Posted by: nemerson | July 28, 2012

Goodbyes

Yes, it’s hard to believe that over 2 weeks have gone by…

The team’s last few days in India have not gone quite the way we planned, but it was still wonderful. Early Thursday morning while out for a walk, David found a women’s hospital just down the road from our hotel. When we came downstairs for breakfast at 8am, David asked Patti and I to join him in visiting the hospital. Since we didn’t have much time before we had to be on the road for Erode, the three of us RAN down the street, bought some cookies at a shop, and RAN to the hospital. We had just a few minutes to hand out the cookies to the women and pray with those who asked for prayer. What a special way to start the day!

We then started out on what we thought was a 6 hour drive on what we thought was a highway…It turns out the highway was in no way finished. What a disaster! In some places, the road just ended with no warning and we had to turn around. It took us 6 hours just to get to Erode to visit the Martha Tailoring Institute where the students were waiting for us. Several shared testimonies of how blessed they are to be part of the school. Then I shared with them how they were all created by God–beautiful!–like a beautiful piece of fabric. (Ps. 139) But God has a purpose for their lives (Jer 29:11) that can only be realized in Him–much like the fabric becomes so much more useful when it is sewn into a chutidar (dress). We had a great time talking with the ladies there and praying for those in need. Several of these women will receive sewing machines when they have completed their class–thanks to those of you who donated!

After a relaxing dinner in an air conditioned restaurant (yay!), we got back on the bus. Instead of going to Coimbature for 2 nights as planned, we continued past Coimbature and came back to the CAMT building in Coonoor. Unfortunately, the permit for the medical camp did not come through, so we had not reason to stay in Coimbature. That meant 6 more hours on the bus–but it was so nice and cool in Coonoor!

On Friday, we went back to the large school we had visited and gave new sweaters to 25 of the students there who are orphans. I had noticed on our first visit that certain kids were wearing ragged sweaters with holes in them, and one of the teachers told me that they were orphans. It was a great privilege to be able to give these kids beautiful, new sweaters in the name of Jesus!

From there, we went to the top of the Nilgiris mountains to the tourist town of Ooty for some shopping and pizza at Domino’s. The girls were sooo excited! On the way back, the girls went to a beauty shop to get henna markings on their arms.

Friday afternoon, David and Wayne left Coonoor for the southern tip of India to speak in some gospel meetings and a Sunday morning service. It was an overnight train ride for them, and they missed their stop because they were sleeping! Thankfully, the next stop wasn’t too far away (20-30 minutes), and the person who was picking them up was able to drive to the next station.

Saturday morning, the rest of the team did some souvenir shopping in Coonoor before leaving for the airport in Coimbature. Rose and I waved goodbye to the bus, feeling like a part of us was leaving, too. Rose and I spent the afternoon with Jordan and Abby (Pastor Jamie’s kids) watching the Olympics streaming live on Rose’s laptop. Thank goodness for the wonders of technology!

Please pray for safe travels home for Tom, Patti, Mani, Catherine, Blanca and Joan. They’ll be traveling for about 40 hours. Ugh. And pray for Wayne and David as they minister “down south” for the next several days. Rose and I will worship here at CAMT tomorrow (Sunday), and then we’ll wait to see what Jamie has planned for us. After all of the crazy traveling the last two weeks, we’re grateful for a few days of rest!

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Posted by: nemerson | July 25, 2012

The East Coast (of India!)

Our ministry in the Pondicherry area on the east coast of southern India was brief, wonderful and VERY HOT! After driving through the heat of the day (9:30am – 3pm) with no A/C on the bus and temps easily above 110 F, we arrived in the village of Cuddalore for two children’s programs. Since there were 2 programs going on simultaneously, we split the group in half. We did the same program as we had previously (with some modifications for the smaller group), sharing the creation story, Adam and Eve, the sticker craft, sharing the gospel, and praying with those who wanted to accept Christ as their Savior. About 300 children heard about the love of God! We had only one hour with them, but it was worth that long, hot drive to tell them about Jesus. 🙂

We had some free time on Tuesday to go to the beach. Yeehaw! The water was soooo refreshing! The waves were crashing in, and the current was so strong that we couldn’t go out very deep, but we let the cool water wash over us. Unfortunately, the high heat and humidity along with the walk to the beach was a little too much for Joan. It was only by the grace of God that we got her back to the bus…she was dangerously close to having heat stroke. Please keep her in your prayers as we complete our ministry in the low elevations where temps are so high. Also, please pray for rain here! It’s supposed to be monsoon season, but India is in the midst of a drought instead. We can see and feel the effects of it daily!

