Hello from India!
~Last night we had a unique experience. We travel to a coastal congregation in fisherman's village. I was seriously 15 feet away from dipping my toes in the I Ocean! The pastor at the congregation is one of the CLCI's star musicians- vocal, guitar, etc. One really awesome thing is that pastors do not just attend the functions at their own churches. At each service there are at least five other pastors or seminarians. One played the drums and another took pictures. They are a very close knit bunch. There is also a "papararazzi" of the CLCI (or rather, paparaja :]). They're a two man team who photograph and video tape the various functions; they carry around a bright bright light for evening functions- not hard to miss.:]
~We travel in one of the CLCI's car which is a large SUV called a Scorpio. It is shiny bright red. It would turn heads int he states so when we go to these villages where hardly anyone has cars, the Indian people give us priceless faces and reactions as we honk our way throught their village.
~I was very ashamed last night. We had bugs galoro in the church; they were attracted to the light. I had a terrible time concentrating cuz I was itchy-swooping bugs off me continuously. I felt like such a rich, white, spoiled American to be letting something as small as a bug interfere with my ministering. Our slogan to help remind ourselves next time is this: "God is bigger than bugs!!"
~The orphans are so wonderful. They come running, "Sister! sister! Photo? Game?" They are hams for the camera and love all games. Most speak very good English. Two days ago they kept asking us to pray for them. It is so...so...special to have 10 kids crowded around you, hands piled together and just all able to pray to the same God, to pray to the Father that we all share together.
~The Inidans are a very serious and dignified people most of the time. But get them cracking up at a joke, and it is a riot! They have the hugest smiles and silliest laughs; part of the humor lies in the fact that it's such a surprise!
~Did I mention I love Indian music? They like a strong beat and they like it loud and fast. They also have dignified chant-like songs that they'll sing over and over in prayer meetings (I think that's where) to emulate a small taste of heaven. Purposefully creating emotion for worship! And the music is so singable! I'll be bringing a few samples back, for sure. :]
~We finally saw two cats last night. Up until then we'd only seen dogs. Go figure- they were running from the dogs and looking for the fish in the ocean!~One of our bus boys asked one of the girls in our group for a Bible. She gave him hers and this morning we saw him trying to read it. We recommnded John and Psalms, as good starting points.~They have a plot of property that they hope to build a school on someday. It would hold 150-200 students and have 8 teachers to run it, all for the price of only 75,000 American dollars. It would take a year for it to be built and filled with kids they expect. Right now there is just a barn on it. A teenager at the compound joked that for now just the cows and chickens are at school!! :]
Blessings to you all!!!