How do you like my house?

This morning I woke up thrilled to have gotten a solid four hours of sleep but completely unaware that the day before me would prove to be one of the most momentous days of my life.  Today we visited the slums that have arguably made Calcutta so famous.  Just when I thought I had seen poverty in its purest form, we took a giant leap into a whole different echelon. I should warn you in advance that I am a sloppy mess today.  My hard heart finally broke today and it spilled itself all over the streets of Calcutta.

First, we headed to the program site where several hundred bright-eyed children greeted us, fifty of whom do not have sponsors yet.  Almost all of the children at this site are from the slums.  This group of children brought me unspeakable joy.  My heart hurt when we had to leave them.  Check some of them out.

After playing with the kids, our team then set out for our home-visits in the slums.  During the home-visits we go along with several of the Compassion children and we survey their living conditions and listen to their stories.  Most of all, we get to inquire to our heart’s content about how Compassion’s child sponsorship program has changed their lives.  So, we parked our van and huddled around Spence, as he warned us with unusual sobriety that we needed to be extremely careful taking pictures in the slums.  We were informed that had the Compassion India field staff not accompanied us, we could have been in danger walking in the slums.  So, with this slightly unsettling piece of information, we made our way through and we saw unimaginable things right before our eyes. 

People half naked bathing with filthy water on the uneven and trash-infested streets.  Pre-teen prostitutes with painted faces hanging out of a door in the red-light district just to make as little as 50 cents per “job”.  A six-month old infant lying alone on a bed in a shack without any supervision *for the entire day* since both his parents are out working daily labor jobs and living desperately from hand to mouth.  These are the kinds of things people try to keep themselves from admitting actually exist.  But they do.  

Seven out of ten of us climbed and packed ourselves into the home of Kiran Mallik, a precious twelve-year old girl who melted all our hearts like butter.  The other three couldn’t fit.  It was the tiniest little shack I have ever seen, if you could even call it a shack.  It was considerably smaller than a twin bed.  A family of five lives in it.  Here is Pete bending over to look inside:
One more time in case you’re skimming this post, a family of five lives in this shack.  It certainly isn’t the filthiest of the shacks we saw in the slums but we were hard-pressed to understand how five people could even fit it in at one time since we were all kneeled down very uncomfortably.  And then we found out that some of the family actually sleeps on the streets at night because there simply is not enough room.  Here is a picture of Kiran standing outside her house.  Look at her smile. Talking about stealing the heart of you.

We kneeled around and listened to Kiran tell her story through a translator.  Her beaming smile and joyous spirit were enough to distract from the oppressive heat.  She told us about how she loves to study, how much she loves Jesus, and how she wants to be a teacher someday. 

And then she asked us, her guests, with a genuine smile on her face as though she was taking us on a tour of her mansion:

“How do you like my house?” 

Can you remember what it felt like to break up with your first love? Okay, now multiply that by about a million.  It was like a dagger in my heart.  I didn’t just want to cry.  I wanted to completely lose it.  But I joined in with the rest of the team, who were likely feeling the same way, and we all said, “We love it.  It is beautiful.”

And I thought of the times that I’ve told my husband I don’t want to have a certain couple over to our apartment because our dining room table isn’t big enough.  I thought of the times that I’ve been “ashamed” to invite friends into our home because it isn’t fancy enough or we don’t have enough chairs or our sofa isn’t comfortable enough.  The countless times I’ve complained about the paint color on the walls.  

There I was.  A Compassion sponsor. Being mentored by a Compassion child on what is really important in life. I realized that we often assume people are completely hopeless just because they don’t have the material wealth that we deem necessary for a quality life. But sometimes those who are in the most difficult circumstances know best of all where to find hope.  Kiran sure did.  She had hope because through God’s grace via Compassion International she has a safe place to learn, to get a hot meal, and to hear more about Jesus.  

