Thursday, June 28, 2012

Meet the Pratt kids!

One of the hardest things (at least for me) about being so far from our home country, is that our family and friends don't get a chance to know our children the way they could if we were closer.  So...for all those who have a hard time remembering our kids names..or even how many of them there are...let me introduce you to...the Pratt kids!

     The Lord has blessed us with 5 children.  In this country, that is considered a large family!  The government here (strongly)  encourages people to have no more than 2 children per family.  It is not a law (yet), but we believe it may be someday.  There is a perception here, that those who have larger families, are uneducated.  So, when people see us, a foreign educated couple, with this many children, it brings a lot of comments:  surprise, curiousity, and sometimes rudeness!   No matter what type of comment someone makes, we always use the opportunity to tell them that children are a blessing and reward from God.            {I admit sometimes when people are extremely obnoxious about it, I have to remind myself of the phrase I tell my children often..."If you can't say something nice, don't say anything!"}
   Another thing about our family that people here consider strange, is the fact that we have so many girls!  In this country the birth of a boy is considered a blessing, while a girl is considered a burden.  It is illegal to determine whether you are expecting a boy or a girl through an ultrasound, because if they find out they are expecting a girl a majority of people would then decide to have an abortion.  {It is illegal, but it is very easy to find an unscruplous ultrasound clinic}  In Punjab the ratio of births is only 789 girls to 1000 boys. So sad!   All of our beautiful girls are a blessing!

So here they order of appearance! :-)
Alyssa is 12 years old.  The other kids like to tease her that she was born, "back in the 1900's..1999 to be exact!)  She is the down to earth, common sense, "go-to" girl around here.  If she is given a job, she can be counted on to get it done.  She loves to travel, and is always willing to go on visitation.  Alyssa is the most outgoing of the kids.

Naomi is 11 years old.  She is the thinker, and the dreamer of the family.  If you can't find her, be sure that she is somewhere reading a book.  She has to be pulled back to earth once in a while!  She loves to dress up in fancy clothes and jewelry, and is very artistic. 

Melody is 9 years old.  She is definitely the sweetheart in the family.  She has a very soft and sensitive heart.  Melody is very particular when doing any job or school work, she wants to get everything right!  I have to tell her often that 97 is NOT a bad grade!!  At this point, she is still interested in playing with her dolls and playing dress up.
When the Lord decided to give us a boy, He gave us one that is 100% boy!  Ethan is 7 years old.  He is always dirty, and sporting a bump, bruise, or scrape somewhere.  He is not interested in schoolwork, he would rather be outside riding his bike, or playing sports.  He loves cricket and football (soccer), but only if he is playing himself.  Ethan thinks watching sports is boring.    He is a very hard worker, and some tools are missing and you find an electric train torn apart piece by piece...guess who?
Kara will turn 3 next week.  She is an extremely active girl!  If you don't hear anything from her, you better find out what she's into.  She keeps everyone on their toes around here!  Kara loves to sing, and knows many songs in English and Hindi.

I hope you enjoyed this little introduction.  All five are a wonderful addition to our home and ministry.  Gotta love these kids!!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grace Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Church was started in 2007.  We met for a few months in our home, but soon moved to a rented room.
We rented a small room for a while, but with only one room we had to have Sunday School outside, which didn't always work well (especially in rainy season!).
The building where we meet.  We are on the 1st floor above the "Departmental Store".  The yellow sign says: "Grace Baptist Church" and gives the service timings.
A view of the church hall
Sunday School class
Now, we are renting a space that has a hall, a small classroom, a small room that we use for a kitchen, and an office.   We are so thankful for the extra space! 
So this is the building where we meet, but the church is the people!  So let me share with you a few photos some of the people of our church.
One of our members was recently married so on Sunday night we had a cake and fellowship for the newlyweds.

Enjoying the cake
Church families presenting gifts to the new couple
Our church is very near a pharmaceutical college.  These are some of the students that attend our church.  We love our college students!
The girl on the left will be starting Bible college next month..pray for her.
 The population of this country is over 1 billion!  Pray for us that God will help us to continue to share the Gospel with as many as He brings across our path. 
Also, I will take this chance to invite all of you to visit us here at Grace Baptist Church!  Come see what God is doing! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Drifting away...

