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June 28th 2009
Published: June 29th 2009
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We wanted to do a proper posting before we leave Madurai with all the photos.

Hi Michigan folks! so this is our last night in Madurai. total bummer. The conference was super encouraging!! So far the most convicting thing I've heard was a lesson about going the extra mile for people. I really want to give more and then give more on top of that. The disciples here are sooo family oriented and are very willing to give and serve a lot. Love, Debbie

Hello Detroit, Okay, let's try this again. I had a post started yesterday before we left Madurai but lost the internet connection partway through. The biggest thing I wanted to share is that we continue to be encouraged and amazed by the stories here. There are too many to share in this short time, but I wanted to ask everyone - how far would you be willing to travel every morning before work in order to study the bible with someone who is seeking? Would you leave your house at 5 am to drive to Lansing for an hour study and then drive back for work by 8am?
That is just one of the stories that Smiley from Chennai Church shared with me at dinner the other night. She had a woman who wanted to study the bible. She lived in a remote village so Smiley would leave her home at 5am, walk to the bus stop, ride the bus for over an hour to the village and then ride on a rickety cart to the woman's home. There they would study the Bible from 6:30am - 7:30am when the woman would have to leave in order to go work in the fields. Smiley would then do the return trip home. Amazing dedication that we can all take a lesson from.
So again I ask, would you drive in your comfy car complete with radio on smooth paved highway, 3 hours before your work day begins in order to answer the questions of someone who is lost and seeking? Admittedly before I came here the idea of such questions never entered my mind. That is the true lesson and gift I will be taking home from this amazing country - a complete and total change of heart and mind.
More later if the internet allows. With love from Trivandrum - YSIC Laurel

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29th June 2009

Wow
Hey Laurel and Debbie- I remember those things you are talking about. How soon we forget! It's such a nice reminder that there are brothers and sisters the world over who are doing the work of God....even better than I ever have. God bless all those who do go the extra mile. BTW, no blog notifications are going out to subscribers! Ben, I miss you and love you. I've had a hard couple days and wish you were here to help me get through emotionally. Halfway done though, so the countdown begins! See you next week! xoxo Jen
30th June 2009

Hi everyone!
Sorry it's been so long! I think our internet connectivity rivals your in India lately! I finally got through all of the blogs and pictures! Laurel!! I can't believe it-you were barefoot in a public place! Woah!!!! I think it was when you guys were all visiting the temples etc.... All the stories are really encouraging and thought provoking. I'm so grateful that you are posting your new found convictions and experiences with us. It's so hard to be grateful for what we have here....until it's gone...or we see or hear about those without! Crazy. Thanks guys! Ben-we were just at Jen's celebrating her birthday with the boys and "mom". Everyone is well. We can't wait until our Thursday-nite-buddies all come home again. We miss you. Love you all!

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