blindly surrendered to serve in a country I was totally clueless about, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

But I felt a peace I couldn’t begin to describe, and aside from the self-consciousness of my ignorance, I really didn’t care that I was so clueless. I had surrendered my life to Christ, and I had submitted myself to my husband. When I told God I would follow Him anywhere I meant it, and I told my husband the same! A few days ago, we returned from our survey trip to New Delhi. I am overwhelmed just thinking about how God answered many questions and provided peace for many concerns during the short time we were able to spend in the country.

Despite my ignorance I have found the promise in Matthew 6:33 to be absolutely true! I’m thankful for my husband’s wisdom as he lead me to seek God’s plan for our lives and trust Him to take care of our needs as we did.

It’s not perfect, of course, and it would have never been my first choice based on the few things I had heard about it in the States. Maybe it’s the comforting peace of knowing we are following the Lord in our lives or maybe it really is just because many things about India really “rock”, but I am feeling great about moving here in the near future! It could also be that the Roberts are doing an awesome job and making it look easy, but I guess we will find out soon enough and have a great example to follow when we do!

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Getting Used to India — June 17, 2013

Getting Used to India

Well, we have been in India since Tuesday night, June 11! It’s definitely been an interesting and eye-opening experience! I’m not shocked that things are different; I had prepared myself for that. But the reality  of actually seeing all of these things and being personally affected by them is a whole other story!

I’ve had time to adjust, and I’m realizing that, while it will be challenging, I can get used to all of these things. 

I can get used to having a “Revolving Door” as Autumn refers to hers.

I can get used to always being the passenger and never the driver.

I can get used to living in a heavily populated area.

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I can get used to only being able to call my family at certain times of the day and not just when I feel like chatting.

I can get used to wearing clothes that aren’t necessarily “my style” (learning to love it!).

I can get used to eating a mostly vegetarian diet that is heavy in spice (I already have! I love the food here!).

I can get used to extremes in weather: the heat, the humidity…even the monsoons.

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I can get used to people ALWAYS being around (maybe).

I can get used to the stares and unwarranted attention.

I can even get used to monkeys in the street (Varanasi).

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What I can’t get get used to, however, is that the masses of people I push my way through are nearly ALL lost. The majority have never even had a chance to hear the gospel I’ve grown up with. I pray that this will be the one thing I will never become accustomed to.

I can’t get comfortable living here and getting by on broken English without constantly being aware of the great need of the gospel in the country that will become my home. The reality of the void of the gospel in this country has to be the fire that fuels me to learn (language, culture, etc) and grow so that we may be able to plant churches, train leaders, and give God ample room to do an amazing work among the Indian people.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard to return to the United States. Not that I just love the way of life here because I don’t (yet). It will be easy to return to my normal American way of life, but in just this short time, I’ve been challenged to want to be here. I want to learn the language (like YESTERDAY!) and culture, and I want to get started in the ministry as soon as possible. My last post was about how much I love deputation, and I do, but I’d like it to hurry up and be over so we can come back to India and get started on what we believe the Lord would have us to do! I’ll TRY to be patient…

I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to come on this trip and to see all that I have seen. Please pray with me that we, collectively as believers, would never get used to the need of the gospel around us. In the US, in India, or wherever the Lord takes us.

Second-hand Confidence — June 5, 2013

Second-hand Confidence

I wanted to share a blog post that I had written on the Women Behind the Scenes blog last November. It’s amazing how the Lord teaches me things in preparation for what I will go through in my life. I have gone back through and bolded the parts that really ‘WOW’ed me!

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“Oh. India…Wow. I’m glad someone is going there, but I’m glad it’s not me!”

