India (part 1)   3 comments

Well, I finally have a minute to sit down and share about my week in India, having returned last Sunday afternoon and started work Monday morning with 7 hours at Lynchburg College library and 4 hours of mowing grass.  It’s been a long two weeks and I’m grateful to finally be able to catch my breath today.  As many of you know, I served among the poor of India for 10 years and left behind a school and clinic for the poor.  I returned to the U.S. because I had been suffering deep depression for four years, which finally started dragging down my spiritual life.

I felt like a great failure.  Because of this blackness that surrounded my time in Kolkata, I spent the next decade avoiding any thoughts about those years.  Even with my wife, I shared only a brief synopsis.  It was this spirit-crushing sense of failure and the accompanying shame that drove me to a crisis discovery about myself and God, a lesson about grace that I have been sorting through since 2000.

In the last few years the administrative tensions between the Indian director and board had reached an impasse, and they asked me (as the founder) to come try to sort things out.  I realized that this would open once again the floodgate of feelings that I had dammed up all these years.  When I agreed to go I started thinking once again about India.  My greatest suffering there sprang from my shattered sense of worth based on my perceived failures, and as I processed with Kimberly I realized those cracks in my soul had been largely healed as I applied grace to the wound.  The timing, therefore, was providential.  I was ready to open up to that chapter of my life, to work at integrating those experiences into myself.

My week there was difficult as I got little sleep and was weighed down with a task that seemed unsolvable: the director had legal ownership of the land on which the school was built, and the board had all the money for running the school and paying the staff (including the director).   It was a power struggle waiting to happen, and for various reasons was largely my fault for setting things up as they were.  I did the best I could at the time, so I don’t feel culpable.  Perhaps I should rather say it was largely my responsibility.  I went 14 days ago with a plan that I thought would work, and it didn’t work.  I started to fast and pray as I had done so often before in India.  On the last day, at the last moment, we had a breakthrough, a resolution that seems likely to work.  I will continue to interact with the two parties to finalize the details, and if necessary, will return to India in December to complete the process.

Many thanks to your supporting thoughts, words, and prayers.


Posted August 27, 2011 by janathangrace in Personal

Tagged with

3 responses to “India (part 1)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Just came back from India and was saddened by those unfortunate people , yet they survive. Whatever good deeds you did for this people, I’m sure it will be paid off. Be strong and may the force be with you.

  2. Thanks for your supportive words. We do have about 350 children in school who would otherwise have been uneducated and trapped in poverty.

  3. As you said “…so I was able to take pleasure in the good things God had done through me in India.” Do you have pictures and/or a video tape of your final day with your friends? Would love to hear their voices singing even though I will not be able to understand their words. May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Risen Jesus. Wayne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: