Staying in India has been a blessing for it has opened my perspective and my heart. When we drive by in our buses or other means of transportation, we constantly get smiles or waves from many people. You can see the love and the welcome within their eyes. It has been a great experience going to the churches, but it has been the experiences outside that have made me aware of His presence and work. Even when we ride on the train, seeing the countryside and the small huts, there is beauty displayed. There may be large amounts of poverty present, but it is the people’s joy despite their hardships that is encouraging and valued. 

When traveling around this country, I cannot help but notice the juxtapositions that are placed between the poor and wealthy and traditions versus modern practices. You will see beautiful hotels with iron gates, but in front there are people sleeping on the ground with nothing but the clothes that they wear. There are buildings wonderfully made with large arches and golden columns that were built by people carrying the dirt in a bowl on their heads. There is a sense of harmony at play between the paradoxes that are shown. Even when we are in the villages, there is this connection with the land and the life that they live. In the cities full of many people, bustling cars, bikes, and motorcycles, there is peace found within the chaos. I have truly been able to find this. I walk through the streets and find myself relaxed and appreciating what I am seeing and what I have within my life. 

I am looking forward to the next few days, especially practicing yoga and meditation. I am interested at how things will come to play and how His word will be spread through the cultural practices. 

As this journey comes to a close, with only a week left, I feel this sense of conflict within. I would love to stay longer and experience more what India has to offer, but I do miss home. And I am truly excited to see how I will respond to America now that I have gone through this journey. 

My life is my message-Ghandi M

– Nicole

Study Abroad

Darren Duerksen

India 2012