Saturday, September 30, 2006

It's Over. At Last.

The land problem is solved.

I admit, there were times when I never thought I'd write those words. I was just about as fed up as fed up could be. But it's just testimony to the Lord that He did it. He did it all.

It came down to getting 8 people from the neighbor family to sign. Getting them all together at once was just not happening. They were in the city or in the mountains, but suddenly on Thursday (after a nightmarish Wednesday that including women with big stones saying they were going to break someone's head and police intervention) everyone was there and SIGNED.

I still can't believe it. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, I admit it. O. goes on Sunday night, he's the last one to sign. But, it's over. It's really really really over.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Good Party Pictures

Pictures of the Kid Party on Sat. night. It was Sumitra's "real" birthday too, so she cut the cake and blew out the candles.

Lot O' dancing after the party.
Oh, how we LOVE to have our picture taken!

Handing out gifts.

Cool picture.

Pictures Of The Surprise

Me in the evening at the kids' party getting gifts from the boys. And I'm happy!

Me - crying through my surprise party.

At the beginning of the party I was trying to hold it together. See, I even let my 5 year old play with a big knife.

And through it all somebody just kept on taking pictures...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Just What You've Been Looking For

I still LOVE and read faithfully the Matrimonials section of the Sunday paper. Here is the winner from yesterday:

"Son of a Top-notch ultra rich Rajasthani Brahmin family of international fame having multifaceted business of reputed companies maintaining very high tastes in life, having a palatial residence in Mumbai and abroad. He is Non-manglik 1984 born/167 cms. in height handsome smart intelligent social & with broad outlook towards life, convent schooling widely traveled, wishes to hear from vivacious very beautiful girls hailing from Brahmin families well established in India/Abroad. Exceptionally beautiful girl is the main consideration. Reply in confidence with detialed bio-data & horoscope. Photograph (must)."

If you're interested I'll get you the contact info.

I was going to highlight my favorite parts but I figured there would only be a word or two left out so it wasn't really worth it.

Give me a Break!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I Should Have Disappeared

There was a surprise party in the afternoon for me. I hated it. I cried through the whole thing.

I finally pulled myself together for the program for the kids in the evening. When I arrived there was no electricity, the whole neighborhood was out. But we did something and were able to put a line from one of our co-wokers houses to the Children's home and we were up and moving at 8:15.

We fed the kids and they were very happy with the food. I had it catered by a Chinese restaurant and those guys were great. They brought and did everything, even the clean up. Good move on my part.

We had our short meeting, gave out gifts and went home. It was nice, after the fiasco in the afternoon I was real relaxed in the evening.

I'll put pix up later. Too tired.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Am Actually Happy

Today is my birthday. I like to ignore it and hope it goes away.

It's not just the getting older thing, it's that I've had miserable birthdays for a long long time.

So, this year I boldly proclaimed that I was NOT celebrating it. We are celebrating all of the kids in our children's Home birthdays tonight. My name will Not be mentioned and the party is Most Definitely Not For ME.

All that to say, I have been inundated with happy birthday wishes, gifts, chocolates, phone calls* and emails since last night at 12:00AM. It's not even 8 O' Clock in the morning and I've had a better birthday than I've had in probably 20 years.

Maybe I should just disappear now til tomorrow so it doesn't get spoiled...

* All of O.'s relatives in Rajasthan called from the village while I was writing this post to wish me happy birthday, EVEN his father. He spoke in their village language, which I don't understand, but I got the sentiments none the less.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Anti-Conversion Law In Gujarat

We got the news last night that the law that had been sitting in the Gujarat State Assembly since 2003 that would prohibit converting from one religion to another - Passed.

The Amendment to the Freedom of Religion Act passed saying that one person cannot convert to another religion without informing the district magistrate (mayor) first. Kind of an oxymoron if you ask me - A Freedom of Religion Act that says you Can't convert without asking government's permission....

The archbishop of Gandhinagar said, “it is outrageous that the civilian authority should be given power to judge matters of faith”.

With you on that one.

So, in light of this new Amendment to the Freedom of Religion in our state we've made the following plan:

"Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart...On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord,... For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Taken from portions of 2 Cor. 4 (vrs: 1, 3-5, 17-18)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rain gods

Once Again I seem to be losing my mind. These pictures are supposed to be loaded on my Flood Relief Blog. Ai yi yi.

