Our New Home

8 Jul

It was late in the evening when we finally arrived to our new home, and though we were tired, excitement peaked. We couldn’t wait to finally explore the place we would be living for the next three months! Our new home is a bubble gum pink, three story building nestled in the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods I have ever seen. The entry is a creaky gate, stiffened by years of rust, with a small patio for shoes. After opening the front door we spotted the long dining room table lined with mismatched metal and plastic chairs crammed in on each side in a feeble attempt to fit our very large team. To the right are two very small bedrooms and a squatty (a small hole in the ground used as a substitution for a toilet in parts of the world where plumbing is a challenge). Also on the bottom floor is a small kitchen for washing dishes.

As I walked up the narrow cement stairs to the second floor I noticed our new neighbors waving to us from the street. I smiled and waved back, anxious to meet these beautiful people. The second floor is the girls’ floor, which is basically everyone since we only have four guys total on our team (they live on the third floor.) The space is made up of three tiny rooms and a main area and three bathrooms, if you could call them that. Small green metal cots are packed in on nearly every square inch of floor space to accommodate the 15 girls that will live in this space. We all rushed to grab beds and unpack. I chose a cot in the farthest room. The room is approximately 8 feet by 12 feet with the three cots taking up most of the space. There are a few shelves for our clothes and things and we even have a bathroom.

The bathroom consists of a faucet and a large bucket, our new mode of showering for the next three months, a rusted old Western toilet, and a hole in the ground for a drain. To shower, we fill the bucket with water (cold is the only option) and use a cup to dump the water over our bodies, trying to catch the water back in the bucket to conserve what little water we have. Another interesting inconvenience is the plumbing situation. Though there is a lever that you can pull to flush water through the toilet, the plumbing is poor. Toilets are constantly clogging leaving an unpleasant aroma seeping through our living quarters.

Our mattresses are another point of discomfort. Harder than your average rock, they provide little support or comfort for an aching body after a full day of ministry. But I am young, and my body can take a beating quite well.

Electricity is always an iffy thing. Sometimes the lights work, sometimes they don’t. Some days charging your camera battery is out of the question, and with 20 people fighting over three power outlets, getting 20 minutes of charging time a day is like winning the lottery. And worst of all, when the electricity is out, the fans can’t run, which leaves our house feeling more like an oven.

Probably the worst torture of all concerning our living conditions is the mosquitoes. I currently have a mosquito bite the size of a grapefruit on the back of my thigh and nearly 30 other bites all over my body. The itching is unbearable, and the bugs don’t seem to respond at all to repellent.

On a positive note, the food is incredible. Today’s dinner was naan bread, coconut rice, chicken, and chai tea. The chai is the best in the world, a much-appreciated delicacy.

Though the living conditions are tough, I have never been happier. This is exactly where God wants me to be, and He has provided grace in abundance, sufficient to get me through any test of my comfort level. So am I suffering for Jesus? Hardly. Though this is no paradise, it holds no comparison to the sufferings of the many missionaries who have gone before me, and those now in prisons and in hiding from the persecutions they face in the name of Jesus Christ. My life is blessed. My life is exciting, adventure awaits, and the work I am doing hold eternal significance. The Good News is spreading like wild fire here in India. The harvest is coming. Stay tuned.

A squatty.

My Shower.

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7 Responses to “Our New Home”

  1. Bloghopper July 9, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    I really enjoy reading your blog.I hope someday I also get the chance to travel the world like you do and see things in a different light.I hope ur trip to India will bring about some refreshing change & u will emerge stronger from the difficulties that u hv to go through.So looking forward to ur upcoming posts. 🙂

    • erikaearl July 17, 2010 at 4:08 am #

      Thank you so much. I pray that God will bring you great blessing as you journey through life.

  2. Arlinda July 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Praise the Lord…I will keep you in my prayers…your work is truly a God send…

  3. Arjun Pandava July 16, 2010 at 3:23 am #

    Although I still don’t agree with what you’re doing in India, or your views on certain other religions, I have some advice to make your stay slightly more comfortable. You can buy repellants for mosquitos, they come in flat spirals that you put on a stand. Once the coil is lit, it will burn for most of the night. Judging from the large number of people in your group, I’m thinking you’ll need multiple coils to suit your needs. If your prefer incense, that will work too. Any kind of smoke really..

    • erikaearl July 17, 2010 at 3:54 am #

      Arjun,
      Thanks for the advice. I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I bought a net. I’m doing much better now. God bless you.
      Erika

  4. how to get over an ex August 3, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Some individuals just don’t get it, like my boyfriend who couldn’t visualise the actual meaning of this line on your article “… The chai is the best in the world, a much-appreciated delicacy.Though the living conditions are tough, I …” this is it, you just crushed it down pal.

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