Two seconds away from completely losing it: 

I’ve often wondered how an average middle class American becomes a social activist.  I think I’m beginning to understand.  I’m not saying that I am one.  I’ve already admitted, I’m just not that brave.  What I am saying is something similar to what N.T. Wright said in Simply Christian, “The world in its present state is out of tune with God’s ultimate intention.”  Today as I walked through the slums in Calcutta something rose up with protest in my soul with a resounding “NO!”  This is not the way it is supposed to be. 

 “The cry for justice in the world, then, must be taken up and amplified by the Christian church, as the proper response to the voice of the living God.  The gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Spirit indicate that there are ways forward…Christians should be energetic in advocating and pursuing that justice for which all human beings long and which burst upon the world, in a fresh and unexpected way, through Jesus.” (N.T. Wright, Simply Christian, 228)

When I was asked to go along on this trip to Calcutta, the honest truth is that I wasn’t jumping out of my skin with excitement.  I really was too busy at work to be taking a week and a half off and I knew it would put more stress on me when I got back.  But here was the rub: I was studying James 1:27 at the time.  You know that really inconvenient verse that defines true religion before God our Father as looking after orphans and widows in their distress.  The way I would apply this verse is that we are to look and care for the most vulnerable people groups in our local communities and of our world at large.  There was no denying that the children in the slums of Calcutta qualified as some of the most oppressed and vulnerable people in our world.  I’ve learned a whole lot about James 1:27 from reading commentaries, periodicals, and whathaveyou; but I will tell you that I have learned just as much if not more about the scope of the verse from actually entering into conversation with the real flesh and blood reality of poverty and social oppression.  From actually touching the children from the slums and being touched by them.  

Today one of the children grabbed my hand and when she let go, I didn’t want her to.  In that moment I felt I needed her as much as she needed me.  The Scriptures are too profound just to read in isolation of the real world. They must be read and lived.  To be interpreted correctly, they must be performed.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is too big, too cataclysmic, to be left on the page.  They should burst forth from our reality.

Tomorrow is the big day when we get to meet our sponsor children! Please do check out the posts from my fellow bloggers.  Actually, they are no longer just my fellow bloggers, they’re my friends.  A special bond has been forged. They are people who have dared a selfish coward to stare into the face of poverty. People who are willing to face the reality of a broken world, to have their hearts torn apart, and then to use whatever is left of it to usher in the kingdom of God here on this earth. 

With Love,



201 Responses to “How do you like my house?”

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  1. 151
    Lovesgarlic says:


    Thank you for sharing your deep emotions over the sights and sounds of this slum. It raises so many complicated emotions in me – which is a good thing. Thank you for being so honest about how it broke your heart. The girl had/has learned the secret of being content in all things as Paul said. How powerful to read those words – how much more so to encounter someone radiating them out to you in a living story.

    I was similarly moved by an encounter with a mature christian believer in Haiti – who also happened to be a child (around 12 years old). I realized, at the time, that I had never met such a mature believer. It wasn’t (my thinking) a slam against those from home. It was just a wonderful eye opener – that there was more I could have of the Lord! I just never knew I could have Him like those kids had Him in Haiti.

    Your blogs have really inspired me to do more for the children we sponsor. We had been sending the checks, but not much more. I somehow thought that they didn’t really want to hear from us – or that there would be nothing to say.
    That seems silly and self-absorbed now that I write those words out.

    I also really love the part about how you didn’t want to invite people over because your dining room table was too small, etc. I have been doing that very thing as well and didn’t even grasp that this was so backwards! Wow, what an eye opener! Thanks Siesta!

    I have been praying for you this week, thinking about you guys there trying to take everything in.


  2. 152
    HIS Daughter says:

    I just had time to read your post, Melissa and I am sick in my heart and crying.

    You so get it, Melissa. Never let this feeling of truth leave your beautiful heart.

    I am praying for you and your group and those girls and children with a heavy heart.

    I want to scream out at the injustice as well, Melissa, but not at Our Father.
    I want to scream it out as loud as I can to the Christians in the U.S. and me as well.

