Posted by: nemerson | July 30, 2008

More ministry–and fun!

Ministry day 4, Monday

Abby's school

Abby's school

We left CAMT around 10:30 after a breakfast of crepes with real Maine maple syrup–what a treat!  We stopped at Abby’s school to bring candy to her and her classmates.  Abby was so excited to have visitors, especially Americans–she is now quite popular with her class!

Then we headed back down the mountain for about 2 hours.  So many hairpin bends…but at least the road was in good condition!

Our destination was a tribal village in Sathee, some of the lowest caste people.  This village is the one our church (Highpine) is considering adopting.  When we arrived there, we were greeted by Pastor Lawrence, who has been working in this village for about 1 1/2 years already.  We could clearly see the work he had done in the joy on the children’s faces and the welcome we received from all of the people.

Teaching songs in the village

Teaching songs in the village

We did the same program with these children as we did in the previous village–songs, divide them into groups for craft and Bible story and jump rope/duck-duck-goose (which Grace and I did without anyone translating!), pass out TY Beanie Bears and candy.  We didn’t have time to do the parachute games or our skit because the children had to go for their lunch.  Because this village does not have a sponsor, Pastor Lawrence is only able to provide teaching and a meal for these children once in a while–at the most, once a week.

Grace playing with the village children

Grace playing with the village children

After the children’s program…

we took a walk through the village to see what land might be available for a community center like the one at the previous village.  Many of the children followed us around through the village.  When we came back to the “tent” our meeting was being held in, it was time for the adults to have a meeting.  We did some singing with them, of course :), and then each shared a testimony.

Bob spoke first, sharing about the way that God changes us when He becomes a part of our lives, and he asked for the people to share their testimonies.  Two people stood up and told of how God had healed them.  Next, I spoke of the many gifts that God has given us, and that even suffering is a gift used to draw us close to Himself. Finally, Rose read and taught them how special they are in God’s sight using Psalm 139.  It was a wonderful meeting, full of God’s Spirit.

We left the village and traveled another 2 hours to Coimbature.  For Bob’s last night in India, he requested “real” Indian food with plenty of spice!  Jamie had planned to take us out for pizza at Domino’s, but it was only fair for Bob to finish the trip with a bang.  🙂  There was even a little arcade next door to the restaurant with lots of kids coin-operated rides for Grace to play on.  Fun for Grace!  She was a little shy at first when we were in the village, but soon she was playing chase with the kids there.  Those kids loved having their picture taken!

Day 5, Tuesday

Our buffet breakfast at the Balaja Hotel wasn’t exactly what Grace was hoping for, but Bob certainly enjoyed his last Indian meal with masala, dosa, idalli, and even little spicy donuts (Grace was soooo disappointed when she took a bite of that!).  She was still in a happy mood, though, because she had pulled out her top, front tooth while trying to fall asleep Monday night!  She wanted to call her Daddy immediately, but we had to wait till he was awake since we are about 9 1/2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Shopping!

Shopping!

After breakfast, we headed out for Bob to do some shopping before getting him to the airport for 1:30pm.  We went to the huge Textile Store for dresses and chutidars for Bob’s wife and daughter.  They were having a big sale, and it was quite busy there!  We also had to wait over half an hour for some alterations to be made to the clothes. Grace and Rose and I also bought some clothes for ourselves.

Next, we headed off to get some wood-carved items for Bob’s family, and of course, Rose and I found a few things, too.  🙂

Finally, we arrived at the airport and said our goodbyes to Bob.  We hated to see him go.  He’s a great man of God and was such a blessing to us.

The rest of us made it to Domino’s Pizza for lunch and then to a local playground for Grace to get some exercise.  It was an amazing playground with tons of gigantic climbing structures–all made of metal, not plastic like ours!  Then, we were headed back up the mountain with a quick stop for dinner along the way.

Ministry day 6, Wednesday

Today was the Graduation Ceremony for the women who have completed a 6-month course at the Tailoring Institute sponsored by CAMT.  We held the ceremony in the church hall at the CAMT building.  It was great!  We had about 44 women there, along with their teachers.

During these past 6 months of learning to sew, the women have also been studying the Bible together.  They pay a small fee to attend the institute, but this fee is just to keep them accountable to staying with the program.  Several of the women shared what a blessing it is to their families for them to be able to make an income and also repair their own clothing at no cost.

We opened the cermony with a song, and then Rose spoke on the two men who traveled the road to Emmaus with Jesus but didn’t recognize it was Him.  She challenged them that they would have to choose whether they would travel with Jesus or go their own way.  I followed that up with teaching about Peter’s call to follow Christ.  Peter had known Jesus for some time before Jesus did a miracle and crashed into Peter’s soul, changing his life forever.  I challenged these women to answer Jesus’ call to them, and let their lives be changed as well.

Jamie gave an invitation for all those interested to pray and accept Christ as their Savior, and over half said, “Yes! I will follow Jesus.”  Praise God!  How exciting!

Praying for Ameen

Praying for Ameen

We then gave the women a little bracelet craft to make.  One of the beads they each received was a cross, so they could remember this day and the decision they had made to follow Jesus.  AFter a snack and coffee, some of them came forward for us to pray for them.  One woman, Ameen, said she wanted to follow Christ, but her family was Muslim, and she didn’t know what to do.  We prayed for her and gave her a Bible.  Keep praying that she will have the courage to follow Christ.

For lunch, Ragu brought us to his house.  We had delicious chicken, beans, rice, parotha, and veggie puffs prepared by Ragu’s mother and sister.  What a blessing!

Then we walked through Coonoor town to buy a few things.  Ragu’s brother took us in his auto rickshaw (taxi), which was quite an experience.  (Bob, you missed out!)  Grace has been to town with Ragu so many times, she knows her way around!  She was there earlier in the day with Ragu while we were having the graduation.

Grace's kitten

Grace's kitten

Grace also found a kitten outside the house that has become her new best friend.  She named him Little Tiger.  I can hear him calling now…

We took Little Tiger–and Abby and Ragu–with us on a walk through the tea fields over to the playground.  The girls had a great time playing while Little Tiger slept.  Grace even taught Abby how to pump on the swings!  Jamie and his wife stopped by the playground in the car to pick us up and take us out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  (Rose stayed home because she wasn’t feeling well–pray for her!)  Grace ordered one of her Chinese favorites, Sesame Chicken, but it was not what she was expecting–too spicy!  She did enjoy the soup, though, which was very much like our Chicken Velvet soup.

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