Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Who Are You And Where Is My Husband

O. is at a week long conference since Sunday night.

Strangely, for the first time ever, he didn't want to go. This man LOVES conferences and training retreats and anything of that genre. But he dragged his feet about going from Friday til Sunday when he finally left.

He didn't even bathe before going. He was wearing the same clothes he'd had on for 3 days.

This is not my husband. My husband bathes 2-3 times a day and changes his clothes and underwear each time. He can't even take the kids out for an ice cream without getting a shower and getting fresh first.

Yet, there he was, unbathed, unbrushed and off to a conference of Indian National Christian leaders.

Hence my question to him on Sunday morning, "Who ARE you, and where is my husband?"

Actually, sometime on Saturday it was becoming clear to me that Satan did not want O. to attend this conference. O.'s reluctance, the dragging the feet - the not bathing- it was all so un-O. So, I figure, if Satan Doesn't want him there, then God most certainly Does.

I was glad when I heard on Sunday morning after O. finally got on a train, that when he started saying he'd go by bus in the evening that Praveen, our President, and Ramesh, O.'s brother, said "No Bus - goodbye." And put O. on the train.

He calls a lot. He is loving the meeting and the atmosphere, he does sound broken on the phone.

Please pray for him especially this week, I believe he needs it. He is our leader over here and a lot of people depend on him and look to him to lead so he needs your constant prayer.

Baby Talk

E., C. & I were talking about the baby in my tummy:

C.: How does he eat?

Me: He eats the same food mommy eats.

C.: Does he have a plate?


E.: Does the baby wear clothes?

Me: No, he's naked in there.

E.: Does he wear underpants*?!

*Yes, I know, she obviously inherited her mother's underwear phobia.

Monday, October 30, 2006

In Words

Alright, now that I got all those pictures loaded I'm ready to write - I suppose. (If you only want to see pictures of the retreat, skip this post and go on to the next ones...)

Actually, I have this head cold and my nose itches all the time and I'm a sneeze machine and I feel like there is a large piece of clay in my head where my brain should be. I was up to the task of loading pictures - but writing - well, gotta do it sometime.

We arrived in O.'s Udaipur* village Friday evening and got settled in. We spent most of Saturday sightseeing - by walk. Almost killed us. We had fun nonetheless.

We spent that night at a school in the city - with one (1) bathroom for the 60 of us. Yeah. We went to a big church on Sunday morning in the city and that was wonderful. (I was unbathed.)

Sunday night we were happy to be back in the village and our own meetings started. It rained. It's not rainy season, but we had downpours 3 times. Of course the meetings were outside - open air. We prayed and soldiered on.

Monday was lovely and was filled with lots of meeting - mostly on the topics of family.

Monday was also the day I had my breakdown. I'm over 5 months pregnant and I hadn't eaten hardly anything for 4 days - plus not sleeping at night and missing my afternoon naps.
Since we were making our own food for 70 people 3 times a day and were on a really tight budget - we had potatoes a lot. Potatoes and Eggplant. I hate eggplant, that and liver are about the 2 things I just CANNOT eat.

So, I heard on Monday morning (while I was slicing onions for a curry to feed 70 people) that we were having potatoes and eggs for lunch. I thought, ok, I can ignore the dirty (yes - they were DIRTY) potaoes and just eat a little piece of egg.

I got there for lunch - no egg. Only potatoes. I cried over my rice. All my friends from church started running here and there and bringing me fruit and cookies that they had hidden away. My sister in law walked across the highway to a restaurant and got me some food. The eggs finally came and someone boiled them for me - 5 eggs.

So, I ate and survived. It was a hard and tiring trip for me and in the end - I got REAL sick. I vomited all the way home on the 8 hour drive. I guess I'm better now - 'cept for this stinkin' cold.

Anyway, all our believers and everyone had a wonderful time and it was a great time of fellowship to say the least. The meetings were informative and effective, I believe. Thanks to those who prayed.