    As Matt Chandler said one Sunday, “GOD is so moved I’m sure as Americans cry out in the downturn of the ecomomy and bewail that they can’t pay for another cell phone or the kids can’t go to another sports camp.”

    When I hear us and me, just like you said, and I see those faces I make myself sick.

    The U.S. is not being punished for wickedness in those that never knew HIM. If we are being punished at all its because we have forgotten the widow, the orphan, the sick and the dying and the oppressed in favor of fighting over theology and which team has it “right”.

    Small minds, with small thoughts of a GOD who is holy and who will not forget the rich, fat and gluttonous among us sitting in our beautiful buildings studying the theology of GOD, wrangling over words and phrases. All the while the starving children die everyday.

    Father forgive me for wanting to smack the living daylights out of everyone of them and me. Talk about Laodecia…that should be our name…The Church that is in US of Laodecia…

    Sorry I went on a rant, but I’m sad and angry both..BUT GOD is faithful and I believe that.

    I love you for being you and expressing your love for HIM and the least of these.

  3. 153
    ocean mommy says:

    “The gospel of Jesus Christ is too big, too cataclysmic, to be left on the page. They should burst forth from our reality.”

    I was broken before I read but those two statements have sent me to my knees.

    Oh Melissa, thank you for slapping me across the face this morning.

    Praying hard for you all

  4. 154
    Pam says:

    What a beautiful post. I have been following the trip, but this is the first comment from me. I follow Angie’s blog regularly. My son was born in Kolkata. We spent 4 days there when we went to adopt him. The sites, smells, sounds are things that will never leave me as long as I live. Thank you for so beautifully challenging people in this way. It does my heart so good to see that other people are “getting it” and actively doing something to help these precious, precious children/families.
    In Him,

  5. 155
    Dana says:

    Melissa, Thank you for sharing and for challenging me today.

  6. 156
    Terri says:


    I am not a blogger, but I read this one faithfully. Your blogs this week have hit me in the deepest part of my soul. This particular one slapped me across the face. For the past seven years I have been decorating homes in the Houston area. I find myself walking in to places critiquing the decor and design. I have people over to my house but apologize for the carpet we can’t afford to replace or the horrible pink tile in the kitchen. I tell God everyday how much I love my house and then proceed to complain about the cosmetics of it. Never again! Kiran’s house is beautiful because it is decorated with her heart.
    After yesterday’s blog, my daughter and I got on to the Compassion site and sponsored a young girl named Bali in the Utthan Compassion ministry. Her birthday is May 10th and we are hoping this is a good gift for her. We can’t wait to start exchanging letters.

    God Bless…

  7. 157
    Nesha says:

    So many tears in my eyes right now and my mind is just turning. Priceless is the picture of Kiran and you together! Prayers for you and the team still coming!

    There is a boy we have ‘adopted’ that lives across the street that is not shown love from his parents. I know that feeling and openly welcomed him in almost 5 years ago to our family. A few years ago we were biking together and he said “I wish I had a family like this, oh I do, you adopted me” so heart breaking. Lately though he has started to turn away since now he has to take care of his 3 yr brother more and more.

  8. 158
    Maria Cristina says:


  9. 159
    Miranda says:

    Wow. That is amazing. I just found out that I’m going on a mission trip myself this summer. Bless God. I’m just a college student who is interning right now, not making a dime.

    And someone chose to bless me and pay for my trip. Wow! I’m so excited to go on my first missions, and these updates touch my heart so much! Thank you!

  10. 160
    Meghan says:

    I have been following your posts and my prayers have been with you even though I have not had a minute to spare to post.
    I became a prayer partner for Warm Blankets a couple of years ago and recieved pictures of two little orphaned boys from Cambodia that were mine to pray for. I have always wanted three children; I gave birth to a girl 5 years ago. I have not been able to have another, but have come to terms with it. When I recieved those pictures the love that poured out of me could have only been from the Holy Spirit. I loved them instantly as though they were my very own. I can not hold onto them, but I can pray for God to. I can not teach them to love Jesus with all their hearts, but I can pray for God to send just the right person. I can not take care of them when they are sick, but you better believe that I pray like the dickens for God to. I am truely a mother of 3. God alone can put love in our hearts for children we have never met, or people we can not even speak to with out a translator. It reminds me of Beth’s hairbrush story, sometimes we a just called to love.

