Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Setbacks and Miracles

Dr. Collins has arrived. It's a miracle! 
(this post is a day behind due to technical difficulties)

Really, it is. He went to the airport Friday morning only to find out his flight would not be making the trip to Newark, therefore, he was not going to make his connection to Germany and on to Chennai. All the strings in the world could have been pulled and it still wasn't going to get him to India Sunday. He finally rolled into Rising Star at 2:30 this morning, parked his excessive baggage in the middle of the room, and passed out for a few hours before starting clinic this morning. As you can see, his "kids" have been anxiously awaiting his arrival and he couldn't wait to see them either. (love how they spell his name!)

Let's back up a few days.

Early in the week, the one working machine decided to quit. It's hard to put into words the frustration of being here to do a job and not having the tools to do it with. I had already changed from plan A to plan B to plan C because of my bad luck with anything electronic. I wish I had the energy to tell you all the things that went wrong. Let's just say it was like a bad game of dominos.

If you've followed my stories closely, you'll already know they usually never ever end bad. They just start out that way. The quick version goes like this: An unexpected donation from a friend arrived in the very moment we needed it which allowed us to purchase another new dental unit - overnight. A volunteer coming to India was contacted and happily agreed to transport the box. It arrived today.

When you view this next picture, won't you please play the hallelujah chorus in your mind? Miracles. Miracles. Miracles.

Thursday morning I arrived at the clinic a little earlier than usual and when I opened the door, a sacred scene awaited me. Kneeling on the floor of the dental clinic were three Indian women, beautifully dressed, fervently petitioning to God. The dental clinic for me had instantly become hallowed ground.

I slowly closed the door and sat on the steps while I waited for them to finish. Sitting there I realized how ungrateful I had been - in my haste to get to the clinic that morning I had somehow forgotten the most important part of my day. I said a prayer in my heart as I sat on those tile steps - already hot from the morning sun, taking in the beauty of the mango trees surrounding me. I prayed for knowledge and strength and wisdom and compassion through my work that day. I prayed for setbacks to be in a little less abundant supply. And I expressed gratitude for these experiences. I continue to learn so much more than I teach here.

I sometimes wonder why the road is paved with so many potholes (and poop) but I am learning that wisdom doesn't lie in the quest to answer that question.

After our troubling day, I walked into Ashley's room. She is the volunteer coordinator who is also a dental assistant, and has been by my side through this whole thing. As we were talking, something caught my gaze out her window. I said, "Ashley, do you realize there is an Indian guy in a skirt building a brick wall right outside your window?"

We busted a gut! But not before she grabbed her camera and remarked how perfectly normal this had all become to her and how she is feeling an urgency to really start to notice again and soak it all in before she returns back home to the U.S. The drivers and attitudes and flies and bugs and cows and goats and rickshaws and bare feet and dirt and huts and miscommunications and smells and noises and squatty potties and bucket showers and heat and diseases and line jumpers and tea and chakra and poverty and crowds and horns and humility and pride and men holding hands...and men wearing skirts. To work.

Some other great moments in India:

The cow at the beach

The goat who got in our kitchen and ate all the bananas

The expression on Jaxon's face when he found a chocolate shake on the menu

The way they do motorcycle vs. bus accidents

The way we do church

Now enjoy some of the pics from Aaron's first day in the clinic:

Waiting room problems

Can I have favorites???? Jaxon and Veeran <3


  1. This is such an amazing experience!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love the potholes, love the miracles, I even love the poop- indeed it is where the wisdom lies in those crappy moments in life that bring us to contemplate how truly miraculous te miracles really are! <3

  3. Hugs and prayers! Love reading your posts! OXOXOX