Power perfected in weakness

Dearest friends,
It has been quite some time since I have updated you about my time in India. I have so many thoughts, so I apologize if this seems scatterbrained. Currently I am residing in a part of Kolkata known as Barasat.. After some pretty wild adventures, taking the train to Kolkata, stopping in Visaqputnam, and picking up the train again here we are. Barasat is a more rural part of Kolkata, characterized by the rainforest terrain, and intense humidity. Currently we are in the midst of the rainy season. Everyday it rains, and I love it.
 Life here is different than life in Ongole. Life is quieter and simpler. Here I have experienced more “ culture shock”. The city of Kolkata, in the heart of the city, it is crazy, much more of the “India” you read and hear about. Kolkata is definitely a place of extremes. A few blocks down from the nicest mall I have ever seen are slums—beggars and street people are the norm.
I love the work being done here.
Life here is simple.  Everyday we wake up and walk about ½  kilometer to our place of ministry. Every day I am greeted by 17 smiling boys ( mostly between the ages  of 6-10) all exclaiming  “ Good morning Auntie!” and shaking our hands. We spend much of our time teaching English, playing with the children, and teaching bible study. We have also gone to two villages to encourage believers, and share the good news.
 The people in this city refresh me. I see in them devotion and a love for God that is genuine. Their worship and prayer is nothing short of beautiful. The home we are working in has a “staff” of five. One married couple and three men have taken on the massive task of raising 17 little boys. And get this–the majority of the “staff” are in their early twenties. This blows my mind.  Could you imagine taking on such a daunting labor of love at their age?
If you want to know specifics I will share, but one of the most impactful things that I have learned during my time here is that the power of Christ is perfected in our weakness.  In many ways I have felt weak.  But Christ is glorified out of my nothingness. Despite this weakness, I have so strongly felt the love of Christ. I cannot emphasize how sweet my times in prayer and worship have been.
 I have been learning. Like I have not in sometime, I look forward to my time in prayer with anticipation. I have learned to find Christ in “everywhere I look”. I see Christ in the children, in the smiles of friends, in the poor, in encouragements, criticisms, and hardships.
My time here has been incredible, I hope and pray that your summers have been filled with joy, and that you have learned so much! I look forward to being back in the US and seeing you all. Please prepare hugs.
I love you,
Ps. I met a 22-year-old man today who did not know what email or facebook was. Crazy

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