Our days in India start bright and early at 5:30 am.
The first teaching sessions start at 6:00 am -7:00 am with singing and joyful sounds. Brenna started her second session with the kids who were very receptive and engaged as they became more comfortable with us. Siromani was Brenna’s vibrant translator. I think she was giving the kids mini sermons as she was translating. The kids are up early and go to bed late studying. We are tired keeping up with their schedules but are enjoying the enthusiasm of the kids here. This year we only going to one of the other homes on Friday as it is hard to transport all of us around.
We have been blessed to see the new bibles and clothes from our Christmas giving of friends back home in the United States. The kids are very thankful for the gifts and treasures from our friends back home that pray and support them.
After our morning breakfast, the kids head out to school and we have been heading to the pastor’s conference.
The drive to the pastor’s conference is quite the adventure. We leave the town of Narsapur and head through several villages to get to the East Godavari region. Our car has to navigate small roads through coconut groves and rice fields as well as fitting on small foot-bridges that take us across the canals of the Godavari river. The Godavari river which is often called the bread-basket from West to East across India is amazing to see. We are viewing the river before it feeds out to the Bay of Bengal. The East Godavari people are some of the most colorful, joyful, prayerful and loving people I have ever met. They love the Lord and they love their fellow man. The villages are filled with beautiful coconut groves and rice fields as that is their main source of income. It’s amazing to see piles and piles of coconut shells that are used for cooking as well as ropes that they make from them. We also noticed some nice concrete homes that look like they were in pristine condition. It was sad to hear why many of these homes are here. Many of the women in the villages have been contracted to be servants in homes in Dubai and various countries in the Arabic region. The women send money back home to build these homes as a sign of their status now in life. The life for these women in these homes abroad is not one of joy and happiness and many cases they are mistreated. Their families are separated with husbands left to fend for themselves and children to be left behind. Many of these kids are now in some of our Lifesong homes.
Once we arrived at the pastor’s conference, it was amazing to see the many village pastors, their wives, and villagers coming to hear God’s word. Pastor Chris Hopf has been sharing each day morning and night with the assistance of Bob and Siromani Stoll and two of the main pastors who speak English. They have been very receptive to Chris and love him dearly as this is his third trip to India to be in fellowship with them. This particular day we experienced the joyful music of some of the pastor’s singing with Siromani in Telegu. Although I am not able to speak the language well, I am able to understand every word they are saying.
After the service, we were able to spend some time getting to know some of the people and their needs. Many of the women and children came up to us asking for specific prayer. It was amazing to fellowship with them and most importantly lay hands and pray for them. The people here are not afraid to ask for prayer for the smallest and biggest thing going on in their lives. Back home in the States when are shy to ask for prayer. When was the last time we asked a fellow brother or sister in Christ to lay hands on us and pray for our ailments or needs? Brenna and I were humbled by this time and their sincerity and love for the Lord.
We returned home that day going along the same exciting road and this time got to see many monkeys on the foot bridge, which Neha absolutely loved. The ride was long but amazing to experience how the majority of India lives each day.
We returned home for some rest, late lunch and time with the girls at home from college. We started our third lesson with the girls and they became more and more comfortable with the teaching and us. The jet-lag finally hit Neha and she went to bed without dinner and was out till the next morning. Very unusual for me to retire early in the evenings and I have enjoyed spending that one-on-one time with Neha each evening and morning.
Bathing here is been exciting for Neha. The water is cold or lukewarm from the tap and the bathroom is all one room, sink, toilet and shower area. She has learned to take a quick body bath kicking and screaming. I am so glad that her first trip to India has been going to the orphanage and village areas instead of the big cities where things are comfortable.
Love, Eliabeth and neha
Love, Eliabeth and neha