Tuesday evening, we attended a gospel meeting in Cuddalore (Joan and Patti stayed back at the hotel in the air condintioning!). It was our privilege to encourage the church members to reach their goal of 1,000 members (they have about 70 now!). Tom, Wayne and even Catherine spoke about how God answers our prayers when we cry out to Him. At the end of the meeting, they served everyone there a delicious (spicy!) Indian meal. We finished the night by stopping off at another church and praying with the pastor there. It was nearly 11pm when we made it back to the hotel, and we had to be packed up and ready to go for 6:15 this morning. Phew!

Our drive today (Wed) wasn’t too bad–only 3 hours. We checked into our hotel and cooled off (so thankful for A/C!!) for about an hour before going to the Pastor’s Seminar at a local church. Sadly, there was no A/C in the church, but even Joan survived. 🙂 The ladies sat at the back of the room and prayed as Tom, David and Wayne preached. Tom spoke from 1 Kings 17-18 about spiritual drought–it has a purpose! David spoke from Ez. 22 encouraging the pastors to be the one to “stand in the gap” (verse 30). And Wayne spoke about the power of the Holy Spirit. We closed the meeting with a time of prayer in groups of 4-5, praying for one another, but especially praying that God would send rain (physical and spiritual!) on India. Finally, lunch was served to all of the pastors (and us!). We tried to help serve, but the women of the church insisted on doing the work. 🙂

Now we have some time to cool off and rest before our LOOOOONG drive (7 hours) tomorrow back to Coimbature. We will be stopping along the way to visit the Martha Tailoring Institute and speak to the women there. We’re hoping to have a Medical Camp on Friday, but we’re still waiting for permission from the government. Please pray that it comes through before Friday!

Here are a few pictures…

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Posted by: nemerson | July 25, 2012

Short update

It was our great privilege to worship with Pastor Devaraj (who led us yesterday) at his church here in Madurai. There were about 50 people there for the service. Rose and Patti each spoke a few words about their favorite verses in the Bible, and Tom gave a short message about finding hope in Jesus. Pastor Jamie also gave a message–on Gen. 11, which is about the Tower of Babel. Despite the heat, it was wonderful to sing and pray with these precious saints.

We had planned to do another village gospel meeting tonight (Sunday), but it turned out that there is a Hindu festival being celebrated tonight all over India. We did not want to compete with festival or cause any strife by visiting any village tonight. Instead, we went to the mall! Yes, it was a beautiful, air-conditioned mall–complete with a food court on the top floor! The girls were thrilled to get pasta for dinner, and Rose had french fries, popcorn, and Baskin Robbins ice cream. 🙂 I tried an Indian dish with shrimp which turned out to be so spicy my lips were burning! It was a fun way to spend the evening after several days of traveling and doing ministry.

Tomorrow (Monday), we’ll be leaving our amazing hotel for a 6-hour drive to Pondicherry, which is on the east coast of India. When we arrive there, around 4pm, our team will split into 2 groups to do 2 separate children’s programs.

Thank you for all of your prayers! We continue to battle the itchy bug bites from 5 days ago (the heat makes them worse!), and Joan is not feeling well again. Please pray about these physical needs and continue to ask for God’s mercy on those we are ministering to that they would be willing to hear and accept His gift of salvation.

I will write again when I can!