On the deputation trail, I have met many well-meaning people who have made this statement or similar ones and have left me feeling very discouraged about our field of choice- New Delhi, India. It’s too hot, too crowded, too scary, too disease-ridden, too closed to the gospel, too big, etc. These people are shocked that I would take my baby girl to such an “unsafe” location. I try my best to be sweet and understanding, and praise the Lord, I have always succeeded. However, sometimes I just want to be a little rude and say what my flesh wants me to say with the tone of sarcasm I have ashamedly mastered, “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

I am both offended that that they think we can’t hack it and that they think our God is not big enough to overcome these obstacles. Then I think, “These are my natural thoughts, too.” My flesh feeds me these lies. True, India IS too big, too scary,etc. BUT it is not too-ANYTHING for God! True, we can’t hack it…on our own, BUT we serve a GREAT God who I have the privilege of seeing work around the world through goer- and sender-friends of mine. Like Paul, they have endured trials in order to make His name great in their fields.

“But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel. So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the Word without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14).

Thanks to these awesome ladies, many of which write on this blog, I am more confident and more bold to speak the Word without fear. Because of Mindy Bush, I know that the Lord can save me, and even use my family as a great testimony, in the midst of violent attack. Because of Jillian Bashore, I know that residents in a country closed to the gospel can come to know the Lord as their Savior. Because of Natasha Tolson, I know the Lord can sustain me in the most lonely and grief-filled times of my life. Because of Holly Pearson, I know that I can conquer my fear of rejection and share my faith with those I encounter in the secular work-force and community.

Any trial I face is merely a small blip on God’s radar; delivering me is just a check mark on his “To-Do list”. I have seen him provide joy for the mourning and rest for the weary. Whatever I endure for His name, I can CHOOSE to have “fall out RATHER unto the furtherance of the gospel.” In other words, I can have a poor-me attitude, or I can have a FOR HIM attitude!

As I do, those who come behind me can feed off of both my failures and my victories to reach their fields in a confidence and boldness that only comes from knowing we are safely in His hands! This confidence can make great change in this lost world.

We all know Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We love to use this as a verse of victory: “I can win souls, I can become wealthy, I can pass this test,” whatever suits our goals at the time. However, verse 12 gives me another perspective: “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” THEN follows, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I can suffer for His name sake through His strength alone, and I can do it with a FOR HIM attitude! As a result, I can influence souls for Christ in the field where He has called my family, and I can make confident those that labor after me. I can have a fun and satisfying life in India. I can raise a happy family that loves the Lord and shines His light around the world. The possibilities are endless because the power of Christ is endless!”

I’m going to India! — May 23, 2013

I’m going to India!

When we found out that I was pregnant with Ezra, we were a little disappointed by one thing alone: I wouldn’t be able to go on our survey trip to India. We came to this conclusion based on my last pregnancy in which I was sick 24/7 and had a hard time accomplishing even small tasks. We figured that a 17 hour flight and 9.5 hour time difference as well as temperatures above 100 degrees would do me in.

At orientation at the beginning of May, however, Bro. Austin Gardner encouraged me to go to India whether it be now or later…AND I decided NOW was best! My morning sickness was tolerable, and I had the second trimester energy I never seemed to find last time around. PLUS: I only needed to seek care for one child and did not currently have a nursing baby to provide sustenance for.

When we returned home from orientation, Paul began the process of applying for my visa. He had the paperwork completed and was going to send it out on Tuesday the 14th. However, that day was also our ultrasound appointment where we found out that our sweet baby was no longer living in the womb. The process was halted as I went into labor and was resumed a few days later.

We praise the Lord that even though this process was started late and halted for a bit, we were able to buy a ticket for the same flight that Paul had booked for himself, and I just heard yesterday that my visa was approved by the consulate and is on its way to our house! Pray with us that it’s not “too much too soon” and that my physical recovery will be entirely complete when we leave June 10th.

It really is a dream come true to go to India with my husband, to finally see the country the Lord has put on our hearts, and to see my sweet friend Autumn who, I’m sure, has very much to teach me from her first few months on the field!

New Delhi, here we come!

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