The last few days we have been in the beautiful city of Amritsar. Being walking distance from the Golden Temple, the Mecca for Sikhism, makes me feel like royalty. As we walked to the sacred place, shops lined the streets with knifes and shoe stores. The beauty was overwhelming.  The men bought handkerchiefs to cover their heads and we dropped our shoes off for respect. Our filthy feet were cleansed at the entrance. Walking around the Golden Temple, I saw countless people touching the structure, offering money, washing in the cleansing water, and bowing in respect and prayer to their dietys. I do not understand the majority of the religion, but my respect grows for them as I hear about their values of standing up for what is right and maintaining high respect for their gurus. I have always wondered at the men with turbans that I see at home, but now I have had the pleasure of understanding their religion more. Meeting some individuals that have chosen Jesus as their one and only god has helped build my faith and be confident in my journey with Christ. Theses charismatic individuals are overflowing with stories and questions about their faith. The journey has not been easy for them to reject their family values and religion. One friend of ours was told not to contact his family. I am so blessed to not have to reject my family for my faith. Knowing that many Indian immigrants of America are Sikhs encourages me to remember what I have seen and heard. These people do not know that Jesus is the only way, but they value morals and respect. I hope that in my future I can maintain a higher respect for Sikh individuals. Their giving spirit and devotion is a beautiful characteristic of their religion.

– Gina Hilty 

Study Abroad

Darren Duerksen

India 2012