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I am finally up to date. Be sure to scroll down for previous dates.
I feel so much better today. My voice is a bit scratchy but it's back!! Prayers, drugs and Stan the medicine man. It all works.
I can't believe that 2 weeks has flown by. My students had me model all their products and we took pictures of me with the person who made it. They we're having such a great time. Asha told me that they will remember me for the rest of their life. I have many students but they each have only me and this is a once in a lifetime experience for them to have a foreigner come and pay attention to them. Krishna and Mrs Saha want me to stay for another month. They do not want me to leave. Juma started a drop stitch scarf. Tula finished the Accordion Scarf at home and by the end of the day, Krishna finished the shawl!! What a group!
I met some fellow Baptists from England here at BMS. Stanley had told me last week that he was willing to take me and whoever else wanted to go, to Sreerampur. There is a huge museum about the life of William Carey, the first Baptist missionary to India, there. He is buried there also. William Carey was an amazing man. I was talking about it to some of the Baptist friends that I met and one couple Rosie and Collin want to go with us. so we will be doing that on Saturday. I am really looking forward to that. We will visit some other places along the way.
If I am not able to blog again while I am here. I will see you all soon. God bless you, Lucille
Internet is working great so I'm on a roll. Be sure to scroll down to the date that you last read.
My time alone at Tengra has ended. The rest of the team came to Tengra for the first time today. Heather is teaching jewelry making, Krissy is attending, Brenda and Sara work with the children and come in to help me with color coordination for future shawls. We had a larger group for Bible study today. We went over the 23rd Psalm and related other scripture to each verse. Liz shared a personal story that during her battle with cancer when she was near death, God spoke the 23rh Psalm to her, "thou preparest a table in the presence of my enemy" and that is what kept the enemy (cancer) from winning. She said that she thought that the cancer was going to keep her from coming back to India, but here she is today, in India.
We went for a River Boat Cruise on the Hoogley River with the Deepka girls. There were a lot of temples built along the rivers edge with staricases leading down to the water. There were hundred of men doing their ceremonial bathing in the river. It was a nice warm, partially sunny day. It is so polluted here that you never see a blue sky or actually see the sun. It was so nice to spend time with the ladies. They are a loving goup of ladies. Even though I have only spent very little time with them, they come and hug me and tell me they love me. They are exceptional ladies for all they have gone though, their spirits are so strong. They look out for each other which is what helps them to be able to live in the District in a life of their own, not owned by a pimp.
I was actually developing a cold and by the time I got home I felt horrible. It was Sara's birthday so the group was going out for pizza at believe it or not, Pizza Hut. I stayed in my room and slept from 5:30pm until 7 the next morning.
We got up and went to the English Church Service. Ambika, the director of Deepika, took us on a long drive to Barrasat. That is the new home and vocational unit being built for women and children. The gounds are beautiful, very tropical. This will be a safe house for women who are not safe living in the District anymore. It was so nice to get out of the smoggy city and into a nicer area. We sat at a table and the workers there climbed a coconut tree, took down some coconuts and sawed off the top for us to drink coconut water. These are green coconuts, not the type we get at the grocery store. I did not really care for the coconut water and no one dared to drink mine since I had this raging stuffed up head and chest.
Ambika treated us to what I would call dinner at 4pm but they consider that early so it was lunch to her. We ate at Le Creperier (sp) in a really nice mall. We then continued on to the Children's Home where they take care of 16 girls who were orphaned, desserted or whose mother;s are unfit. The youngest is 5 and the oldest is around 17. We stayed there for at least 2 hours. They entertained us with dancing to praise music. Krissy who is a missionary associate from Jaipur, originally from NC, has joined our group to learn jewelry making. She found a guitar in one of the rooms. She sat down on the carpet, tuned up the guitar and started playing some Christian tunes. The girls all joined in singing. It was a lot of fun. Again these young girls were so joyful and full of love. They wanted to be so close to us, hugging us and telling us they loved us. They sleep 6 to a room with bunk beds that have a matress only about an inch or two thick. They were so proud to bring us around to show us exactly which bed was theirs. Brenda did a devotional with them and told them that not only were they beautiful on the outside but even more beautiful on the inside which is what God wants us to be. They were smiling from ear to ear. We stayed much longer than planned.
We did not get home until around 9:30pm. We were all exhausted, it was a long but rewarding day.
Friday was a very cold and foggy day. The coldest day yet. Not quite as cold as CT though. As I was riding to the school, I happened to look up on one of the store front signs to notice that I was on Shakespeare Street, reminding me of the British presence that was here. As we were stopped in traffic, beggars came up to the window. One very young boy was leading a blind man over to us. There are many living on the street here. They set up a little section of the sidewalk for their own and set up whatever they have. The men bathe on the side of the street, they wear a cloth around them and squat on the sidewalk and pour water over themselves, they bush their teeth while looking at you in the car. All very peculiar and eyeopening to me. Every day and every hour I am reminded of how blessed I am.
I just realized I have spent more of 2011 in India than I have in the US. Today started out like usual, Mr stanley led us in Bible study. Our Bible study today included Romans 10:13-14. Mr Stanley explained that people who are brought up in religions, such as Hindi, that worship more than one God have a hard time giving up all the Gods to believe in one true God even when they become Christian. He said they truly believe in Jesus but still keep a few of their favorites just in case Jesus fails them. Mr Stanley said they must be continually encouraged to follow only Jesus and not the others. Those who convert to Christianity have a difficult time with their parents when it comes time to marriage and they hold firm and say they will only take a Christian spouse.
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