by Kelsi Holmes
Upon returning home to Oklahoma, Kelsi pondered the lessons she learned during her 14 months mission in India:
“I will never forget India. My beloved India. India is entirely unique in its essence. I feel a profound tenderness and kinship for her land and her people.
I think, more than anything, I have been inspired by the spirit of acceptance and servitude that the Indians posses, especially the women. Most of the women we know in our neighborhood have been born into or married into extremely difficult circumstances but somehow, they are able to accept and bear it with dignity and grace. They tirelessly serve their families and when we pay a visit, they do the same for us. Here, service and hospitality is of the utmost importance and, if done well, is truly an art form. From the moment we enter to the moment we leave, we are waited on hand and foot, our needs often being anticipated and met before we ever speak a word. As we bask in the comfort of such great care, they tell us about their struggles and how difficult their lives are. Then they’re back on their feet to finish the cooking and bathe the children and so on.
Despite it all… they are happy. Of course this isn’t true for all of our friends but for any person to bear the weight of such poverty, such heartache, such backbreaking work with a smile and absolute unshakeable faith is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever been privileged to witness.”