Anyway, they're cool, so I'll keep them. Our team to AP returned on Sat. and I got these this morning. As they were traveling through one village there was a procession of people dressed as the gods, trying to convince their goddess to ask the rain gods to have mercy on them.

The darkness is so deep.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Militant Nation

I was looking over at the wood cutting factory behind my house today and saw a tent and a bunch of people in Orange. I thought it was a wedding or maybe because on Saturday Navatri starts and Diwali soon after (2 big Hindu festivals).

Then, a little while ago my nephew, Prakash, says, "The RSS* are training next door."

I said, "I saw them, I thought it was for Navatri or something. So what are they training for?"

"They're learning how to beat people."

"Heh heh, no really, what are they training for?"

"How to beat people."

He went on to say he saw them in another location near to where one of our pastors lives. The pastor, who as a younger, non Christian man, was involved with them, told Prakash what they're doing.


I guess they are in training because of the holidays coming up and I'm sure the Pope's recent comments on Islam play a factor.

Hello, just because he lives in all Roman Catholic Vatican City doesn't mean the rest of us do. Thanks a lot for making bad situations worse.

*RSS is a Hindu extremist organization. They'd like India to be all Hindu. They're main fight is with the Muslims because they're more, but they are also the Christians main adversary in India.

The End Of The Middle Of...

O. did finally return from Rajasthan and the problems there. But he has to go back. Probably on the 25th. His younger brother and sister are there now dealing with things.

The situation is presently in the legal system, so let the lawyers fight it out. At least it will be over - eventually. Til then, O. will be running back and forth.

He's still somewhat stressed out and it's hard for him to concentrate on anything else. More of Satan's ploys.

Friday, September 15, 2006

O.'s Troubles

This Land Problem in Rajasthan is a mess. I cannot even stand to write about it except to say that O. is STILL there. The Land is still NOT registered back in his name.

1 of the 6 brothers is still not signing. He and some others have made a political issue of the whole thing.

O. was evading police on Wednesady night while Praveen's father sat in jail. That got solved through prayer and God's grace AND THEN the next day the "enemy people" went to the mayor of the city to stop the registration saying that we were doing it by force and that we were just here to change people's religion.

Well, that's always a Hot Topic - changing religion. It got everyone fired up.

Fact is, it's our land, they stole it, we BOUGHT it back from them and now they're not willing to sign.

Satan is behind it all. It's SOOOO stressful for O. He cannot even function. He was on the verge of a breakdown on Wednesday night. Pray for him.

Yes, yes, we'd just let the land go too, but his father lives on it, is unwilling to go anywhere else, and because of the problem O.'s father and sister are constantly under threat of beatings and abuse by the neighbors. O. and his entire family was born on the land for who knows how many generations. O.'s mother is buried on the land. So, there's a lot of stuff going on.

Floods in Rajasthan

I meant to load these pictures on my other flood blog, but since my internet onnection had been down for 3 days, I am rushing to do everyting at once. Hence - here they are over here. I figured I'd keep them.

This is the condition of Pastor Johnny's house after the floods and rain. He is one of our pastors and is seen here with his wife and mother.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Green Baby?

For each of my three children, there has been a fruit.

That sounds like the beginning of a B-rated movie.

But really, with E., my first, I couldn't eat enough plums. I ate as many as I could get my hands on. For C., it was strawberries, I probably ate over a pound a day in my later months.

The funny thing is, E. is my darker skinned child and looks GREAt in Lavender.

C., who is several shades fairer than E. and of a pink complexion, looks fabulous in Pink.

For this baby, the fruit I can't get enough of is Guava. Have you ever eaten Guava? It's heavenly. Not overly sweet or tangy, it's actually peppery in flavor. You can eat the whole thing, just cut off the top and bottom and then cut it in slices and add a little salt. Yum.

While looking for the above picture I learned a few things about a guava. It is a berry and it actually has 3x as much Vitamin C as an orange. Go me.

Every culture has it's wive's tales when it comes to whether or not you're having a boy or a girl. In the US we often get predictions from the shape of our pregnant bellies. In India, it's whether you crave tangy or sweet.

