20 July 2007

From Heidi Maas

may-koo wan-den-al-loo! (Christian greetings to you)

~Three days ago we pulled over on the road and flagged down a guy on a bike carrying coconuts (he had a lovely bunch of coconuts, doodly dee, there he was a standing in the road...:] (the song we started singing from the Lion King when we saw him..:])). He pulled out a machete, hacked off the top in pieces, and then gouged a hole on the top and inserted a straw. It is supposed to be good medicine for one's stomach. I think it would have tasted better with some ice in it, but it was very good and the experience was most novel. :]

~Two nights ago we were rained out when we arrived at our teaching station. They had trouble keeping the generator on and the roof was leaking. It was a straw and bamboo hut, the way I'd envisioned all our churches to be. And it was standing room only with 76 kids and 12 adults. But because of the rain, only two people went in and presented a brief message and gave the children the gifts. When they came back out to the car we had been waiting in, one was in tears and both were very moved. We felt like bursting the doors on our car that held us captive from running in there and sharing more of Jesus with all those kids who didn't mind walking home in such weather. The only thing that kept us at bay was knowing that breadyGod works all things together for good and that it would be rudely bold for us to storm out like that.

~We saw people walking on the road in mid calf deep water. It was not drip-drip rain- it was just bucket after bucket being poured on the head. There was a bus that fell off the road right as we passed it; our angels are watching out for us, for sure. Indian thunder sounds more like drums than a bowling alley and their cows moo like creaking doors. Just fyi. :]

~Just as disclaimer, for whatever it's worth- the impressive scorpio we ride around in is not the CLCI's car; it's rented. (sometimes the communication here has holes in it...:])

~Last night we had another large turnout, but fortunately the weather held because half of the church was outdoors. One of the children was the drummer, so he was playing very loudly and intensely. One of the pastors decided it was too much and took over. But it was still a very lively worshippy crowd, nonetheless, and they raised the roof to heaven anyway.

~I do not doubt that there is incredible freedom in being an American; there's no country like it on earth. But on a small scale of "freedom," India seems more relaxed. On the roads and the public services (that I have seen so far) seem to be governed by very few rules (there are no speed limit signs or anything yet I've never seen anyone speeding; people know their own limits I guess if they drive something that can go above 40 miles per hour). There seems to be less red tape and cookie cutter regulations, and forget politically correctness (Indian people tend to be blunt and forward)! For example, the way they drive seems to be governed by basic, common sense principles. Like the trucks hauling two lanes worth of hay (with no wide load sign and a few riders on top the 30 foot stack) are not going to do you any favors. Work around them. And on down to the bikes that are small, vulnerable, yet maneuverable that can be run off the road in an emergency with no sweat to them. Or if you pass another car and you miscalculated the time and oncoming traffic is coming on very quickly, they'll slow down and let you squeeze back into your lane. People are careful not to get into wrecks cuz no one's insurance is guaranteed to cover it! And there is high value on keeping your neighbor safe in most circles.

~The various churches blast their services on loud speakers in the late evenings to compete for the crowds (and no one calls the cops with a noise complaint). The only functions I've seen the police perform is directing traffic during rush hour and patrolling the airports.