17 July 2007

From Heidi Maas

Greetings to you all!

~Yesterday we went to the oldest CLCI congregation. Their unique aspect of their "honoring ceremony" was the children threw flower petals over us. There were about 15 of them and each had a large handful of golden petals that they threw. They thoroughly had fun making the Americans sprinkled with golden goodness and we were thoroughly thankful for their kindness.~The power went out when I taught again yesterday. Not sure how to interpret that...:]

~Our new tradition for the last two days is singing praise songs in the car. After our lessons each day, we drive about 40 min back to our hotel and sing songs to pass the time; some are in English and some are in telegu. It's so amazing cuz it's so natural. And imagine an SUV about the size of a Landrover, I think. In America, it would seat seven comfortably. We fit 11 plus 2 or three kids. We are each other's seat belts and it is instant family-ness cuz of the close quarters. (there is AC or windows to help out) :]

~Another reason why India almost feels safer than US is cuz for every one person on a street who might want to mug me or whatever, there are nine others who want to protect the American.

~Yesterday the oldest pastor in CLCI (V.S.Benjamin) made a beautiful speech. One of the girls didn't feel like eating her food cuz she felt nauseous. VS assured her that he would find her a doctor to figure out why her stomach was not OK. She politely declined and said she probably just needed sleep. But he went on to explain himself. "I do not care how much it costs; money does not matter. Your health is more important. I want you to get better. You are all to me as my sisters, my daughters. It is my duty to protect you, to keep you safe. I will send you healthy back to your parents in America." And he kept insisting on this.

~The other day we went shopping for sarees (traditional Indian women dress) with the pastors' wives. Apparently Indian women do not shop like we do, at least those in our group. You go, you look, you you like, you buy. We went, we looked for a long time, we liked a lot of things, and remained indecisive on what to buy. So we didn't. It seemed very frustrating for the employees who were trying to understand what was happening.

~Yesterday was a very successful craft day with the kids. They all were able to finish their project and they were smiling so big as they all held them up high. ~I noticed that 99% of Indian men have mustaches. I was curious about this and found out that is a firm Indian tradition. Someone once shaved his off and his family told him: "If you ever shave it again, you will not have a place in this house." And he tried talking to his friends they asked him: "Who are you?" The only reason men choose not to wear them is a health issue. A moustache is a nuisance for collecting dust, bugs, and other things.

Blessings to you all!In His love,
Heidi Spring