Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bible Conference

Things have been rolling along pretty well over here...very busy!  Our annual Bible Conference starts tomorrow.  We have national pastors coming from different parts of the country (some with families along).  We are not sure exactly how many are coming, but we never know until they get here.  Some who have said they are coming may not show up, and others may show up that we don't know about!  There will be classes for the pastors and the ladies each morning, and preaching in the evening.  I will be teaching 3 classes for the ladies, as well as Sunday School on Sunday.  Brian is also teaching some classes for the pastors, and preaching.  We have 2 special speakers coming who will teach classes, as well as preach.
This is always a good time of fellowship and instruction.  We don't just want to "have a meeting".  We are praying to see real change in the lives of people.  Many need to be saved, many need to be faithful, and many need to be encouraged.  Please pray for our Conference, Thursday to Sunday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

One step forward...

One step forward, and two steps back...that's the story of my life for the last couple days.  We have been in India for only a week.  It seems like a lot longer than that, but it always seems that way to me.  I think it's because our life and activity is so different here, that everything else seems far away. 

So, my one step forward...Since we have been living out of suitcases for so long, I was ready to get rid of the suitcases as soon as possible!  By Monday, I finally emptied the last suitcase and things were looking pretty good in the house.  Now for the two steps back...
(Just for your info., I answered the doorbell 3 times since starting this post)

Then we visited the landlord and told him about a few repairs that needed to be made in the house.  There was terrible mold in one bathroom, and one of the kids' rooms.  Also, one of the bathrooms needed some major repairs.  The landlord said he would send someone after the first of the month.  So, I continued my setting up and cleaning.
 (Just now went to buy some vegetables from the vegetable seller.)
He sent the painters and plumber the next day.  So...the bedroom that was set up and neat...
Turned into a work zone...
(time to go to prayer meeting)
(Back from prayer meeting, finished supper, and got everyone settled in bed)
The one bedroom and bathroom to be painted, turned into touching up the living/dining room.  The "paint" mostly used here is more like white-wash, so it quickly gets dirty and marked up.  It needed to be done.  So, after 2 days of painting, repairing, rearranging...etc...I am back to one room set up and clean.

Nothing on the walls yet

But, the walls look fresh and clean, no pencil marks or dirty hand prints, and the bathroom is repaired (it even has hot water..woohoo!)  So, I'm thankful.  Tomorrow is another day, and we're planning to get the rest of the rooms back in order...along with catching up on laundry since we had no afternoon or evening water supply...and shopping for groceries for the meeting...and working on classes for next week...and...well I think you get the picture!  One step forward! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We made it

Warning:  This is a long post, but I thought some of you may be wondering how our travel and return to India has gone.
It would be very hard to describe the last few weeks.  I'm not exactly sure what a "time warp" is, but I wonder if we were sucked into one!  After attending one last missions conference, after sorting, discarding, rearranging, and packing, after some very emotional "good-bye's", we traveled to Boston on March 11th.

It is always a little nerve-racking to check-in at the airport on the way back to India.  We are a family of seven...with 15 suitcases...and 7 carry-ons...7 passports...7 visas to be checked (and rechecked).  India is a country that changes its policies often, and without warning.  Sometimes they will ask for a different piece of paperwork that they never asked for before, sometimes they won't ask for anything, so we never know what to expect.  This time they checked and rechecked my PIO card, they discussed it among themselves and handed me a piece of paper that said I could travel on the PIO with no problem.  I never had to use the piece of paper, I was never asked for it, but then again "better safe than sorry"! 
All of our luggage was weighed, and all were under weight! Yay!  If you have to travel internationally and have to pack a lot, get a luggage scale (ours is from LL Bean).  It's a lot easier to move things from one suitcase to another and get the weight right when you are in the privacy of your home, than it is when you are in front of a hundred strangers at the airport (this is the voice of experience!)
After a 6 hour flight to London, a long layover, and an almost 9 hour flight to India, we arrived in Delhi on Friday.  We flew through customs (the customs agent just wanted to know if all these kids were ours :-))

And...we made it!  We are back in India.  The jet lag hasn't been too bad.  It seems we are almost back to a normal sleeping schedule already.  The children are excited to be back, and have been enjoying their friends, and their favorite Indian foods.  I have been feverishly working to get this house looking like a home again, instead of a storage unit! Alyssa and Naomi have been a great help with this.  We had to switch the older girls to a different bedroom, because the room they had been using has mold growing, and Alyssa has asthma issues if she is in a moldy environment.  Since moving to the other bedroom, she seems to be doing well.  Hopefully, the landlord will be sending someone to deal with that situation in a few weeks.
The weather has been beautiful (in the 70s and 80s).  We should have a week or two before it hits 100. 

We have a Bible Conference, next Thurs. to Sun.  The guest speaker and his wife and daughter will be staying at our home, so I have to get the place "guest-ready" before then.  I also have 4 ladies classes to get ready for, so my mind is whirling about all those things, but I am trying to get things done one step at a time. 
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us.  Our travel and transition back to India has gone very well.  We miss many things about the US, we miss many people (and wish they would come for a visit **Hint Hint), but we are thankful to know that God has put us in this place for His purpose.