The last few days have seen me sorting through the digital photos taken by my India team members and deciding which ones I wanted to print and add to my collection. I finally made time today to place my 250+ pictures in a photo albumn as a visual story of my trip. Hopefully, this will help me sort things out and pass the stories on to you as well. Please know that as I type these stories, I have to be careful about places and names. Forgive the generalities.
Story for the night: Girls Bible College in North India.
We stopped by the [Ahdra] Girls Bible College at the very beginning of the trip. They have about 70 students at this 3 year Bible College. We only met the first and second year students because the third year students are doing their "practical ministry." (Imagine six month internship.) As our vehicles arrived at the school, we were greeted by singing and dancing and... two chairs? They motioned our leader and another team member into the chairs and began to wash their feet. Removing the sandals, they bathed the dirty feet in scented water and flower petals before carefully drying them. With the other girls continuing to sing and dance, the girls with the basins continued their job of washing each team member's feet.
For my readers from Sterling College, foot washing is not an unfamiliar practice. Yet this was different. Many of these students had been cast out of their families for following Christ and were now preparing to give their lives on the mission field if necessary--and they were the ones washing my feet? I wanted to take them when they were finished, seat them in their own chairs, and wash their feet. Unsure of the culture, I didn't. But those precious sisters will not be forgotten.