Friday, August 31, 2007

A Little Opposition

Early on during today's fasting prayer, we were told by the Muslim neighbors on three sides of our Ministry office that we couldn't sing so we worshipped in our hearts and kept on praying. Then after 1PM we moved into our church hall which is located at our school and then sang our hearts out and prayed some more.

A little opposition is often just the kick needed to make you pray harder.

ESL

I took this while waiting for the car to come. This is C. introducing E. who is going to dance. (I already deleted that one.)

Needless to say, English is not C.'s native language, but she's mighty cute.

video

Hungry

It's the last day of the month - so that means -Fasting Prayer!

I really do love fasting prayer days. We have them from 10AM to 4PM on the last day of every month. It's a special time to come together as a body and corporately present our requests to God.

But I gotta be honest with you, it's 9:24AM and I'm hungry. Really Really Hungry - already.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

G. And G

Our trip to Rajasthan was G.'s first time there out of the womb. When we first arrived in India, O.'s family came to visit us and so 2 month old G. met her grandfather then but not since.

Here she is in O.'s sister's arms looking at her paternal grandfather, "Dada."
Still looking...
Oh, she's such a pleasant girl.
Another "Uncle."
With Aunt Martha - yes, she works very hard to get her hair to look like that - I can't be bothered.

Haldighati

On Tuesday our family - and I mean - ALL our family went to a historical place in Rajasthan where the Mogal King, Maharana Pratap Singh fought against Akbar in the 16th century, and so on and so forth...

Anyway, here is our cute little family in front of a statue of Maharana Pratap on his faithful horse (Chetan) who gave his life for his master. It is Akbar on his elephant. Yes, the horse is wearing a fake elephant trunk. No, I don't know why. They just did that I guess. (I'm writing this from memory so Indian historical mistakes are not only likely, but probable.)
Ah, back to the camel ride. Here is the guide trying to entice the itchy camel to stand up.
Ahhhhhhh! Notice the man in the background with his hands covering his face as if in horror. Mostly he was just laughing hysterically like the rest of us.
*Just click on this picture to enlarge it and view the expression of terror on poor E.'s face.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Riding Camels With Dad

I took this video with my camera so the quality is not great and it is my first time loading a video on Blogger, so we'll see what happens. I only wish I had the camera set on video when they were getting up on the camel instead of off. It was pretty darn funny. I've ridden camels before, (never again) and I knew what to expect, but my husband and poor girls sure didn't. Ah, the looks on their little scared faces. I'll load some still shots later on.

Anyway, here is a little excerpt of our trip to Rajasthan.

video

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Juliana

My brother-in-law, Ramesh, has been in the southern Indian state, Andhra Pradesh, since Monday with his wife who is there to deliver her first baby. He called me last evening saying that Aruna had gone to the hospital with pain and asked us to pray.

Later, around 10PM, he called and talked to Martha, my sister-in-law. She told me that Ramesh said Aruna was in a lot of pain and the Doctor was suggesting Cesarean. In India, especially in the city where I live, doctors do C-sections almost routinely on pregnant women. I do not know one woman who has ever delivered in this city who Did NOT have a C-section*. Yeah. So, I jumped out of bed and went downstairs to call Ramesh and tell him to give the Doctor a piece of my mind for me, but when he picked up the phone he was crying.

I changed tactics. The poor guy was alone in a state where he doesn't speak or understand the language, we're all far away in North India, his wife is in pain, it's the first baby... I said, "OK, don't worry, just do what you have to do. We're here, we're praying, call any time day or night. " After 2 more phone calls like that - one to Aruna, who could still speak sensibly at that point (I knew she wasn't quite ready yet), I finally went to sleep around 11:15.

At 3:40AM the phone rang and it was Ramesh saying they had a little girl - normally, No Cesarean!

We talked several times today and I got more details, mom and baby are fine, I heard her cry, she was 2 1/2 kg. Her name is Juliana, I gave it to her.

*Doctors in India like to do Cesareans because they're quicker and because they get paid 4-5 times more money for a Cesarean than for a normal delivery. Sad but true.

Just a P.S. we'll be in Rajasthan til Thursday night so atld will be on a short hiatus...

Death And Life

(I'd just like to add a little note that this is my 500th post. So, that's pretty exciting for me, I can still clearly recall my 100th!)