  11. 161
    Linda says:

    I am one of those selfish ones too Melissa. The Lord has been working on my heart in this area for some time. A visit to one of the parks in my own city, where the homeless congregate affected me in such a profound way.
    You, dear girl, have written in such a beautiful way the Lord’s heart. We absolutley must live out the word.
    Praying for all of you with gratitude for your willingness to be obedient.

  12. 162
    Anonymous says:

    These posts have been powerful!

  13. 163
    Traveling Fig says:

    I worked for an organization like Compassion for 5 years and have seen the poverty you are experiencing. It will forever change your life and perspective.

    Thank you for telling the story so beautifully and for bridging the gap between our theology and our reality.

  14. 164
    Lisa says:

    Okay, the Holy Spirit has welled up in me conviction of great magnitude. Here, in my middle class (probably upper) life, I just spent an hour and half shifting around my winter to summer clothes and I was just taking a break, reading your post, before heading off to…

    To ask the Lord to forgive me for my greed, selfishness, laziness, lack of gratitude…and to pour out His extravagant love and grace on the people of Calcutta — the little infant left unattended, the exhausted mother at work, the guilt-ridden father questioning his worth as he struggles to provide for his family. Jesus, pour your joy on them and transform their lives in your way, not mine! Open our eyes to the ways we can be instruments of your work and peace, in our communities and around the world.

    Melissa, thank you for taking the time to write this post. I needed a wake up call.


  15. 165
    debra says:

    Beautiful words Melissa. I hear you. This is the same way I felt when I had the privilege to visit Haiti. That trip ended and shortly after we found ourselves adopting an orphan and trying shine light there.

    A trip like this changes to the depths of soul. I will be praying for you.

  16. 166
    Marilena says:

    I am in tears and speechless….thank you for your post…

    Marilena in Phoenix

  17. 167
    Marilyn in Mississippi says:

    I have thought about you so much this week! I volunteer one day a week at a crisis pregnancy center and yesterday I had our director and assistant director go to your posts and read them and see the pictures. They were moved! One of them has a son who plans to go on a mission trip to India this summer so it was particularly touching to her.

    Also, today I received an email from one of my best friends who has recently gone (in Jan) as a missionary. I want to share it with you so many of you will pray for her. Thanks!

    (she says:)

    “I’m doing okay, not great. I hear it’s culture shock and everyone has it around the second/third month here. I know I’m supposed to be here and I love it here. So much work to do and so few to do it. It’s not the work at all. It seems to be the “overwhelmingness” of the needs here that have hit me all at once. (is that a real word??) The girls are so neglected, even by the momas, how can they treat their babies this way? Little girls, 12 and 13 are married off to old men just to avoid feeding them anymore. They are beaten and abused so much!! Baby girls born in slums are killed when born because they are useless they say. . Live sacrifices are still done in the villages here. (both animal and girls) ! Please do pray for me, I am so aware that if God doesn’t do the work here and help me, it just won’t happen. I can only do so much and the need is soooo great! I would love to have my hand in every pot, helping and fixing, but I can’t and that is frustrating. “

  18. 168
    "Grammy" Sue B says:

    I can’t see for the tears welled up and pouring out.
    I can’t speak for the lump in the way.
    I know my heart is beating, but it is in pieces.
    Loving prayers from “Siesta” Sue
    in Arkansas

  19. 169
    Melle says:

    Wow! I am beyond awe… Melissa, I just want to thank you for your complete raw vulnerability as you have relayed to us just a glimpse of what you are experiencing. It is touching my heart and giving me such a yearning to be one who serves. I absolutely love what you said about taking the words of the Bible off the page and really living them – making God’s Word a reality. Oh, how I pray that I can even begin to do that! Thank you so much for ministering in my life in this way – for allowing God to use you to speak to my heart (and the hearts of so many others I’m sure.) Be blessed as you are such a blessing to others.

