From Katie: Before Casey went to India, she had a hard time getting a Typhoid vaccine. It didn’t even work. But she’s not sorry. Here is her story.
My skin is stained from mehndi (henna) that decorates the tops of my feet. Every day those stains get a little lighter. The designs were drawn in India by four beautiful girls who sometimes speak in Hindi and English and sometimes just in laughter.
My Crossroads Worldwide leader Rory once said “Prayer moves the hand of Him who moves the world.” That phrase stuck with me and became the theme for my two weeks in North India, although I didn’t know it back then.
I contracted Typhoid after the first full day of serving at a youth retreat and spent two days in the hospital. Subsequent days were spent resting and recovering. Apparently the vaccine is not 100 percent effective; puking in the streets of North India can now be checked off my personal bucket list.
If you know me well, you know I’m not a “rest” person. I don’t do downtime. But days of rest turned beautiful as I engaged God in prayer for those around me. First, individual prayers for my team as they interacted with the community: Bradly, Rory, Israel, Mike, Tom, Nate, Isaiah, Justin, Dakota, Catherine, Debbie, Merritt, Malory, Sonya, and our hosting missionaries. Then for the teens we would be engaging. Prayers for those who would come in contact with us. Prayers that lessons would be understood, that hearts would be clear when words were not. Prayers that Jesus pour out mercy to the community. Prayers that we may love them well for the short time we were there. Then repeat.
At night I would hear how my specific prayers were answered in the lives of my team through “Twitter-sized” (and sometimes “Facebook-status-sized”) summaries about what God showed us individually that day. Prayers were answered without leaving my bedroom. I was resting, and God did the work.
With that confidence, Friday afternoon the girls from my team gathered with four young ladies for a Bible study, and then a mehndi party that beautified hands and feet. Communication was a mixed bag as girls from North India blended with girls from North America bound together with laughter and a love for Jesus. And in those precious moments, I prayed for every girl: that she grow with Christ, that her life becomes a better reflection of Him, that she pursues God deeply to become a model of Ephesians 4:1. I prayed these things with confidence, helpless to do more than simply ask God to be gracious.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1 NIV
But maybe that is the exact position God wants us all to be in: confident in nothing but our own inability, paired with trust in His sovereignty. It took Typhoid in India for me to see this beautiful truth. Maybe when we stop relying on our own strength and health and ability, God finally has the space to allow prayers to happen in ways no one would imagine. Maybe getting Typhoid was God’s great mercy on my life because it taught me to rest in my Heavenly Father.
The trip has ended, and I’m home and healthy again. But the confidence I have that God is moving in North India through the prayers of His children will not be forgotten. It is with absolute confidence I pray for my sisters and brothers half a world away, knowing God is answering. When I see the mehndi on my feet, I pray for the people of North India that I met, the missionaries who are still there, and the four beautiful girls that sometimes speak in Hindi and English and sometimes just in laughter.
That confidence in prayer won’t fade, even after my mehndi does.
What are you looking for?