Friday, February 24, 2012

February 2-4

The Hotel New Balloon in Dehradun
I flew out on Thursday afternoon with a stopover in Amsterdam.  There, I met up with Cris and we flew to Delhi together.  With a brief "nap" at a hotel (about 3-4 hours sleep), we took the early train northward to Dehradun. Vijay and Rajeev met us off the train and brought us to our hotel.

We settled in and rested up a little, and then we had a dinner to go to.  Rajeev had been invited to a family's home for dinner and brought us with.  I was tired and my cold was getting worse, but I did not want to miss an opportunity that God had set before me.

Before we went, he told us that the two older sons had both committed suicide.  The house was filled with strife, there was no peace.  He had met with the family after they lost their sons to counsel and pray with them.

The home was beautiful, they are well to do people or "hi-fi."  We were received in a sitting room and visited with the couple and their son, Moon.  To our surprise, we found out that it was the wife's birthday.  She said she was very honored to have us as guests!  Now, if I had unexpected guests (I didn't know we were unexpected) for my birthday dinner which involved making more food, more clean up and serving people while I ate in the kitchen, it would not have been a happy time.  But in that culture, it is a true honor to have the privilidge of serving guests, especially foreigners for a special day.

She brought out her birthday cake and we sang to her.  Then she fed us each a piece of cake with her hand, a tradition I had heard about, but hadn't experienced until then. We prayed with them and then we went to dinner.  It was delicious yet spicy and we ended it with a sweet and coffee.  Afterward, the family surprised us by giving us a gift.  The woman said that she had been honored to have us with them for their birthday, and it was the best birthday that she had ever had.

Their home is now filled with peace, after the restoration of their marriage and healing in their family.  There was a sadness sometimes when they talked of having one son, but the strife was gone.

It is humbling sometimes to think that all I was doing was going to someone's house for dinner and blessed a woman with having her best birthday.  And yet, I believe that this visit and everywhere we went, each place was a divine appointment.  This was one sweet taste of what the trip would be like.

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