Greetings from New Delhi

Greetings from New Delhi

Hello! And greetings from New Delhi, India! After a 14 and half hour flight, layover in Dubai, and then another 3 and a half hour flight, we made it safe and sound. We were greeted right outside of customs by our dear friends Abhisheck, Angie, and some of the people at Catalyst. They were holding a sign and had the biggest smiles on their faces. After we all hugged and were introduced, they placed fresh marigold necklaces around our necks. I am not sure I had ever experienced such wonderful hospitality, and it was only the first 5 minutes!

After a short cab ride, we reached our guest house. It is safe to say that none of us have ever been so excited to see a bed! We got all situated, connected to wifi, unpacked (which of course included hanging my 12th man Seahawks flag next to the window), and crawled into bed at 6:30am. The time difference is a bit of a killer, but we are all managing. After waking up, we were greeted by freezing cold showers. Beth said that we were “suffering for Jesus,” but after chatting with Abhisheck, we learned that the hot water heater had been turned off. We can look forward to a normal shower tomorrow, which might sound like a luxury, but when it’s between 80 and 90 degrees, it’s the little things.

For “brunch” we went and had our first taste of Indian food! Sorry Gig Harbor, but you have nothing on the deliciousness of this food! It was such a yummy treat. Granted, my mouth was on fire and my lips were burning, but my sinuses are clear and my belly is happy. I even tried the naan bread, and for someone who is gluten intolerant, that is a big step! Side note- I didn’t get sick from it, so I think I need to move to India? Just kidding. After eating we went to the Catalyst offices. It was wonderful to sit with Abhisheck and hear the story of Catalyst, how they are influencing their city in such a remarkable way, and how their mission aligns so nicely with Chapel Hill’s.

We desire to present everyone mature in Christ. What a blessing to meet the extension of our church community all the way over here in India. Abhisheck and Angie are working to present these women—mature, known, loved, and filled with a grace and joy that is absolutely unparalleled. Upon meeting the girls, I was amazed to see the amount of excitement on their faces. We were all instant friends. I can’t believe that each of them have stories of such pain, but can be overflowing with joy.  God is moving, living, and active. We can see Him through the smiles on the faces of the girls, in the laughter of chasing each other around playing duck duck goose, and in the pure happiness that comes from Beth showing the girls a photo album of the trip from last year resulting in them feeling known, valued, and loved.

Tomorrow we will get to go back to the house, spend more time with the girls, attend church with them, and continue to learn more about the incredible work Abhisheck and Angie are doing here. Please be praying for us as we take all of this in. Our hearts are full, and have even begun overflowing through our tear ducts. Pray that our hearts will continue to break for what breaks the Lord’s and that we will be vessels of light in a country of extreme spiritual darkness. Thank you for being with us on this trip. Your love, support, and prayers have been felt these past couple of days already. We love you all.

Jess Bittner