Their Joy is Ever Present
Heads pop out of doorways and eyes follow us as we walk down the alley towards the Catalyst House. A group of 7 western women must seem odd to the residents of this neighborhood village. We reach the entrance to Catalyst and can hear the giggles of the girls before we even step inside. Once up the steps and in to their meeting room, we are surrounded by hugs and welcomes. The girls are excited to see us, to learn what activity we’ve planned for them.
What could be more common than baking chocolate chip cookies? Out come the ingredients and the mixing begins. We taste test the difference between chocolate chips from India and Nestle chips from America. More giggles. Eyes grow wide when they taste the sweetness of the American chips. The cookies are secondary to the relationships being built as flour and sugar are measured and the batter is being stirred. “What did you think of Worship this morning?” we are asked. “Do we need more flour?” “Tell me about your family?” “Can we take your picture.” More laughter.
Now the residents have a surprise for us….beautiful, jewel tone saris. The girls deftly wrap us in the saris and place a sparkling bindi mark on our foreheads. We sit and they lovingly create henna masterpieces our on hands and arms. They fix our hair. We are served a dinner at a long table, the girls constantly checking to make sure we are well taken care of.
We came to serve, yet they are the ones serving us. Their joy is ever present as they give.
I ask a 15 year old what she wants to do when her schooling is finished. “I will become a lawyer. But that is my father’s dream.”
“But what is your dream?” I ask her.
Without hesitation she says, “One day I will become a businesswoman who tells people about Jesus.”
So I ask, “What exactly will you tell others about Jesus?”
“That he loves us. What else is there?”
So true. What else is there besides this simple truth that Jesus loves us. We see that through their service to us. The joy of Christ is evident in the smiling faces of these girls whose lives seem nearly impossible to us. They see the hope that Christ brings and that hope is contagious.
We too often despair when looking at world conditions. We take our eyes off of Christ and the truth becomes elusive. Their act of service, the witness of the love of Christ, the complete trust these young women have placed in Jesus brings hope to a world which would try to convince us that there is no hope. What an inspiration they are to us, to remember to keep our eyes fixed on our One true hope.
We ask for your continued prayers as we journey with the girls at Catalyst, that relationships can be forged, that we can come alongside as encouragers. We thank you for walking with us.
On behalf of the team,