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Posted by: nemerson | July 21, 2012

Village visits

After a long drive on Friday, we arrived safely in the temple city of Madurai. And I’m pleased to report that our hotel is AMAZING with A/C, hot showers and free wifi in the lobby! Thank you, Jesus! It’s sooo hot and dry her in the plains…having a cool room to go back to and recharge makes so much difference!

Today (Saturday), we spent our morning in a village on the outskirts of the city. We had planned an all-day children’s program, but unfortunately, the children had school today because of a holiday in the middle of the week. The principal was generous enough to allow us to come and share during school, but we had only one hour. We were able to squeeze in the story of creation, the Adam and Eve skit, 2 songs, the craft (sticker and coloring sheet that we made to help them remember the days of creation), and most importantly, a chance to know and accept Jesus as their Savior. Many of them did! Pastor Devaraj is here to follow up with these children and continue to share God’s love with them. This was a public (government) school–what a gift to be able to go there and share the gospel freely!

We had a little time to rest and recharge this afternoon before heading out on a walk to view the enormous temples here in Madurai. The picture below just doesn’t do it justice. How sad that so many Indians come to worship at this temple and know nothing of the one true God who loves them enough to send His Son for them… That inspired us to continue on our mission!

We traveled an hour out of the city to a small village of Dahlit, or untouchables, where Pastors Devaraj and Solomon have recently been visiting. The children were waiting for us because we were bringing notebooks for them, but soon most of the adults in the village also came to hear what we had to say. Tom, Patti, Wayne, Joan, Rose and I all shared a meaningful, short message. Our evangelist Rose presented the gospel message and 20 + people prayed to accept Christ. How exciting! Our hearts were so full that we didn’t even want any dinner! We were able to hang out and pray with the people asking for prayer and just play with the kids. It was a great time! And we get to do it again tomorrow night in another unreached village!

I’ll try to post again tomorrow before we leave for the east coast of India on Monday morning…

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Posted by: nemerson | July 19, 2012

Birthday Bash!

Catherine turned 17 today, and we celebrated with pizza, cake and fireworks on the roof! Of course, I should also mention that she (and Mani and Blanca) were like movie stars at school we visited today. There were 800 kids there–mostly high school boys!–who were just crazy about our girls! Before they mobbed the girls, we did have a chance to do a program for them. All 3 of the teens shared a little about themselves and how much God loves them. It was the first time the girls spoke at one of our events, and they all did an amazing job! After the girls spoke, we all taught the students a couple of songs in English and did our skit about Adam and Eve. That was hilarious since I played Adam and dressed up as a man–complete with fake mustache! Rose and David both shared to close the program, and many of the children prayed to accept Christ as their Savior. Brother John from Youth for Christ ministers in this school regularly, so we know that he is following up with those kids who want to learn and grow in their faith.

Before the school program, we visited a small village built by the government for handicapped people. We wandered through the village and prayed for and hugged these sweet people who are so alone and neglected. At the end of the visit, we gathered in a community center to share the gospel with them. One of the men there who is blind sang a song for us, and he had the most wonderful voice–like an angel! But before we left, the village leaders became very upset with Pastor Jamie because they have no pastor in their village anymore. They had one for quite a while, but he moved away, and no one else has come. Please pray that someone would step forward to minister to these people on a regular basis and show them God’s love.

And I can’t forget yesterday! It was our women’s ministry–led by Joan. All of the women from the two local tailoring schools came to the church hall here at CAMT to learn about knitting, sewing and the love of God. 🙂 Joan had packed knitting needles for all of the women, but we had to shop for the yarn here in India. It turned out that it all needed to be balled up! We were frantically balling yarn all morning until the program started at 10:30, and the girls and I continued to unravel the tangled skeins of yarn while Joan and Rose taught the women how to knit. It was quite a sight! After an hour of knitting, we paused to share our hearts with these women–many who are Muslim. Joan shared about the Proverbs 31 woman, and Patti followed that up by sharing how much we need God’s strength and help to be that woman. After that, Joan demonstrated how to sew a simple but beautiful bag. She and Rose had pre-cut the pieces, and the teacher from the tailoring school was sewing them together. Sadly, the machine did not have a large enough needle to get through all the layers of material and batting. The bag didn’t turn out quite right! But the teacher now has the pattern and the women have seen how it can be done easily–with the right sewing needle! Now they can make them and sell them! At the end of the day (around 1:30), we rewarded some of the best knitters with full sets of knitting needles (5 sizes), and Rose shared the gospel with them. About 10 women raised their hands to accept Christ, and we were able to send them home with Bibles!