    Melissa in MO

  20. 170
    Kim says:

    All I can say is thank you for sharing, Melissa. I’m so broken over the reality of poverty that I have pushed out of my line of vision for far too long. Thank you for attaching names and faces to the poorest among us. For the reminder that my wants are outweighed by their needs. My heart breaks as the Holy Spirit convicts me of my selfish, greedy heart. But I rejoicing in knowing that I can play a role in caring for the destitute.

    Thank you for allowing God to work through you for the sake of those of us who could not see with our own eyes or hear with our own ears. I’ve been so blessed by your week of posts.

  21. 171
    jes says:

    Ok, you activist! I saw the pictures- you are brave enough, with your arms wrapped around those kids. It’s that passion about poverty and injustice and real flesh and blood people– and you’ve clearly got it. 🙂 God bless you, Melissa. (the hardest part is ahead…remembering to remember the passion over injustice after you’ve been ‘Americanized’ again…)
    Thanks for sharing this adventure~what a beautiful story! I love how your heart is being changed.

  22. 172
    kari says:

    “To be interpreted correctly, they must be performed.”



  23. 173
    Unreasonable Grace says:

    Oh, Melissa,
    How ashamed I am of EVER complaining about my humble abode and being embarrassed to invite others to my home. From one “selfish coward” to another – thanks for the reality check.

  24. 174
    Anonymous says:

    Ok, I am undone. What a wonderful reminder that as tough as times may get I still have so much to give. I am the daughter of the King. The Holy Spirit challenged me to trust Him through this blog. So, even though I am being laid off in two weeks, I am sponsoring a child. I found a little boy at Compassion who has been waiting over 6 months for a sponsor. God is blessing me with a little financial breathing room and I know He’s my provider. Thanks, Melissa, for taking us along with you.

  25. 175
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Don’t you mean, the very inconvenient BOOK in the bible of James. That whole book has nearly killed me many times. Man, hearing this all from you has made it so much more real to me. I can’t help but wonder if some of those situations couldn’t have already changed if I hadn’t been selfish and disobedient if I hadn’t gotten myself into so much debt trying to fulfill my own selfish desires. I really do think that if every Christian in the world truly obeyed God and did his work things like you described would not happen. But we’re not perfect and we screw up, but it is a painful thing to realize that others suffer for it, sometimes more than we do.

  26. 176
    April says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have become so desensitized. I pray that God would soften my heart, to break with the things that break His heart.
    I hope it’s ok I would love to link this post on my blog…
    Thanks again for sharing.


  27. 177
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Melissa, there is so much in this post. My mind is trying to process it all, I think that I might have lost it too, seeing the living conditions. The need for the Lord on this earth is huge. There is such a need for missionaries, short-term, long-term. Being a missionary right here where I’m at has been a challenge to me more than going somewhere I’ve never been. I agree, this is not the way things should be. He will come back and make things right. We need to do what James 1:27 says. We are ambassadors for Him. I read James 1:27 today, and I thought of you, no joke! I thought, that is exactly what Melissa is doing in India, have I really done much of that at all?? I need to do more. I am blessed to know that you have made friendships with the fellow bloggers! I prayed that you all would get to know each other, and be impacted my meeting each other! That is a praise!

    Blessings to you-praying!


  28. 178
    colorfulwoman says:

    Wow Melissa, thankyou for sharing this. I have always felt God was calling me to open my house to others for hospitality, even though it does not come naturally. For whatever reason, there is always a reason I don’t want to, usually because I feel it isn’t enough. But I am really moved by this little girl and her home she offered up to others out of the love of God, not the material appeal. I am struck at the purity of this love.

