"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable." -Psalm 145:3
The simplicity and complexity of this city astound me.
Everyone lives day to day: enough food for the day, washing clothes everyday by hand, buying medicines and vitamins one pill at a time. Yet, the daily scramble of life here in order to live that daily simplicity is quite complex: multiple trips to the pharmacy, curd shop, fruit stand, grocery store, water store, etc. I try to plan out my walk so I don't have to backtrack, but backtracking is usually inevitable.
When I leave the gates of my guesthouse, I carefully pack all my belongings in my purse, out of eyesight of the street children who will cling to me, begging for my water bottle or whatever I happen to be holding. I step over the puddles of mud and feces, sleeping babies sprawled out on their own pieces of plastic, and dogs curled up nearby full of ticks and fleas. I keep my head down, my eyes on the uneven pavement under my feet. I stay to the left to pass others on the sidewalk.
I come to the major street and quickly glance both ways before weaving my way through taxis, tuktuks, rickshaws, bicycles, and motorcycles to get to the other side. Once I reach the other side, I am verbally hounded by the men that congregate on the street corner selling fruit, t-shirts, or tobacco: "HELLO? How are you?" "Hey baby!" "HELLO! Which country?" This would not be so frustrating if these phrases were said with good intentions, and not yelled out to me at least 30 times a day.
I avoid their eyes, keep my head down, ignore their calls, and continue walking straight ahead, brushing past the man talking to himself and the woman who jingles a tin can at me saying, "Auntie, food. Auntie, water."
I reach the alley Mother House is on, notice the man who has been following my friends and I lately, keep my head down and quickly walk to the entrance. I am greeted by the Sisters' smiles and know I am safe.
I have learned a lot of discernment in this city. I have learned to not smile at the men who smile at me because smiling is an invitation to talk to me, to brush up against my arm, to grab my hand. I can feel their eyes on me as I walk past them, their intentions like lasers to my soul.
It's refreshing when I meet people with good intentions, who aren't talking to me simply because they want to ask something from me or are trying to woo me into marrying them so I can take them away to America. There is so much good in this city, drowned out by so much bad.
But God is still great; His greatness is unsearchable. This is His city and He is in the midst of the chaos, spreading peace, quietly.
Please continue praying for discernment, for wisdom, for peace.
Also, Jungok, our volunteer in the hospital, (see previous blog for details) is doing miraculously better. Everyone in the hospital is saying God's intervention is what is healing her so quickly. She is awake, eating, walking around by herself, which is completely incredible after the head injury she received. Thank you for your prayers! And thank You Lord for glorifying Yourself in this situation!