Last night, we also did a gospel meeting in a small home nearby. There were about 20 people there–the same ones who had come to our meeting the night before in a different location! We were excited to see them again and share with them, but we had hoped that they would invite their friends who don’t know Jesus. It was still a good night of prayer, praise and encouragement.

And now our time here at CAMT has come to an end…so sad! It’s so beautiful here amid the tea fields. The weather is lovely (70s) and our sleeping rooms are so comfortable. Pastor Jamie’s wife feeds us excellent meals…we’re going to miss CAMT! But God has called us to reach out further to other villages. Tomorrow (Friday), we travel 7+ hours to the temple city of Madurai where we’ll stay for 3 nights. Please pray for safe traveling and continued strength to minister to these special people. Pray especially for Joan who had to stay home in bed today with a cold and fever. Praise God for all of the wonderful work He is doing in our lives and the lives of those we are reaching in His name!

I’m not sure about internet access while we’re traveling, but I will try to update the blog in a couple of days (Saturday or Sunday)…

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Posted by: nemerson | July 17, 2012

Water!

We are halfway through Day 4 in India, and we’ve been soooo busy that I haven’t had a chance to post anything!

Our flights from the U.S. all went smoothly–not even a wrinkle, thank you, Lord! On our long (10 hour flight) from London to Chennai, half of the team was bumped up to business class and Blanca got to sit in First Class!

The word for our first few days is TRAVEL! We’ve logged 7+ hours of traveling every day…ugh. Pastor Jamie arranged for us to have a small bus (18 seats) to manage our team of 10 and all of luggage. It’s great for fitting us in but not the most comfortable means of transportation (no A/C!). The CAMT building is at the top of the Nilgiris Mountains around 6,000 ft up. The ride up has around 20 hairpin turns that could make even the most experienced traveler nauseated–add that to being in a bumpy bus, diesel fumes and lack of sleep…yep, it’s been a a struggle.

But God is with us and before us and behind us! Our times of ministry (squeezed in between the driving) have been blessed. On Sunday, David and Joan remained at the CAMT building for Sunday morning service. Joan was able to pray with so many wonderful women with the Holy Spirit just pouring out of her–what a great first day of ministry for her! The rest of the team drove back down the mountain to visit the Adopt-A-Village at Gudalur and worship with them. Tom, Patti, Rose, Wayne and I were each able to share a short message with the thriving church there. And it was a special blessing for us to be there to dedicate the pastor’s daughter, Rachel. On our way home, we drove through the Wildlife Preserve, but all we saw were a couple of elephants and monkeys.

On Monday, we were up early (5:30am) again to head down the mountain and into the state of Karnataka where we were going to watch a bore well be drilled. We left so early so we could arrive by 11am when the truck was scheduled to arrive. Unfortunately, the well-drilling rig was held up at its first location and didn’t arrive until 4pm!!! We enjoyed the day by visiting with the people of the village, holding a Gospel meeting for them and eating lunch with them. They were so excited about their new well! I challenged them to say “Thank you, Jesus!” every time they came to get water, and Rose told them about the Living Water that Jesus offers. They all responded in faith! We also had the privilege of naming two babies in the village. 🙂 Blanca, Mani and Catherine played with the kids in the village ALL DAY until finally I had to pull the kids off of them around 7pm when it was getting dark. Yes, we were still there at 7pm as they continued to drill and drill and drill and DRILL. After they got past 300ft, there was some water…enough to drink but not enough to irrigate their crops. We made the decision to continue to drill even though the cost would be more than we had planned. And we prayed…and prayed and prayed and PRAYED that the water would gush out. At 9pm, more water was coming, and we decided to leave the village for a 2-3 hour drive to a hotel while the drilling continued. At midnight, with 412 feet of pipe in the ground, finally that overflowing water poured out! Hallelujah!

