Posted by: nemerson | January 4, 2010

the first 5 days

This is 5 days of updates…hold on tight!  I can’t get the pictures to come through…maybe next time!

Thursday, 12/31 – We made it!

 We praise God for his great grace toward us in bringing us to India safely and without any major delays or other issues. It was a windy, windy drive to New York, but Rose’s husband did a great job. Getting from the car into the airport without jackets or gloves—Yikes! It was cold with wind chills well below zero! All of our suitcases arrived mostly in-tact and none of them were overweight. The food was even good! 🙂 After 29 hours of traveling, we arrived at our hotel in Cochin around 6am. Phew!

After a few hours rest (we couldn’t really sleep since it was daytime and so noisy with all the traffic), we took a trip to the local beach. The water (Arabian Sea) was so warm! I went swimming and played in the sand with the kids. Pastor Jamie brought his wife and kids (Abby-7, Jordan-16 mo.) and the local pastor we are working with, Wilson, also brought his wife and kids (Jeremy-9, Debbie-5).

That night we attended a New Year’s Eve celebration at a church in Cochin, which is a big city. The church was in a big steel building with fans and a stage and even American toilets—how exciting! From 8-10 pm, the youth group entertained everyone with skits, choreographed songs, Bible memory competitions and more. They were amazing! God is doing great things among the youth here! At 10pm, we had dinner (on actual paper plates!). Rose, Debbie and I sang “All in All” for them, and Rose spoke for just a few minutes on New Year’s resolutions. After that, they wanted us to stay up on the stage and lead worship with them (they promised to sing in English!), and we felt a little bit like rock stars with all the youth up next to the stage singing and jumping around. :)We brought in the new year with excited praise and worship of the One who has given us life—Jesus! It was so much fun! I’d say it was the best New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve ever been to!

Friday, 1/1 – Amusement Park!

 We slept in till about 9am and then headed off for a day of fun at Veega Land. It’s a lot like Funtown/Splashtown but with different rides and slides. It’s very clean with plenty of trees for shade…oh, yeah! I forgot to mention that it’s hot here—really hot! I’d say in the 90s with 100% humidity. Very tropical since we’re so close to close to the equator. It was great to be in the water—even if we did have to swim in our clothes (that’s what they do here!).

 From Veega Land, we had a 3-hour drive (south down the coast) to our next hotel in Andoor, and it was after midnight when we got to our room. Bad news—the next day was a 7-hour children’s program and we had to leave the hotel at 6:30am! (If you haven’t been counting, we’ve only had several hours of actual sleep since leaving home 4 days ago) When we are weak, He is strong!

 Saturday, 1/ 2 – Children’s Program

The village where we held the children’s program was deep in the jungle in Achankoyil—a 3-hour drive over bumpy, pot-holed “roads.” It was beautiful as we traveled through teak forests and rubber tree plantations, following a river as we went. But we were so happy to arrive (and thrilled that Pastor Jamie took us a different route home that was a longer distance but much smoother travel!).

The theme of the children’s program was “Do not be afraid.” Every time we would say those words, the kids would shout “Amen!” and raise their hands. No, they don’t speak English, but we taught them to listen for “Do not be afraid!” and they knew what it meant. We did a skit of the Christmas story and also David and Goliath, with the kids playing some of the parts, too. We also did a lot of singing—we taught them Peace Like a River, Hallelu-Hallelu-Hallelu-Hallelujah, Head-Shoulders-Knees and Toes, Deep and Wide. Another one of the local pastors, Reggie, and his wife, Olive, were a wonderful help to us. They do a VBS at this village once a year and know some of the children. Olive speaks fluent English and not only translated but also filled in with songs, games and stories while we were preparing for our next event. We provided lunch for the kids and then told the Christmas story again on flannelboard. We finished up by giving the kids paper and stickers of the Christmas story. We had several of them come forward and try to tell the story themselves without any help from us. They did very well, considering 99% of them were Hindu and never even knew before why Christmas was celebrated. Now they will remember it forever! Praise God!

 Sunday, 1/3—church

 We traveled 3 hours south to Trivandrum (just 12 miles from the southern tip of India) to visit two small house churches there. At the first church, Rose and I both were able to give a message of hope found in Jesus and joy even in difficult circumstances. At the second church, Pastor Jamie spoke on the armor of God. It’s so much fun to be welcomed by the saints of God, our brothers and sisters in Christ, even on the other side of the world!

 After visiting a friend of Jamie’s in Trivandrum, we went to the Big Bazaar—the Walmart of India, Debbie calls it. 🙂 We were able to pick up a few needed items, some toys to entertain little Jordan on the long car ride, and some Indian clothes (Debbie needed some). It was quite an adventure! By the time we left around 6:30, it was so busy in there you could hardly move! After a couple hours drive back to our hotel in Andoor, we stopped for dinner—ice cream! (don’t tell Grace!). A chocolate milk shake cost as much as a full meal of rice, vegetables and chicken! 

Monday, 1/ 4 – sightseeing and evening meeting

We got to sleep in! It’s Monday morning when I’m writing this and posting it to you at an “internet cafe.” Today, we are planning to visit a waterfall where we’ll be able to splash in the water and cool off. This evening, we’ll be speaking at a house church meeting.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Praise report—air conditioning in the car, air conditioning in this hotel, air conditioning in restaurants, air conditioning in stores—yes, it’s really hot! Also for safe travels and the great children’s program

Prayer requests—our traveling funds have yet to arrive in India though we wired it 3 weeks ago; God’s leading for 5-hr training sessions coming up for 30 Bible college students on Friday and 50 pastors on Monday (these are both a surprise to us!); baby Jordan to travel better (his crying makes the driving seem much longer!); strength during the hot days

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Responses

  1. So, glad you all made it safely send some of the warm weather this way. Our moisture is only in snow form.
    Grace and Mackenzie had a great time at the movies with their Grammies. Wanted more time to play together afterwards. Will try to get a play date together for them. Grace was already missing mom.
    God Bless and may you acclompish much in his work.
    Judy


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