I was having an interesting conversation with two friends yesterday. We were talking about the differences between countries. I studied international business so cultural differences were a big part of my learning experience. It’s funny how YES means NO in certain countries. In some countries, people shake their heads to say YES. It is also important to know that, in some countries, it is inappropriate to bring gifts at a business meeting, in other countries, it is a must. Clearly, the world is a big ball full of different cultures. It is important to take the time to travel. And by traveling, I do not mean vacationing. These are two different things. I am talking about going somewhere new so you can get out of your comfort zone, so you can think about other things than your own comfort, so you can get your hands ‘dirty’ in a foreign culture, so you can grow mentally and spiritually.
I’ve always had an adventurous soul. My dad always called me ‘Brave’, ‘My brave Sophie’. I like the unknown, the weird feeling in my belly, the mixture of excitement and fear. I really believe that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Most of people spend their lives in a box without even knowing it. When was the last time you did something crazy? when was the last time you served others? You know that Love makes the world go round? Do you?
After my salvation, God started to talk to me in mysterious ways: dreams for example. Many things changed in my life and i knew i needed to share it with people. The unconditional love of Christ that too many people never experienced. God told me i needed to go to India…to serve, to do humanitarian work. At first I wanted to go to Brazil for a professional internship but i learned to listen to His voice.
I was reading a book about missionary work in India. The miracles that happened over there after little kids learned about the love of Christ! It is incredible. This got me really excited and nervous about going over there. Before accepting the offer, i asked if I would be allowed to talk about Jesus to the little kids I will be working with. When they said Yes i knew it was a Go. I want to share some of my thoughts with you. How do I feel about going to India for 2 months?
Well… first of all, i have peace about it. I know that if He wants me to go, it is for a reason.
I am also really open. I don’t want to miss out on anything over there. I want to see the ugliest side just like the prettiest side of the country. I want to meet people from different backgrounds. People who will change my perspective on certain things. I want to meet people who will reduce even more my love for the material and increase my love for the important things of life. I want to share spiritual experiences with strangers who will become family. Pray with them, eat with them, laugh with them, and I’m pretty sure I will cry with them.
I want to eat with my hands and cry because the food is too spicy. I want to wear a saree and get used to it. I want to get henna tattoos, plenty of them. I want to take pictures of the most random street scenes. I want to hug kids and share stories with them. I want to forget my culture for two months and blend in a different one. I want to help, not to get a feeling of accomplishment for myself, but to completely forget myself for a while and fully love others.
I want to see plenty of elephants in Kerala! I want to visit the Taj Mahal in New Delhi. I want to get my memory card full with memories. I want to jump on a train and go to a different city with a backpack and $100 in a wallet. I want to discover new landscapes. I want to be amazed. I want my hunger to discover to grow bigger and bigger. I want my soul to get richer. I want my pockets to get emptier and my suitcase heavier with souvenirs. I want to leave India with a heart full of joy and satisfaction.
I pray that angels guard me while I’m over there so I can do my father’s work. I pray that I will be able to keep close contact with my friends and family almost every day and that I will go back home with many stories to share with them.
How do I feel about India? Excited…a little scared…a little nervous…a little curious….a mixture of everything…
A travel lover