19 July 2007

From Laura Hulke

Hello, everyone:

The first thing I want to ask of you is to please continue your prayers for all of us here in India, but also to pray for the spirits of my group. We left Nellore today, a city that we had been growing used to, as well as the company of Sanjay and Moses. We drove for about three hours to the city of Kadapa, which has already struck us as being harsher and less welcoming. Victor told us that it's not a very good idea for us to venture out by ourselves, which is a little discouraging as we were used to being able to leave our hotel rooms in Nellore. Also, our hotel isn't as nice, and we'll be staying here for a week. It isn't horrible, though. Things could definitely be worse. In any case, I've been feeling a little disheartened today and I know that the other group members have been, as well.

Quick updates on the week, as my group is waiting for me to finish with the computer:
MONDAY - Taught VBS in Krista Patanam. This church actually had a roof made of stone! The kids were a little crazier here, but it was still fun. I didn't feel very well on the ride to the village because our driver drives like a maniac on the bumpy roads, but I felt better after getting some "fresh" (if you could call it that) air. On our way back, we stopped at a pizza place that Sanjay had told us about. It wasn't bad, but I still crave Pizza Hut.

TUESDAY - Alison and I stayed at the hotel instead of going with "the Daves" as they taught their class. We went to a clothing mall, and Alison found a beautiful sari that she later decided to buy. One thing I can't get used to is how much people stare at us as we walk around. I think I've mentioned it before, but I feel the need to point it out again. I could never be a celebrity.

In the evening, we had my favorite VBS class yet in Alamulakandriga. The children were very lively and well-versed in Scripture, so it was fun to ask them questions and have them respond. It was also the nicest church we've been to (at least for VBS) so far. It is completely made of concrete, with Bible verses painted in Telegu all over the inside and outside walls. I recorded a short video yesterday on my camera that I'm very excited to show people when I get back, because it really encapsulates (is that a word?) the spirit of the worship services here.

Also yesterday, we went to a sari shop that Moses knew of, and I picked out a beautiful sky-blue sari. Moses insisted on buying it for me, which was really unnecessary, but he seemed happy to do so. We also had to pick out fabric for the blouse and petticoat that I need to wear underneath it, and then we went to a tailor so I could get measured for it. I had no idea that the process of purchasing a sari was so complicated! This morning, Sanjay brought it to me at the hotel, and an Indian woman named Susan helped me put it on for the first (and probably only) time. I wore it until we got to the hotel in Kadapa. It really is beautiful.

I must go, since everyone is waiting. Please continue to pray for us! You have no idea how much your thoughts and words mean to all of us over here. I thrive on two things: seeing and teaching the children, and keeping in contact with all of you.

As our brothers and sisters in Christ say very often over here, "Praise the Lord!"