It’s taken me a couple days to get a grip on life after traveling. I slept 12 hours last night, which was exactly what I needed after traveling home from Bangladesh. Yesterday morning, I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so my head was in a fog all day, but today I am feeling much better.
Before I left for this trip, I was feeling a bit of dread. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, but I was dreading leaving my family, worried about all the details of my job and dreading the long flight.
I spent 55 hours getting to Dhaka, Bangladesh, and then traveled up north to Saldpur, Bangladesh on a nifty little plane, then drove to a remote area to stay at a guesthouse with our team. We spent four days off the grid in one of the farthest location I have ever traveled (I once traveled to and island in Indonesia years ago that seemed as far).
I had no choice but to let go and be a part of God’s plan.
God gave me peace.
With no distractions, with little Internet connectivity, with not much to do but be enjoy the team and the beautiful children, I found myself letting go of everything else. I let go of the anxiety; I let go of control and opened my eyes to what God is doing through Compassion in the lives of people in a remote village, where TV, cars and electricity are non-existent.
We traveled on the back of carts pulled by bicycles, pedaled by men who’s wages barely fed their family a meal a day. At one put, I sat on one of these carts with three others, while a man weighing less then 100 pounds, peddled the bike that pulled the cart. I humbly watched him and felt guilt that my well-fed body caused him to pedal harder. The image of his skinny little body, with his torn clothing, trying to pull us long, is an image I won’t forget. He worked so hard to feed his family.
Surrounded by lush fields, I was struck by the beauty in this place. A cold front from the Himalayas had come in, so it was freezing. The poverty of people left them underdressed and unprepared, yet, in their generous spirit, they brought us blankets, and built us fires out of the hay they would have usually fed their cows with. We stayed warm and comfortable which in itself seemed wrong as I saw so many barefoot without enough warm clothing.
The poor reached their hands out to touch me, and the children lined up for kisses. My hands were held warm by little ones who fought their way to my side. The children would move in so close to me that I could feel their breath. Their smiles and laughter was worth the 55 hours of travel, because once again, I felt the love of Christ through them all. It’s always overwhelming.
I met the faithful, the humble and the meek. I met sacrificial believers, who have given their entire lives to advancing the great commission in order to reach people with the love of Christ.
If there was one word to describe this trip, the word that comes to my mind is…BEAUTIFUL.