Tangy means girl. Sweet - boy.

For E. & C. I definitely craved tangy. Both plums and strawberries are tangy.

But a guava is not tangy at all. Hmmm, we'll see in 5 months if the wive's tales are true or not.

But back to the title of this post. I ate purple fruit and E. came out dark. I ate red and C. came out pink and fair. I'm eating Green this time around...?

Funny, unrelated Plum story. On Sunday one of our Children's Home girls was looking at my hair and said,
"Mommy Sahib, your hair is the same color of that fruit, you know the one that's purple on the outside and red in the middle."
I said, "Plums."
"Yeah, that's the one!"


Since writing the above post I have discovered that Guavas have more that 5X the amount of Vitamin C as Oranges. They're like way way high in Vit. C. Way high. (I eat the green outside, white inside ones - not red inside).

Also, while thinking about my unborn child's skin - he could be Olive skinned toned - couldn't he?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Doing Something

In January I started re-editing my manuscript (for my novel). I actually started working from the middle because the beginning just needed so much work that I couldn't even bear to start there.

I worked on a chapter here and there over the last 8 months but didn't get too far, although it was always on the back of my mind.

But since this week I have no husband and no English class to teach I was determined to jump back in there. I finished the book today. Of course, I started in the middle so I still have to go back to the beginning and start from there. But it was a good feeling to get to the end of the book.

And I still like it! I even cried at three separate parts of the story. (Of course, I wrote it) But even considering that, I have read the thing a whole lot of times over the last couple years and the fact that I still like it and it still makes me cry (even tho I am pregnant) makes me happy.

Maybe tomorrow I'll even tackle Chapter 1.

O.'s Sick And Tired

I talked to O. today. He really is sick. He usually gets sick when he goes home to his village. He must be too much of a city boy these days.

But he's also sick and tired of all the land stress he's been under the last couple years. When this process of getting his father's land back into his father's name should be 99% done, the stinkin' rottin' (yes, stinkin' rottin') neighbors are stalling and still not signing.

What more can I say?

Pray for him.

Friday, September 08, 2006

O.'s House - Again

O. is in Rajsthan with the team doing flood relief there. He also hopes to FINALLY put to rest his father's land problem.

A small amount of money still needs to be paid for the final registration to be accomplished. He has the money, we're just praying that the nasty neighbors will just sign and be done with it and not raise any more stinks.

Pray with us!

Interesting side note story:

A few months ago when our daughter, E., had her fall from the 2nd floor window of our house (see: "Old Pictures" posted on Aug. 31st for pix of the accident & My Wonder Child & My Wonderful God from June 6th for the story.) O. was Rajasthan working on this land problem.

We praise God that E. was saved and miraculously spared from death and all kinds of harm. Now here is the interesting part. Around the same time that E. had her fall - just 10 days or a couple weeks later, the son of one of the neighbors who caused all the land problems in the first place, fell from a tree branch to the ground - AND DIED.

When I visited my sister-in-law in Rajasthan in June I asked about the accident. The boy - who was about 13 years old - fell from a tree branch that was not even 6' off the ground. He did not land on rocks or roots or any other hard thing. He fell on to dirt.

He was a healthy, 13 year old boy who fell from a height of not even 6' on to DIRT and he DIED.

Our 5 year old, E., fell from a 2nd story window on to bricks and iron rods and was unscathed.

God certainly takes care of His own.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

14 Weeks

Time for the big news. For the like - 2 - ATLD readers out there who do not already know - I'm pregnant.

I've waited til 14 weeks were totally over to break the news so here it is. (I also dyed my hair today for the first time in over 3 months - much to the relief of Everyone.)

I'm due with baby #3 sometime in the beginning of March and we will be coming to the US for delivery in January.

So, that's about it. I no longer have to hold myself back from pregnancy related posts and whatnot. Altho there probably won't be as many since I now mostly feel like a normal person again - just with a growing belly.

Flood Relief

We've been working hard in Flood Relief over here. The first team went out yesterday in our own state. Another team leaves tomorrow for Rajasthan relief. Here are some pix from yesterday.

We distributed all kinds of things. Food items, clothing, soap, toothbrushes, and most importantly, the Word of God. We pray for each and every person and share the Gospel individually and openly.