Now - on to the pictures...

Last Meeting

We had a wonderful time of worship together the last night. Someone grabbed my camera and took these pictures - they were pretty dark but I lightened them and they're really cool.

The Gospel Meetings

We held meetings on Sunday night and Monday. Anyone was invited.

E. and some of our Children's Home girls dancing.
Ladies meetings on Monday.
There were also men's, children's, youth and pastors' meeetings going on simultaniously, but I was in the Ladies meeting so that's what we have pictures of.

Dwelling Together

We all stayed together in a church. The sound of crying babies in chorus at night will stay with me always. I don't think I slept for 4 straight nights. Not that I sleep at night anyway...

Washing and drying clothes.

Taking a bath at the pump.

Military Training

The retreat was by no means, a cakewalk. One lady described it as "military training." Lots of climbing on wet and slippery rocks while holding one child in your arms and another by the hand. Then there were the steep inclines to get from the sleeping/meeting place to the eating place... (see below)

The steep incline that we climbed up - oh I don't know - a million times a day?

The small stream left by the rains. Happy people, regardless of the "military training." Maybe it's just because they were going to lunch?

Fun Too

We went on a boat ride since we were in the "Lake City."

I love this picture. These kids are from a family of new believers in our church. They're very poor and have a bunch of kids. They had 4, maybe 5, with them. I kept losing count. I can guarentee they never experienced anything like this before.

We coundn't keep E. and C. out of the stream near O.'s family's house.

This is our mountain. Isn't it pretty? Fantastic views from the boat ride.

Feeding Ourselves

We had to eat.

We made it ourselves.
We served it ourselves.
We ate it ourselves.

Lots and lots and lots of roti to feed 70 people.



After The Retreat

After the church retreat we stayed a couple more days in Rajasthan. Here are some pix of what we did.

This is one of our pastor's sons. He was just too cute with those big eyes peeking up over his chai cup.

We prayed at pastor Johnny's house and gave some flood relief to do some rebuilding and also make a hall for church.
E. & C. with their aunts playing with the new baby goat. He peed on Martha while I was taking this picture. My 3rd baby. He snuggled right in there.

Just Some Fun Retreat Pictures I Like

Friday, October 27, 2006


We're home from the church retreat. I'll write all about it later - with pictures!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Church Retreat

60 of us leave tomorrow for a church retreat to Rajasthan. Yeah, wild.

We'll spend Saturday sightseeing, Sunday in a large church in Udaipur, then Sunday night in our village church.

Finally, on Monday we will have an all day and evening conference for pastors, men, women, youth and children. We'll be touching on a variety of topics, many of them social issues. We're sharing the teaching and will spend a lot of time in small groups.

We've never done anything like this before, but I think it will be relaxed and a good time. Pray for us.

Baptisms In Karnataka

I just got some pictures from our mission director who was touring in Karnatka and Maharasthra recently visiting our pastors there. Here are some young people from one of our village churches that were baptized this month.
There are some better pictures of the baptism, but they must have been on the mission director's cell phone camera because I don't have them here. Oh well.

(Pastor Samuel and Pastor Yesudas)

No, I'm Not Dead

I've just been plagued by busy-ness, computer problems and a fickle internet this past week.

But, we seem to be working now - shhhhh - the internet connection might hear you.

Of course, I'm leaving tomorrow for 5-6 days in Rajsathan for a church retreat and then we'll spend some time with O.'s family. It will probably be the last time the girls and I see them before we go to the US in January. So, once again, "atld" will be silent. I'll try to make up for it today.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

School Pictures

This is C.'s class picture. C. is the curly blond sloutching in the front row. And yet again, unphotogenic gene is on the attack.
Now here is E.'s class picture. She is over the teacher's right shoulder in the back row (left side batch of kids, all the way on the right) . She looks serene.
Funny C. school story.