We had a rough night in an “authentic” Indian hotel–complete with Indian toilets, bed bugs, tons of mosquitos (no screens!) and only cold water. We were all more than happy to leave at 6:30am this morning (Tuesday)! We headed back up the mountain toward the CAMT building but took a wonderful stop along the way at a small school (40 children). We met a local doctor there to do check-ups for each of the children. Sadly, ninety percent of the children were malnourished and many had severe dental problems. The school principal also asked if we might be able to provide jackets for the children (about $200 total) since the monsoon season is upon them. Please let me know if you’d like to donate toward this cause and we can get those jackets before we leave India!

The wonderful part of our day, though, was spending time with each of these adorable children. Joan was able to give each one a pair of knitted slippers and a hat which they desperately needed since it’s quite chilly up here on the top of the mountain! We sang songs with them and played games to entertain the ones who were waiting. When each child had seen the doctor, we brought them together to teach them the Creation story and also pray with them to ask Jesus to be their Savior. How exciting! May God grow them up in His Word and nurture the seeds planted today!

It’s 5pm here in India as I type…the girls are off shopping to get supplies for our knitting/sewing class tomorrow and to look for Indian clothes. Several of us are heading out for a Gospel Meeting later tonight, and we’ll have another one tomorrow night after the knitting/sewing program and then a school program on Thursday–thankfully, not as much traveling on Wed and Thurs!

Our greatest needs today are peace and rest…

Aprama pakaalam! That’s “See you later” in Tamil. 🙂

I’m doing my best to get some pictures in here for you….

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Posted by: nemerson | June 23, 2012

Team India 2012!

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It seems that it’s been 2 ½ YEARS since my last blog update…Yikes! Yes,
it’s been too long! And my heart is longing for India…the sights, the
sounds, the smells (well, the smell of Indian food cooking!). But most
importantly, my heart is longing for the beautiful people of India, the
billions of people who live daily in deep darkness. The time has come once
again for me to shine my light in India! And this year, there will be 10
people on our India team! To say I’m a little excited would be a major
understatement… 🙂

All 10 of us will be departing Boston on Thursday, July 12th, at
10:25 pm-flying through London (where the Olympics will be held just 2 weeks
later!) and then into Chennai (Madras), India, and finally a short flight
into Coimbature arriving at 7am on Saturday, July 14th. Pastor Jamie, who
is the head of Comforter Action Mission Trust (CAMT), will meet us there and
take us 3 hours uphill to the CAMT building which will be our “home base”
for our 2 weeks of intense ministry. Half of the team will arrive back in
the U.S. on July 29th, while four of us will stay another week in India. As soon as I have more details on our itinerary, I’ll post them here.

Let me introduce the team, since you’ll be hearing all about them over the
next few weeks as I chronicle our journey here on my blog.

Tom & Patti-Tom went on a mission trip to India 2 years ago and is thrilled
to be going back with his wife

Mani (age 14)-Patti’s daughter who was born in India and adopted as a
toddler; this is Mani’s first trip to her homeland

Blanca (age 15)-had planned to go to China this summer but decided to join
Team India when those plans fell through

Catherine (age 16)-with her blond hair and blue eyes, Catherine will be
swarmed by children wanting to touch her the minute she reaches India! And
she’ll love every minute of it!

David-native Indian and Pastor Jamie’s brother; David is also a pastor at
Grace Family Church in Waterboro, ME. He started Comforter Missions in the
U.S. to cooperate with CAMT in India. David is the reason that I first
started going to India!

Wayne-went to India over 20 years ago supporting a traveling evangelist and
is excited that God has given him the opportunity to go back

Joan-knew that God was calling her to go on this trip when God provided
exactly the amount of money she needed to go!

