India… Just the word makes me smile! Colors, cows, curry, cold showers, dirt, sweat, tears, children, smiles, kisses, and little brown hands held tightly in mine. Going was hard, but I had no idea leaving would be harder!

God is so good. After long, non-stop days my three roommates and I would get back to our hotel room, sweaty and exhausted, with at least an hours worth of laundry to do by hand, and we would laugh until we couldn’t breathe at all the great moments of the day. In our eight days there it felt like a lifetime passed. 

I got home to my sweet family and tried to give them a clear picture of the world I had just seen. Cows crossing traffic during rush hour makes for some hilarious videos. Eventually I dragged my suitcase to my room, alone for the first time since the trip started. I couldn't go in. In a whirlwind of culture shock I stood at the doorway of my bedroom and wept because I found that the third-world country I had just seen was irreconcilable to my first-world reality. The children I had just fallen so in love with I could not even picture standing in my carpeted, air-conditioned bedroom. 

I had an idea when I arrived in India that I was the rich one. Maybe by some standards I was. And yet in the dirt is where I found the riches of the soul. The definition of “rich” and “poor” currently stands on trial in my heart. 

I miss India, but it's more than that. If the Gospel I believe is only applicable and true so long as I'm at home then I've got it wrong. I don't want just an "American Gospel." Truth applies to all people and if the Gospel I believe is the Truth then that changes everything everywhere I go. 
What's amazing is when you see it, that on the other side of the world God is doing the same thing. The same redemptive work IS HAPPENING all over the world.

This I have seen and will bear witness to with every breath until I’m dead:

The irreconcilable differences between that trip, my home, and my heart are united in one thing. In One Pursuit is the curly-headed American girl bonded with the dark-haired Indian girl as sisters and friends. In One Pursuit is the American dance company at home in the Indian church. In One Pursuit is the worship sung in Tamel the same heart-cry as what I sing in English. In One Pursuit, reader, are you and I part of the same body, the beloved Church, and can both look forward to the coming of our Savior!
Jesus unites his followers in hope, and to know that those little girls who shadowed me the whole trip, even if I never see them again in this life, I’ll one day see in Heaven gives me such an indescribable peace and longing!

God is doing something in this world that is not culturally compartmentalized but is all-consuming, all-uniting, and all-inviting.

Slowly I’m seeing a masterpiece unfold and realizing that the rich life is not what I thought, but something much different: That the greatest is the servant and the janitor is of infinite worth; that statistics have faces and and names and stories; that culture is beautiful, but not as beautiful as people; that God’s provision multiplies everything we have to give; that faith is brave and a pink church in a village shines like a city on a hill; that fear isn’t from God, and that He is a good Daddy. 

Life is more than making a living. The rich life is simply obeying God. He knows what He's doing and He is the same everywhere you will ever go. That is Good News.


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