One evening we were on our way to a church in India and I couldn't find a seat on the bus. As I looked around, I heard a quiet voice call "brother" and looked to find one of the little girls from the orphanage motioning for me to sit by her.
As I met Mounika, pronounced like the English "Monica," and began to talk to her, she immediately walked right into my heart. Her English was better than I had found among any of the other children in India. As we drove, she pointed out the various types of trees and plants that we passed. She taught me about India and told me the Telegu words for things I did not know. She asked me about my sister who had previously visited India and told me that Rebekah had given her our family picture. We shared a delightful bus ride.
Mounika is 13 years old and in the "10th Class" as they call it in India. Her father died awhile back and her mother is too poor to care for her. She has an older brother in college and an adult sister who lives in Hyderbad. Watching Mounika at the orphanage, I noticed that she was a real leader among the children. She frequently led singing and prayers during devotional times. Her love for God was quite evident.
Leaving all of the children in India was very hard but I knew that I would miss Mounika in particular. She did not say much as we left but her faced showed the sadness that she tried to hide. Ten days after we left, we were rejoined in Sri Lanka by some of the team that we left in India. They brought a note for me from Mounika and this is what she wrote...
My brother Andi, Hi how are you brother? I am fine. My name is Mounika and I am no forget you and you no forget me. I am studying well. I miss you. I am so sad and I miss you Brother Andi and I am greetings for your family and I am writing letter your sister. Happy new year and happy christmas and pray for me and pray for my family. I am pray for you and your family and I miss you brother. You will next year come in christmas. I will pray you will back in India. Ok I love you and I love your family and you and I love you Rebekah. I love all. Ok bye
I couldn't imagine a sweeter note. I will never forgot Mounika and how she walked right into my heart on a bus ride in India.