India {Part 1}

India.

The Incredible India.

That's what one of our local host called it. The Incredible India. And there's probably not a better description of it. Everything is incredible and amplified.

Sights.

Smells.

Tastes.

Sounds.

Everything. At times it was overwhelming. Ashley Stephen {photographer/creative} and myself {SoloHope founder} went to India after receiving an invitation from a couple pastors to see if we could possibly duplicate what we are doing in Honduras to offer empowerment and hope to women of India. Most of our time was spent in Mumbai.

I thought I had prepared myself for what we would encounter in Mumbai but honestly I'm not sure there is a way to fully prepare yourself for stepping into the culture and nuances of India.

I'm not sure there is a way to prepare yourself for a city of 20 million people. A constant hustle and bustle that never stopped even throughout the night. A sea of people adorned in every color imaginable with each sari I see becoming my new favorite. A skyline filled with high rises which housed people, not offices. A collision of the wealthiest and the poorest. A place where bells ring out in the morning to awake the gods. A mix of languages and cultures within itself. A home to stories of hopeful new beginnings and of tragic loss of innocence.

In one city.

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I could paint a beautiful poetic picture before you and pretend that I walked away saying "I can't wait to go back." But that's not the truth.

The truth is it was hard. It stretched me. And honestly left me with more questions than answers as we left.

Before going to India, I weighed the decision to go very heavily and I cannot deny that I felt the Lord order my steps to this new land. The decision to go felt like a commitment being made to the people I had yet to meet. 

And three weeks after arriving back in the States, I'm still exploring what that commitment means. I invite you to explore it with me in this 3-part SoloHope blog series simply but incredibly entitled India. ;)

Emilee