Rose-one of my best friends and faithful travel companion; this will be mine
and Rose’s 5th mission trip to India with Pastor Jamie and CAMT

Our team has been meeting together since November, 2011, to make this trip
possible. Our fundraising is going great with most of the team fully funded
for travel expenses and two bore wells funded along with 16 sewing machines
and 6 Bibles donated. We’re still hoping to give more!

You can check back here for updates every couple of days while we’re in India. I’ll post whenever I have wi-fi! Feel free to leave comments for the whole team. And keep us in your prayers!

Posted by: nemerson | January 18, 2010

Finished!

Yes, we’ve come to the end of another amazing Indian adventure!  Next post will be from home—I hope!  Thank you for all of your prayers and gifts that made our ministry possible and changed the lives of many.

Friday, 1/15—children’s program

IMG_8213 Our final children’s program was held at a church in Boyce Company. All of their Sunday School children were there as well as kids from several other villages nearby. When we arrived a little after 10am, there were about 30 kids there, but as the morning went on, we ended up with over a hundred! We went through the same program with them that we had done at the previous children’s program– singing, nativity skit, Simon Says, flannelboard of the nativity and nativity stickers. Since we were here in Coonoor, we had our huge parachute that we left here 3 years ago. The kids loved that! We didn’t have any balls, but there happened to be balloons hanging left over from the Christmas/New Year’s decorations, so we used those. I explained the gospel using the colors on the parachute—black is sin which keeps us from heaven (yellow), red is for Jesus’ blood and white for when we’re forgiven and washed clean, green is for growing in Christ and blue for baptism. Pastor Suresh (the pastor of this church) led the children in a prayer of salvation. We pray the seeds we’ve planted will continue to grow! Even though it was almost 2pm by then, their lunch had still not arrived. So the kids started entertaining us! Each Sunday School group did a choreographed dance to a song from a CD. They were so cute. 🙂 When lunch still had not arrived, they just turned on the music and everybody danced! Rose and I had a great time, but Debbie was not into it. I think it was after 3 when lunch finally came, and we passed out Beanie Babies to all of them (thanks, Mom & Aunt Judy!).

Saturday, 1/16—Tailoring school graduation and jungle safari

Rose woke up with a throat infection and couldn’t talk at all—just whisper!

IMG_8363 It was our great privilege to speak at the graduation and also present some of the women with sewing machines. As an example for our advice to these women, we brought two shirts that we had made—one loosely hand-stitched and falling apart and the other nicely sewn and finished. On the inside of the messy one, we had written the words: anger, hate, fear, depression and quitting. On the inside of the nice one, we had written the words: patience, love, peace, joy and faithfulness. Rose and I took turns sharing experiences in our lives when God had taught us to have patience, love, peace, joy and faithfulness instead of anger, hate, fear, depression and wanting to quit. Pastor Jamie offered them the opportunity to trade in their old “shirt” for a new one—in Christ. Several—including some Muslims—prayed to accept Christ as their Savior! It was awesome to hear their testimonies of how the Tailoring Institute had changed their lives, too!

DSC01585 As soon as the graduation was complete, we jumped in the car and headed down the mountain to the nature preserve. It was so busy at the place in Tamil Nadu that we continued on into another state, Karnataka, to see what kind of animals we could see. Just as we crossed the state border, a family of 4 elephants—2 babies!–came right up and crossed the road behind us. It was amazing! Also, as we were driving, we came upon peacocks, spotted deer, langu monkeys, bison, wild boar—so many wonderful animals to see right next to our car! They were all a gift from God! Then as we returned to Tamil Nadu, we saw that they were giving elephant rides. This has been a dream of mine since our very first trip to India! I was so excited! However, it turned out that you had to have special reservations to ride the elephants…how sad. By the grace of God, one of the elephant caretakers overheard Jamie asking about the rides and privately offered to get the tickets for us—amazing! This wasn’t just an elephant ride—it was an elephant safari! We were riding that elephant for a half hour through the deep jungle! It was so beautiful…what a special way to end our trip.

