June 11, 2008

Day 26- Varanasi

After riding the train for about 11 hours from Calcutta, we arrived yesterday in the oldest and holiest city in India, Varanasi, home of the Ganges river. The frustrating thing has been that it is very difficult to appreciate the culture, rituals, or religion because it often seems that we are walking dollar marks. It's hard not to want to withdraw and get jaded, but at the same time this is just one of the ways these people who are poor make money. The questions about taking up my own cross and allowing myself to get cheated and what does it mean to love these people who are so different continue to sound in my ear.
  • Slept well on the train.
  • Varanasi, probably because of the river, has a repugnant and strong smell. Plus the city all around has a different feel, animals fill the streets, especially cows.
  • We were able to view part of a funeral ceremony yesterday. Traditionally, Hindu's want to be burned and spread or floated along the river.
  • Last night we met a Hindu Christ follower. We talked with him for about 5 hours. I feel like we've been waiting to meet him since Minneapolis. We had really good conversation and many questions were answered.
  • It's strange knowing that I only have 6 or 7 days left until I'm home. I missing Charlotte more, so pray that I'll be able to be here and remain engaged. Also, please pray for camp stuff. Youth leave this Sunday for camp and I fly in on Wednesday and will probably go to camp either that night or Thursday.

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