My new computer!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fancy Dress Competition

Yesterday was Teacher's Day in India and at E. & C.'s school they had a Costume Competition. E. was a princess and C. was Barbie.

Not photogenic child strikes again. But she did get 2nd prize in her class.

Look At This

If you haven't checked this out already, Go To:

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our Children

I've had this post rolling around in my head for a few days now. I've wanted to put it up, wasn't sure how to write it, so I'm just going to write it as it is.

We have a Children's Home for the children of our village pastors who do not have any good place to educate or care for their children.

Currently there are 24 boys and girls, ages 2- 14, that we care for. A family stays with them in the house that we own and they are the children's caretakers.

We've recently enclosed the porch outside to provide more room for the children to sleep. Before this, the boys were sleeping in the living room because there were only 2 bedrooms in the house. One for the family and one for the girls. Now the boys have their own place to sleep.

However, the porch is outside of the house and the outside area has become a stronghold for Satanic power. Previous to this some, of our children and the wife of the family who cares for the kids have often been attacked in the night by pressure on their chests. This is a common form of satanic oppression that I have experienced myself several times. But outside of the house the attacks were more physical.

Last week one of our smaller boys was pushed down, dragged into the new porch room, pushed under the bunk beds and his head was smashed against the wall til it bled. None of the other children who were around knew what was going on.

When the boy, Rahul, came out, he couldn't speak for some time. It was several minutes before he could tell what happened to him.

A day or so later, our oldest boy was standing outside brushing his teeth at 5:30AM - alone - and was pushed from behind and he fell down and banged his shin.

O. was informed on Monday night when the first incident happened and he went to pray and every night thereafter. I also started praying from home before sleeping.

Then, on Thursday, September 31st, we had our monthly fasting prayer. About 20+ of us come together in fasting on the last day of every month and pray from 10-4PM for all areas of ministry. This past Thursday we prayed til 2PM and then walked to the Children's Home and spent the rest of the time there in prayer.

We surrounded the building and prayed, then prayed in every room and area. We originally purchased the house from a Muslim family and they were the builders of the home as far as I know. It's interesting because I tend to relate this kind of spiritual activity mainly to Hindu homes where the previous owners had set up their idols and worshipped day and night. It's the main reason why I avoid living in houses that were lived in previously.

In this case, I'm not sure what is causing the attacks but, as Christy - the house mother in the Children's Home says - the more we are praying with the children in the mornings and at night and growing in a spiritual way, the more Satan comes and attacks. That's the truth.

Pray for our kids, as we pray for them. I believe in the coming days God is going to use them powerfully for His kingdom.

Hindi Movies

I went to the city yesterday where we're thinking of moving some time in the future. They have McDonalds there so the girls took the day off from school and we had a long lunch at McDs. O. and everybody else went out somewhere else and ate curry.

O. is usually the last person who wants to go to the movies but there is a theatre at the same place as the McDs and he kept going on about seeing what was showing. So we checked the listings and there were 2 English films: "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" rated "A" for Adult and "8 Below" which when I saw a preview for it during another movie - made me cry. Both were out.

So, it came about that I watched for the very first time in my life, an entire Hindi Bollywood made film. Oh, I've seen bits and pieces on TV but I've never watched one from beginning to end.

Well, we picked a winner yesterday. The movie was "Lage Raho Munna Bhai." If this every comes your way with subtitles (or if you already know Hindi) - watch it. It's worth it.

It is actually the 2nd part to another film which I never saw and it didn't make a difference to me.

The entire movie was about Change. Change in us. I love movies about any kind of change. It's my favorite genre, if it can be called such.

This movie had Munna and his friend who are basically "arm breakers" for another rich guy, being guided by the spirit of Gandhi to do things in a Gandhian way.

One bit of dialogue went like this, Munna and his friend are talking from behind bars in jail, Friend says: " We've illegally evicted 115 people from their houses, we've kidnapped people, we've broken over 250 bones, but we've never set foot in a jail. Today, for the first time in our lives we asked Sorry from someone and we get sent straight to jail."

It was really cute. It's about Telling the Truth, Asking Forgiveness, Showing Forviness and doing things in a non-violent way.

Definitely worth a watch.