Sunday, 1/17 church

We went to church at Boyce Company where the children’s program was held. Pastor Suresh is awesome, and it was so nice being with his church family of about 100 (though some were missing because it was a holiday weekend for them). After the singing, Pastor Wilson spoke on Psalm 23, then we had testimonies, offering and did a baby dedication. By then, it was after 1pm (church started at 10am), and Jamie turned and asked us to speak. Rose spoke on Ephesians 4—unity in the Spirit. Because it was so late, I just said a quick word about how blessed they were to have Pastor Suresh and each other, and most of all to be chosen by God to be His children (Eph. 1:3-4). After church, several people came to me and asked why I didn’t speak longer—they were so looking forward to my message! 🙂

We spent the afternoon visiting and packing, then had our last supper 🙂 together at a nice hotel here in Coonoor. We’re certainly going to miss Jamie and Wilson and their families!

Monday, 1/18 travel

Today we leave Coonoor for the 8-hour drive to Kochin where our flight leaves at 8pm.

Praise report: many children and women committed their lives to Christ; elephant safari—what a blessing!

Prayer requests: Rose will get better and be able to talk again; no one else will catch her cold; safe driving and flights home

Posted by: nemerson | January 14, 2010

Sweet rest!

Wednesday, 1/13—visit with friends & traveling

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We had a wonderful visit with Ragu’s wife, Priya, and their son, Gilbert Christo, who was born on November 23, 2009. As you can see from the pictures, he is adorable! It was great to relax and hang out with Priya and her family, and I even tried to give Gilbert his first taste of pizza at the restaurant! 🙂 All of our traveling went so well that we decided to head to Coonoor Wednesday night instead of spending another night in the hot, buggy hotel room. Coonoor is at the top of the Nilgiris mountains, and when we got near the top, the fog and rain was settled in. It was very difficult driving on all of those hairpin turns when you could only see 2 feet in front of you and one missed turn could send you right off the side  of the mountain! By God’s grace, we arrived safe and sound around midnight.

Thursday, 1/14—fun day!

Today we went to Ooty (tourist town nearby) for some shopping and sightseeing.  We visited the Botanical Gardens (Mom, you would have loved it!) and Wax World (wax statues—very interesting history of India).  The weather here in Coonoor is beautiful—70s and dry.  It was such a nice day!  Children’s program tomorrow…

Posted by: nemerson | January 12, 2010

Nonstop!

We are so tired—spiritually exhausted! Our time in Pollachi has been almost non-stop ministry with meetings and prayer morning, noon and night. With God’s help, we survived! Our time in Coonoor (next stop) will be much less demanding—and it’ll be much cooler since it’s up in the mountains.

In my last post, I totally messed up the days and the dates! Sorry! I really have no idea what day it is! I just get in the car, and Pastor Jamie takes us where we need to go. 🙂

Saturday 1/9 evening meeting

IMG_7906 During my last entry, I told you about the children’s program we had during the day. Our evening meeting was held at a small orphanage in the dining hall. The kids had been bused over to the children’s program that morning, so It was a lot of fun seeing them again. The pastor who runs the orphanage also holds church meetings in the dining hall, so many of the people from the church were there for the meeting. The kids gave us fresh-picked lemons when we arrived, and during the meeting, the pastor gave us each a gift (CD/DVD). So sweet! Rose talked about Christ’s soon return using 1 Thes. 4-5. I shared how I came to believe in Jesus when I was child and then committed my life to following Him when I was 14. We looked at my “life verse,” which is 1 Cor. 10:31. After the meeting, we spent a long time praying for those with needs and for the children and taking pictures with them. 🙂

Sunday 1/10 church and evening meeting

Jill and Grace We were able to attend church at the same place we had the children’s program on Saturday. We saw more of the kids we met, along with their mothers who stayed for the children’s program. The pastor of this church, Pastor Vetha, has been coming with us to all of our meetings here. It was great to meet his family—especially his youngest daughter, Grace :),in the picture, who is 9 years old. Pastor Vetha gave each of a special “necklace” as a gift for serving with him this week. During the service, I spoke about sheep. Yep, sheep. Pastor Jamie just stared at me when I told the congregation we were going to talk about sheep. 🙂 The Bible tells us that we are like sheep (quite helpless!) who need a shepherd—Jesus! Rose spoke on Jn. 17, Jesus’ prayer for His disciples—and for all believers. Many came for prayer after the service, so Rose, Debbie and I went together down the line, praying for each one.

