Friday, July 15, 2011


I left America 18 days ago. This is the longest I have ever been in a foreign country. Today I am having a very chill day. Tomorrow is my 20th birthday. I have been dying to be 20 for years, since most of my friends are older, but now that I'm actually turning 20, I find it very strange. Like I'm entering new territory or something. And I guess I am; I'll no longer be a teenager. This is my first birthday I've spent overseas. New territory of life in new territory of the world.

For most people, if you're reading this you're interested in my trip, hearing about what I've been doing and how God is moving. However, as I'm sure you've noticed, I blog about life and Christ, not so much day to day ministry. This isn't my “mission trip blog,” this is my life blog. I've had it for 3 years. This is my personal online diary that I allow the world to see. I want to be an open book. If you look through older posts, you will find hardship, tears, anger, pain, love, life, renewal, joy, etc. All that being said, if you're just interested in hearing just about my day in India, stop reading now.

Two weeks ago I got the privilege of meeting a little girl named Shabonna. If I told you anything about the ministry I'm working with before I left the country, I probably told you a story about a pair of siblings who would sleep under their mother's bed while she “worked” at night. How their mother got sick and was kicked out of the brothel. How the mother died of AIDS in the street with the kids sitting with her. How BTC picked them up and took them to the AIDS home. How the little brother had AIDS and the older sister told him she would never let anything happen to him. Well when I walked into the Jubilee 4 (the AIDS home), I was met by a bright little girl who introduced herself to me as Shabonna. Before I could even ask my leader if this was the same Shabonna from the story, I knew in my heart it was her. I watched her the whole evening. I watched her leadership, I watched as all the kids came in from school they ran and jumped into her arms, I watched as she held the small children and gave them kisses, I watched as she humbly received gifts just waiting to share them with the other children.

I've shed many tears thinking about this little girl in her hardships. To now see her as the bright shining star of my King, I was filled with so much joy. I look forward to sit down and talk to her for a bit and explain to her just how much she looks like Jesus.

I struggle a lot with condemnation and self-hatred. Even as I write this, I feel the Lord giving me a grace to overcome this huge part of my life and to give a message to the girls at Ashagram. I'm having a hard time trying to organize my thoughts, so forgive me if this is a bit jumbled.

Two of the women on the first India team adopted me as their spiritual daughter, so I now have two spiritual moms; Andrea and Alis. They are amazing women. The night we left Jubilee 4 I was telling Alis that I was so amazed by Shabonna and that I want to be like that. I want to have so much love welling up from inside of me that people are drawn to me. Typing that out makes it sound very arrogant, but I didn't mean it like that at all. I only love because God first loved me and love is not self-seeking. I am not seeking adoration from people, I was seeking the ability to give love better. Alis looked at me and was like, “Casey you already do that. When I looked at Shabonna I thought of you and how much you love people and how they love you. Whenever you step foot at Jubilee 1 and 2 you are surrounded by a group of girls who are latched onto you. You shine bright.” I completely denied it and shoved her statement under the rug of my heart, hidden away, ashamed.

Why would I be ashamed of a compliment? Because of the condemnation I have allowed to choke my life. Jesus planted me in fertile soil, but I let the enemy plant a thorn bush next to me, because I felt I didn't deserve to experience joy.

So here is my stand to freedom. I have lived in a place of self-hatred for too long. I love people and that is a beautiful gift from my Papa. This is not over, but here's to a new start, a new beginning, a new freedom, a new decade of life. (:

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