How can you...after I've done so much for you?  I heard a statement similar to this recently.  Even if we don't say it verbally, many of us have thought it, or felt it.  I think those of us in the ministry may feel this way quite often.  Why?  Because the nature of the ministry is dealing with people.  More so in some cultures than others, people are very dependent on their leaders. 
  For example, in our ministry here, we deal a lot of times with doctors and hospitals.  People call us when they are sick, to ask if we know what is wrong with them, or to find out if they should go to a doctor, or to ask which one to go to.  They might call because they need a ride to the hospital, money to pay for the bill, or help in understanding what the doctor is telling them.  Of course, in the midst of all this, they want us to pray!
But what happens, when these same people, who we have prayed for, taught, discipled, preached to,  agonized over, served...turn away from us or from the Lord?  We might feel like saying.."How could you...??"  At such times..and they will come...we need to remember...

1.  They are not rejecting us.  When someone we have helped, turns away from the teaching of God's Word, or leaves our church, we feel rejected personally.  But, is it really us that they are rejecting?  God told Samuel when the people were asking for a king..."And the LORD said to Samuel, ...they have not rejected  thee, but they have rejected  me, that I should not reign over them." I Samuel. 8:7  

2.  Remember who we are serving.   "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." Colossians 3:23 "Not  with  eyeservice, as  menpleasers; but as the servants  of Christ, doing  the will  of God from  the heart;" Ephesians 6:6   Our service involves the people that God has placed before us, but our service ultimately is for God Himself.

3.  He is faithful! "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6   We second-guess ourselves.  "Maybe if I had called them more often...maybe if I had shared this verse...prayed more...encouraged more...done more..."  We need to be faithful to the ministry God has called us to, and leave the results up to Him.  In the end, it is God's work in lives that will change them, just as His work in our lives will change us!  "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also WILL DO IT!"   I Thessalonians 5:24

Friday, June 8, 2012


India has 22 "official" languages.  These are languages that are recognized by the Central or State governments, are spoken by a majority of people (at least one million), and are the languages used in government schools and official government documents.  There are also over 1,300 dialects that are spoken by other small people groups.  So, you may wonder, out of all those languages and dialects, what language do the Pratts speak?
Alyssa and Naomi, with some of our church young people, at the India/Pakistan border.  We live about 5 hours from the Pakistan border. 

We are living in North India, in the state of Punjab.  There are 2 main languages spoken: Hindi and Punjabi.  Since, we live in the city, Hindi is the main language spoken, and the language that we have learned (err...are still learning!).  Punjabi is spoken more in the villages throughout Punjab.  
When we arrived in Punjab in 2005 we had a language tutor for about 6 months.  We also worked with a computer-based language program.   Since then, we have continued learning by being immersed in the language.
Visiting a new mother in the hospital.

What about the children???
Within a few weeks of moving to Punjab, our children started speaking in Hindi.  I think it was mainly in self-defense!  So many children (who didn't speak a word of English) were coming to check out the foreign kids...they were outnumbered!  If you would hear the children speak now, you could mistake them for native speakers.
When we moved here, we considered speaking only Hindi at home, in order to learn the language.  We quickly found out that this method would not work for us!  In the first months, our Hindi was very broken.  I realized that the children would NOT learn proper Hindi from me!  Also, where would they learn proper English?  We had met other missionaries in the US whose children were hindered because they did not speak good English.  We had also met Indian people living in the US, whose children spoke proper English, but also were fluent in their "mother tongue".  So, I thought, if they can do it, so can we!  The end result being, I speak with the children almost exclusively in English. (So much so that for a while Ethan didn't think Mom could understand Hindi! HA!)  We do our schooling in English, our prayer and devotions in English, at home.  When we are outside, or around others, we use Hindi.  This may not be the method others choose, but it has worked nicely for us.  The children are fully bilingual, and Brian and I are close! 
We did send the children to a Hindi tutor for a few years, so that they could learn to read and write the Hindi language.  Now, they have started studying Punjabi.  I feel so blessed that my children are able to be bilingual (and someday trilingual) from a young age. 
Studying Punjabi.  The older girls are also good translators, when needed.

Not really related to this post...but found her sleeping like this the other day!
 Kara, is a different case altogether!  She will speak English to those that she considers English speakers (i.e. Mom and Dad, Pastor Dubish, Grammie and Grandpa on Skype)  To Hindi speakers, she will speak Hindi, and she usually keeps them separate.  She can be speaking English to me at the table, and someone next to her will ask her a question in Hindi, she will immediately switch languages.  Ethan was the same way, I guess that comes from learning both languages at the same time!