DSC01403After lunch and a little shopping (not many stores were open since it was Sunday), we had an evening meeting in a small village in an unoccupied home. Since there was no electricity, we used a propane lantern (which was hot!) to light the room. Rose spoke from Heb. 10 about how Jesus has made a way for us to talk directly to the Father, who is always with us. She told the story about the footprints in the sand and how when there was only one set it was because Jesus was carrying us. I shared 1 Tim. 4:10 about the hope we have in knowing Christ, and I challenged them not to leave there without it. Jamie wrapped it all up with an invitation to accept Christ, and about 8-10 people raised their hands. I was able to meet one of them, Privetha. She’s in college and spoke some English. I’ll be praying for her and her family to continue to follow Jesus!

Monday, 1/11 – pastor’s conference and evening meeting

About 50 pastors came to Pollachi for the pastor’s conference. Several of the pastor’s shared, and then Rose and I had a chance to talk about Jesus as the true Vine (Jn. 15) and what it looks like to abide in Him and bear fruit. I mentioned Matt. 6—what’s in their hearts is going to come out in their fruit! After a short break, Rose and I focused on unity using 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4. Though all these pastors came from different denominations, we encouraged them to use their gifts to help one another and reach all of India with the gospel. Jamie closed up with his own message, and then we served them lunch. Many of the pastors came to us after and said how blessed they were. Rose and I certainly had nothing to teach these pastors, but God used us to deliver His message!

We traveled about an hour out to a small village for our evening meeting, which was in the pastor’s home. We had dinner on the way out, but I thought we were going back to the hotel so that we could all use the bathroom. Nope. When we got to the pastor’s house, I asked for a toilet. A church member walked me all through the village until we came to a home where I could go to the bathroom—but there was no TOILET! Oh well…it was better than the side of the road! 🙂

The meeting went well, with about 25 people in attendance. I shared the story of Nathan’s cancer diagnosis back in 1996 and also when he relapsed in 2001 in the middle of the adoption process. But still I chose to praise God as it says in Hab. 3:17-19. Then Rose shared how Psalm 23 illustrates many of the names of God—his characteristics. Wilson also shared, and we closed the meeting by praying for all those who came forward.

Tuesday, 1/11 – morning meeting, travel

As I’m writing, we’ve just returned from our meeting in a small village about an hour outside of Pollachi. I’ve forgotten to mention that this area is in a very windy valley, and there are huge wind turbines everywhere! The wind keeps it nice and cool here usually, though today has been the hottest day in Pollachi so far. They also grow a lot of corn and coconuts here. Luckily, we’ve taken mostly main roads to our meetings, and the driving has been good.

This village church was in a small, thatched-roof hut with absolutely no ventilation. We were sooooo hot! About 30 people joined us for the meeting. Rose started with Jn. 14, highlighting how awesome heaven is going to be, and then explaining the gospel so they could know they were going to heaven. I challenged them not to be afraid—to follow Jesus, to tell others about Him, or to face whatever comes—because God is with them. Wilson also spoke and Jamie closed by praying for all of them to be set free from whatever was keeping them from God’s blessing.

We’ll be traveling for a few hours tonight, sleeping, and traveling again Wednesday to visit our friend Ragu’s wife and newborn son. I can’t wait to hold that little baby! Ragu has traveled with us on all of our previous trips to India but now has a job in Dubai that he cannot leave. We miss him so much!

Praise report: many lives committed to Christ; successful Bible college and pastors’ meetings; God’s orchestration in bringing together all of our messages for His glory

Prayer requests: safe travel over the next few days; Pastor Jamie’s wife and kids will also be traveling by bus back to their home in Coonoor where we’ll meet them on Thursday; little Jordan and Shirley have a sore throat/cold/cough; I’m homesick!

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