by Dustin, DTS student
Life here in Patna is so different from what I’m used to, yet so refreshing: people here live their lives together rather than alone. Driving down the street, I rarely see one person walking by themselves. It’s inviting here. We have been met with open arms and plenty of smiles.
The beauty of this place is found in unconventional places: speckles of vivid color linger upon muted devastation while advertisements plaster stone idols and barn-yard animals roam the streets. The people who live here seem unaffected by the decomposed buildings. It’s almost as if this place was once pristine and thriving—and then something happened.
Spend a few days here and you can see where the native smile comes from. With a “glass half-full” perspective, you can feel this place is on the brink of progress. Like something Great needs only to be invited.
Today we ride in a rickshaw to the edge of “the colony” to visit a school. We want to get our feet dirty (literally), so we walk through the colony with a mission: to pray for the colony and discover God’s heart for the people.
If you weren’t looking for the school, you would probably miss it. It’s small, rundown. But its size and condition belie the beauty inside. Through a few doorways and into an outdoor classroom, we are greeted by twenty smiling faces—children sitting on potato sacks in the dust, just to get an education.
The children proudly show us what they are learning. They can count to one hundred. They can identify words and pictures like “apple” or “cat.” They can even sing their ABCs (in English). The kids are fantastic little balls of God’s love. We could spend only a short time with them before the rickshaw came to pick us up and we’re eager to return in a few days.
As we drive home, weaving in and out of traffic, I try to absorb the flares of culture that zip by.
It is obvious that God longs to be known here. You feel it just stepping out of the house. What is not as easy to see is that He is already here, waiting for someone to intercede for this beautiful place, wondering if someone’s heart breaks for Bihar and Gaya as His does.
I can tell you that after only a few days here, my heart breaks and I’m more than willing to pray in every part of this city, inviting the Lord into every corner. Are you?