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17

That tree has 17 branches and I’ll never forget it. I used to stare at it all the time. 6 years ago, I was at a school/program called Youth With A Mission (YWAM (YouthWithoutAnyMoney/YoungWomenAfterMen/Y-not?)). For those who don’t know, it’s a Christian organization where you go to classes for 3 months and then a mission trip for 3 months. Their slogan is, “To know God & make Him known.” I was in an art based YWAM in Herrnhut, Germany, and I was scared out of my mind. I was scared of people, how much bread I was eating, and now the time had come that I was scared to go to India for 3 months. I wanted to go home & skip out on the outreach section. But I did tell God that I would go to India if He gave me a sign.  

I must’ve really wanted to go despite my fears because I looked hard for that sign. On my walk home up “slow death” (what everyone called the hill we walked up everyday), God told me to look at the tree in our backyard when I got home and count the branches. I counted and sure enough, there was 17- the number of people on the team going to India. I counted again & again. 17. It was just what I needed. That little (well, actually kind of dramatic) sign made the decision to go much easier. & those three months were a game changer! I grew closer to Jesus, and actually became friends with him. I learned what it was like to let people in. I didn’t completely learn HOW to in India, but it was a step. I learned to never take my ukulele on overseas trips again- so annoying. I learned the beauty in letting go.

I learned that I was funny (!!!).

I learned that the more bananas you eat, the more mosquitoes will bite you. I learned that God’s peace & presence is available everywhere. Feeling out of place in a foreign country is like the fast track for learning how to cling to God. A lesson I kind of always forget, that getting out of your comfort zone can be the best thing for you. Thanks Jesus. Thanks YWAM. Thanks India.

another note: I accidentally left my phone on the window sill in Germany when we went to India & took way less pictures because of it. So, with that being said, I need to go back to take more photos!!

Here’s more pics including the majestic tree:

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