Yesterday afternoon, Tuesday March 21, 2006, was very eventful. We set out about 3 PM for several events about 20 km away. Igbal was our driver again and he has turned out to not only be a good driver but also a good photographer and helper during parties. All this in spite of calling him David at first and then to be called “Eyeball” by Ann today! Before I write of the days events I want to mention the incredible hospitality of the Indian people. Every place we have visited, a refreshment has been provided, whether in a rural village where they provided coconut water, cracked open in front of us and fresh as possible or a surprise stop at the home of Predita’s sister, Percita, and husband Pastor Sam, where she made tea and provided cookies. After church on Sunday, we went to Pastor Joseph’s home for tea and cookies, made by Rev. Glory’s mother, Johnsy. There have been several late nights when we have had events that finished late, without having had dinner. We would arrive home tired and hungry and find that Predita had prepared a feast. In addition to food hospitality we have been honored with beautiful garlands of flowers twice (The first time was when we first arrived at the Motherland Orphanage and the second time at Pastor Joseph’s church). In addition, the ladies received Jasmine sprigs at the CSI Orphanage for special needs children. We have been richly blessed.

Our Tuesday afternoon adventure began with a road trip to the town of Mettur where the Mettur Dam (formerly Stanley Dam) is located. This intricate dam was built entirely by the British and holds the water for many districts. It is in a very beautiful mountainous area with many palm trees. Predita’s sister lives in this town and her husband is the pastor of a church there. We were in great need of a restroom and they kindly provided hospitality. From there we visited a zoo where there was a snake pit. By the time we got there they had put away the big snakes (oh darn)! This park had many large shade trees and was an oasis for the people of the city. Next, we visited a home for children and blind adults where they gave us the gift of a song and we taught some songs. After Ann spoke briefly we shared gifts of pens, crosses and candy, along with seeds. We are running short on the candy- everyone loves it!

The big event came next. We traveled to the town of J.K. Puream to host a Wings party at one of the Rev Glory’s Christ churches. One of the pastors had been at the Wing’s Pastor training on Monday and warmly welcomed us with refreshments. We found out the people had been praying for us for the past 6 months when we had just started planning the trip. The church service was packed full of enthusiastic people singing praises to the Lord. There was just enough room for the seven of us (Rev. Glory, Ann, Doug, Paul, Shelly, Rita and I) to stand up at the front. We taught songs, performed the bible story of Jesus calming the sea and even had the people make butterflies. At the end of the service they asked us to go through the rows of people, lay hands on them and pray for them. We then passed out pens, pencils, crosses and candy (to the children only since we are running low. Igbal was a big help in this because he guarded the bags and let the people know in Tamil that the candy was only for the children. I wish I could communicate with the people in their language. Rev. Glory does a very good job translating for us. We prayed a special blessing for their addition to the church building. Doug observed that the only times his church is that full is for funerals or weddings. Services can last several hours and the people at this church sat on the floor and stayed attentive, even the little children. We arrived home very late and exhausted to find another feast waiting for us. Half the group was too tired to eat but those of us who did eat had a treat of omelets and dosai (little tortilla’s). Very delicious after a long day of activities!

A special gift of the day was a beautiful sunset over. the mountains, with the sky turning various hues of pink. This provided a beautiful back drop to the palm trees and mountains. What a wonderful God we serve!

Peace and blessings, Cathy