  29. 179
    Missy says:

    I could just bawl.. 🙁
    If I could load up all the orphans of the world and take care of them, I truly think I would. I know if each one of us does our part, the orphans will be taken care of or helped tremendously. We’ve just got to…we’re called to! Thanks Melissa..

  30. 180
    Anonymous says:

    I am praying for you throughout my days, Melissa, and as my heart breaks with you, it also rejoices that so many are hearing this story through you. Wow–many more workers need to come to the harvest fields!

    If I could be so bold, I would like to ask my siestas to pray with and for me today. In the next few hours, our team will be meeting with dozens of pre-teen and teen girls, as we lead them in a conference about modesty of heart, their relationships with God, boys, friends, etc. MANY of these girls are motherless. About 1/3 are orphans or abandoned. I would guess many, if not most, have been abused. We are expecting 100-200. Please pray for these precious, dear darling children today. Thank you so much.

  31. 181
    Anonymous says:

    Oh what a brave and selfless one of your age.
    I will continue to pray for you and your cause
    May God richly bless you

    debra in El Dorado, AR

  32. 182
    Sita says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Just to let you know that your post inspired this song I chose this morning:
    You’re one of those ‘living’ my life (previous post). My heart breaks at how we in the west live so comfortably at the expense of our 3rd world family. Now we are being forced to live frill-free. May we remain frill-free so that others may enjoy the basics of life as well.
    Thank you for sharing so honestly. Great pics.
    Love, Sita

  33. 183
    Leah Gillen says:

    I am in awe at even the little that I’m being allowed to glimpse of the Indian poor through your blog posts, Melissa. My heart is absolutely crushed – as it should be – to see the enormity of poverty. Of course – I know it exists – but, head knowledge is not the same as heart knowledge. I pray that this changes me and my response to the poor forever – not just for a time.

    Let me share briefly about my scripture memory selection this month. I had surgery on Thursday and have been home recovering in quite a bit of pain ever since. I was concerned that I would simply sleep through May 1 (due to pain meds) and miss posting my scripture verse. So, I simply asked God to show me the verse He wanted me to commit to memory, and allow me the strength to sit up at the computer long enough to post it. So, He did. You know what He gave me to memorize? Yep – James 1:27. I signed in and posted and didn’t even have the physical ability to read any of the other blog posts until today. I read this blog entry and where you spoke on that verse. Praise God! He confirmed yet – once again – that He’s on this journey of scripture memorization with me and perhaps an even greater journey exists in what he’s doing in my heart regarding orphans, widows, and the poor. Thank you for your transparency troughtout this trip. Be blessed!

  34. 184
    Jesusistheparty! says:

    Kiran’s got it going on!!! Thank you, Melissa, for bringing her story to us. I have wept every time I have read it (3x now) having been guilty of this American epidemic you speak of called “house envy” when my house is a mansion in comparison to hers. Why in the world would we let the enemy get away with taunting us like that? (“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”) 1 Sam 17:26b. I am on to him! Turns out people prefer small spaces in proximity to one another for closeness. My husband and I have been hosting a bible study with our neighbors for the past 9 months with an average attendance of 10 people and even though we have a dining room table that seats 10, they always insist on crowding around our kitchen table that seats 6 and pulling up extra chairs. Go figure! The Rx for “house envy” is to open up your home to whomever God calls you to and slay that stinkin’ giant. Loves, Dana

  35. 185
    Michelle says:

    Melissa – thank you.

  36. 186
    Lindsay and Ben says:

    I had the privilege of traveling to India 5 years ago. Your writing has taken me right back! The people in that place can rip you apart! Thank you for going. Thank you for sharing. Boo hoo hoo!

  37. 187
    Anonymous says:

    MARILYN IN MISSISSIPPI–Thanks for sharing about your friend. I remember crying out to God my first year on the mission field that it was so overwhelming, and I felt like a drop of water in the ocean. He showed me lovingly that I am a drop–of light in the darkness. And that’s a whole different picture.