C.'s teacher's name is Fatima Madam. C. always and forever pronounces her name as "Fat Tina" Madam. So, in our house, it's Fat Tina this and Fat Tina that. When I try to explain the humor to Indians (English speakers or not) they just stare at me with a blank look.

Humor just rarely translates.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I just haven't been in the mood to post much lately. I wanted to put up some pictures today but for some reason that is just not happening (Blogger). Oh well, tomorrow I guess.

I did go for my first ultrasound today for anyone who might be interested.

1 normal baby
18 weeks
2 eyes, legs, arms
heart beating

Who can ask for more?

I was kind of hoping for twins and then I could get this baby thing over and done with once and for all...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

December 21st Christmas...

For the last six years our church has put on a large Christmas Celebration Program. It is attended by 3000-4000 people. We are praying for 5000 this year. But more on the details later.

I've been promising myself (and others) that I would get some prayer requests up here in advance so you can start praying (hint hint).

In no particular order, here are some prayer requests for this year's program.

Pray for:
  • The man who owns the land where we conduct the program to let us use it again this year
  • 5000 to come
  • A good, annoited speaker
  • Pray that the Gospel would go forth with power and Satan would not be allowed to snatch away the good seeds.
  • Pray for the salvation of souls. We are praying that we would have at least 100 people to follow up with (salvation, prayer, questions) after the program.
  • Protection against Satanic attacks in all areas
  • Pray that every evil scheme planned against us will be destroyed
  • Protection, safety and health for all involved
  • A strong involvement by our church members
  • Unity for everyone involved and also between us and the other churches and believers in the city
  • Finances: Budget is $4000
  • We need 5000 New Testaments in Hindi, Gujarati and English (Pray that we can get them freely)
  • Pray for every special performance in the program to be done with excellence and purpose (we have performances by our school children, church youth, ladies, etc...)
  • The school students, teachers, staff and parents who are involved and are not believers
  • Everything to get done in a timely matter and without undue stress
  • Pray for the presence of God to be with us and working through us

Thank you!

* I'm sure there is more...

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Bible Quiz - At Long Last

After 2 months of planning, prayer and preparation, today was the Big Day.

From 5 - 6PM 18 ladies took a 50 question multiple choice quiz on the Book of John.

Every single person was there - early. And this is India. And these are mothers of small children.

They were nervous and anxious, and occasionally while taking the quiz I caught them staring at a far wall with that look on their face that says, "If I examine the inside of my brain long enough, I will actually discover the correct answer."

I was delighted. I'm so glad they took it so seriously. We'll check the papers tomorrow, so I can't tell you yet how everybody did, but I'm ready to be surprised.

Pleasantly, I hope.

Why I'm Not Around So Much

Last Monday I got my b-day package, and in it were 7 books and 1 DVD that I had purchased for myself with an Amazon GC.

I've already read 3 books and watched the DVD.

I read "The Book of the Dead" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child first because, well, I Love Pendergast. He was in jail and I just couldn't leave him there with Diogenes on the loose any longer than I already had.

If you have no idea what that means, I will one day get inspired enough to write my Preston and Child dedicated post. Hey, I may need to start a whole new blog for it.

2 really are better than one.

Anyone who actually has a clue what I'm writing about - good for you.

The 2nd book I read was a light hearted romance. Not worth mentioning.

But what I just finished was "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz. I read Koontz for years and years. He's got some wacky mind, but I generally enjoy his books and his takes on good and evil. This one was quite good. Good enough that I cried and my eyes still hurt. Good enough that I'll buy the next 2 Odd Thomas novels even tho they appear to not hold a candle to the 1st. (Yes, I realiae the 3rd won't be published til November.)

The DVD is: "Where the Heart Is." A favorite movie and book of mine. Just always love the theme of Change in a novel or film. Always will, I guess.

Next in line to be read: "Dark Tort" by Diane Mott Davidson.