Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Malaria, typhoid, and dengue fever, these are all words we have been hearing frequently here recently.  Sounds like a delightful topic of conversation, doesn't it?  Sickness has been sweeping through our area, and so many people are affected. Most of the visits we have been on lately, have been to visit the sick. 

The village where our church is located, Kumbra, is kind of a typical village in India.  There is no proper sewer system or water supply.  Sewerage flows in open drains throughout the village.  Unfortunately, the people have no concept for proper hygiene.  Trash is left to pile up on the road sides and in open ditches.  The village has a lot of cattle that roam freely, so animal waste is also piled out in the open.  So, when rain comes, as it has been in torrents this month, the trash and waste flow into the streets, overflow the open sewers, and contaminates the water supply.  This has resulted in many cases of typhoid.  We have told and told our church folks to boil their water, but most do not bother.  These days when we go for sick visits, and people try to give us water to drink, we always decline.  We used to let the kids drink the local water, but we have strictly instructed them now, to not drink any water outside our house!  Also, because of improper drainage and standing water, there is an abundance of mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue.  Melody and Kara are very attractive to mosquitoes, so we try to keep them doused with mosquito repellent when we have to be out in the evenings.

Why am I saying all this?  Just to shock someone's delicate sensibilities?  Hmmm...maybe!  (Be thankful I haven't supplied pictures to illustrate!)  Mainly, I just want to share what is going on with us, and what we are dealing with on a daily basis here lately.  The children and I caught some kind of fever last week, that gave us all headaches and severe aching in our muscles.  It lasted only a day with the kids, but 3 days for me, probably because 2 of those days, I tried to keep up with my daily responsibilities, school etc.  Thankfully, we all are doing better.  Please pray for our health and strength.  Pray for us as we visit and deal with the sick.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A trip to Mumbai

In August, Brian, Kara, and I took a trip to Mumbai for a few days.  Mumbai (Bombay) is about 1800 km from our home here in Punjab.  Our friends, Pastor and Mrs. Eda, who have been serving the Lord in Mumbai for about 30 years, invited us to come to visit their ministries, and their Bible College. 
It is always an encouragement to see nationals who have been serving God for years, and staying true to God's Word.  It's a blessing to see the Eda's desire to train up the young people of India to take the Word of God to the multitudes of this country.
While we were there, Brian preached in chapel services.  He also taught classes for the senior students on the practical aspects of being a pastor and planting churches.  On Saturday, there was a family meeting for all the college faculty, where he spoke on the Christian home.  During this meeting, I took a session for the faculty wives on "Being a help, and not a hindrance to the ministry".  I was also able to teach a Bible study for the college girls.
Some of the college faculty
Two of the faculty members children
Kara made some new friends while at the Bible College
Had to share this photo of the work going on at the Bible College.  They were working on a drive way, so these men were laying the stone before paving it.  Look at the size of that rock he is carrying on his head! 
 The college is located about an hour and a half outside of the city of Mumbai, so it is a very quiet and peaceful setting, unlike the city of Mumbai itself.
On Sunday, we visited Mumbai proper to be in the services of three different churches.  Also, on Wednesday we went for a meeting in "Asia's largest slum", which is home to over a million people. 
This is a pictures of the meeting.  We didn't get there until it was dark, so I didn't get any other pictures of the area, but believe me, it is like a city in itself.  Bro. Prashant, who we have known for years, is doing a good work in this slum area.

We were able to visit a few of Mumbai's well-known tourist attractions while there: the Gateway of India, the Taj Hotel, and the Arabian Sea.
Brian and Kara at the Arabian Sea
Gateway of India -- Built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
The Taj Hotel, the site of an extremely deadly terror attack in 2008
Trying to get Kara to "touch the top" of the Taj hotel..almost got it!
Mumbai trivia:
Formerly known as Bombay
Largest and richest city in India
Home to "Asia's largest slum"
Fourth largest city in the world
Home of India's film industry, which is nicknamed "Bollywood
Financial capital of India: the Reserve Bank and National Stock Exchange are located here

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August 15 -- Independence Day in India

India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15th.  On August 15th 1947, India was granted sovereignty by the British Empire.  This coincided with the Partition, which divided India into the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.  The purpose of the division was to create a country for the Hindu majority (India), and a country for the Muslim majority (Pakistan).  An interesting note is that Pakistan's Independence Day is on August 14th and India's on the 15th. This was done so that the Viceroy Mountbatten could attend ceremonies in both countries.
On the 15th of August, our church in Mohali celebrates Independence Day by raising the Indian flag in the morning, and then having a youth meeting and lunch.  Here are some pictures from our Independence Day celebration.
The flag of India

Ready for flag hoisting

We decided to do a race, where two teams had to follow clues that would lead them to 10 different locations nearby our church.  Some of the clues were at shops in the market, others at the homes of church members, and one was in the dorm of the college.  It took me hours to come up with the clues and to organize the whole thing...it took about an hour for the teams to complete it and return to the church, which was the last stop.  I guess they enjoyed it, since everyone said they wished it had been longer.  Longer!  Hmmm..maybe I should start now getting ready for next year!
Visiting the barber...one stop on the race list..this barber has a chair and mirror set up under a tree near our house where he cuts hair all day.  But not on Tuesday, Tuesday is the holiday for all barbers.
Another stop..a church members home
Last stop...the church
After the race, the young people sang some songs and listened to a message from the Word of God.  We also gave out prizes to those who had learned the most verses during our summer Bible memory contest.  They were required to memorize Psalm 119 first, and after that they could recite other verses from the Bible for extra points.  Six of them memorized all 176 verses of Psalm 119.  Congratulations Pooja, Naomi, Alyssa, Sahil, Ritu, and Melody!
Kara checking out some of the prizes.
Preparing lunch

Serving the food

Don't judge by looks...the food was good!

Time to clean up...next time I think we should go for the styrofoam plates!

Happy 65th Independence Day India!