    Tell your friend I am praying for her and grateful that she made such a huge, life-changing step for HIM!

    DigiNee–are you feeling better yet?

  38. 188
    Barbie says:

    Here I was feeling horribly guilty that I have to work so much as a single Mom that is the sole provider for her kids…..I guess it IS all about perspective. I need to regain my Fathers and realize this is all temporary. I do have hope:::sigh:::thanks for the reminder.

  39. 189
    Christy, the Notable Blogger says:

    Eye-opening. Truly.

    Thank you.

  40. 190
    Angie says:

    I won’t take up your time with much here—except to say…your words echo what I’ve heard from friends who’ve journeyed to India…and my mother’s own when she went to Africa—eyes fill and spill at the thoughts and sights in my mind this post of yours has conjoured up.

    God is using you to light a fire in others. Keep fannin’ the flame.

  41. 191
    Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    My trip to the DR with the Compassion Bloggers last Nov. totally changed the way I viewed hospitality as well. We’ve got it WAY wrong.

  42. 192
    HisTreasuredPossession says:

    I posted earlier but I had to let you know – my man said YES to my request to sponsor by faith. Praise the LORD!!! Today happens to be my oldest 5th birhtday so we’re going to try to find a little boy with his same birthday.

    love you and praying for a good transition into your new normal.

  43. 193
    Erin says:

    Isn’t it so exhilirating when God lets us feel His heart, His brokenness for the poor? It has just happened to me and I’m 35, so you are far ahead of me. ” I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it…” And I hope I never do.

  44. 194
    Erin says:

    Oh, Melissa, you probably know this book, but I am reading “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Rich Stearns and I think you would really appreciate it.

  45. 195
    read2kds says:


    I lead women’s ministry at my church and we are just finishing a Women of Faith study called “Cultivating Contentment”. I have used this story of Kiran and her home as a piece of my grand finale talk! We all just bawled. It was such a great reminder to see that the things we feel are robbing us of our contentment are often the signs of what spoiled Americans we really are!!!! Kiran is content and has joy, not because she lives in glorious house or has a new screened porch or a new leather couch or even a new duvet. SHE HAS JESUS…and that will last her for all of eternity. Thank you so much for sharing her with us…I will never forget her…her face is posted on my fridge now as a reminder to pray for her and for myself that the Lord himself would strike me dead for my whiny complaining 🙂

    Blessing to you from NC,

  46. 196
    Linda says:

    Absolutely incredible… can anyone read this without weeping??? I don’t think so. We sponsor a little 5 year old girl in Thailand. I would sooo love to go someday, if God allows it to happen. He is stirring BIG things in my heart for him lately. I am so excited about what God has planned for me and my family.. thanks for sharing this, Melissa. It’s utterly astounding.


  47. 197
    Christina says:

    For whatever reason, I read this post tonight, and I know God has a reason. I don’t know what it is yet, but the start is that conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit. There are a ton of things I could say, but I feel I should spare you…thank you for sharing this part of your journey with others. What a beautiful girl, and what a beautiful thing to see so alive in a person the peace and hope of the Lord.

  48. 198
    - Sarah :-) says:

    Oh my word. What a slap in the face! I have this image in my mind about how my little sponsored boy from Tanzania goes about his days. But after reading this, I bet I’m dead wrong.

    Now I have this bleeding desire to meet him.

    …and to no longer care what color the painters select for my bedroom.

  49. 199
    Cascia says:

    Wow, what you did there is beautiful. I enjoyed reading your article. My niece was adopted from an orphanage in Calcutta. I hadn’t realized how awful the living conditions are in parts of that city. God Bless You!

  50. 200
    Kelli says:

    Melissa –

    I have been catching up on a few India posts that I missed and this one just completely slayed me. I just cried my eyes out. Lord humble me, and allow my stupid self to die, and be full of you. Thank you Melissa for sharing us what you learned from Kiran’s home visit. Thank you.


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