This has been week of funerals and births. On Tuesday, the recently retired pastor of the CNI (Church of North India) church in our city died. He had been in the hospital for several days and died from complications from Diabetes. His service was Tuesday afternoon. It was in the CNI church and it was totally in the local language which I do not speak nor understand well. Where we were seated we couldn't see the front where all the "action" was happening and when they started to put garlands on his body we slipped out. Mainly because we spent most of the hour just trying to keep our eyes open. I went ready to cry, but it was a pretty dry funeral.

On Thursday we got news that the husband of one of our teachers died. He was a young man in his thirties with 2 young boys. He had been sick for a very long time. He was an alcoholic. We went flying through the city on motorcycles to the teacher's house because the body was being buried in another village and these things need to be done very quickly over here. We missed meeting our teacher, she had already left for the village. The body (wrapped - he had Hepatitis) was still there and we looked at it, our pastor prayed, and off they went.

By Friday we got news that a co-worker's wife who is 7 1/2 months pregnant was admitted in the hospital because she was losing some amniotic fluid. She's on bed rest for a week.

And then early Saturday morning my newest niece, Juliana, was born.

And through it all I didn't shed a tear. A new record for me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gave The Bibles

The Bible College Principal and I gave the English and Hindi Bibles to the Bible Students today. I even took a picture of them with their new Bibles with E.'s Spiderman camera but the camera deleted the pictures before I had a chance to load them here. It does that. Oh well.

O. is in Calcutta and he has our real camera with him, so I'll wait to get a group picture of them til he gets back on Saturday.

O. is in Calcutta for the Pan India Summit* and he just called. It's his first time there and he says it is a nasty dirty city, the dirtiest in India that he's ever seen - and that's saying something.

* It's organized by the Evangelical Fellowship of India and some other Christian organizations. I got this off the EFI website:
Issues to be addressed:
1. Missions 2. Persecution of the Church/Religious Freedom/Advocacy 3. Development/Empowering the Poor 4. Research/ Developing India Christian Handbook 5. Leadership Development 6. Media 7. Theology of Church 8. Inter-Church/Ecumenical Relationships 9. Financial Management- For Church leaders and Organization leaders.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

C. And Angel

Cute Pictures of My Kids Day.

This is C. with her best friend, Angel. I love how they are holding hands.
E. (my 6 year old) took this picture.

Oh Aunts!

Someone, who will remain nameless, fed melted chocolate ice cream to G. last week.
Oh, it was Aunt Martha.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

He Did It All

It was my week to lead the Ladies Bible study yesterday. We are once again in the process of preparing for a Bible Quiz in the beginning of September. One of the books we are studying is Romans.

So it came to be that I was assigned 3 chapters from Romans to teach yesterday afternoon - in Hindi.

To be honest, I just depended on the Lord, the thought of teaching on justification, sanctification, righteousness, etc. in Hindi nearly put me over the edge. I put it in the Lord's hands, it was so way out of my league.

But it was all OK in the end, and I learned lots of new words. To God be the Glory.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

G-sus

My oldest daughter E. is not academically inclined. However, I was plesantly surprised last night when, for the first time ever, she was actually trying to sound out the spelling of a word to write it down in a book (instead of just asking how to spell it.)

She already had "G" written down, she needed a little help with the rest.

It turns out she was trying to write - "Jesus" - and she was just not getting past the fact that Jesus is spelled with a "J" not a "G." Hey, I don't blame her for being confused. Sound it out: G-sus.

English is a stupid spelling language anyway.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bible College Bibles


Yay! We got the Bibles for the Bible College today. We have 17 Hindi and 17 NIV English Bibles. We currently have 13 students studying but better safe than sorry.

A kind man donated the money for our College course books and there was enough left to get these Bibles for the students. 34 Bibles for $75, not bad.

Praise the Lord!

New Church

Last night we attended the official first service of one of our churches that has been started by one of our Bible College graduates. It is in a city nearby and our Bible Student, Jayker, and his family have been working in the city for the last year or so part-time while he was studying.

They've recently moved to the city to stay. About 25 of us from our home office went over for for the first service and about 25 people came from that area.

It's pretty exciting for us for the main reason that we have been trying to plant a church in this city for years. There have been several attempts in the past to start the church but nothing lasting has ever remained.

Pray with us that God will establish a growing church in this city.

Blogging In My Head

Lately I've been blogging in my head instead of through the computer. There's pictures and everything in there.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Crying And Sighing

On Thursday I finally got the copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in my hot little hand. I started reading around 12 noon and finished somewhere in the middle of the night (I'm guessing between 2-3AM).

I found it to be a very satisfying read.

I am now going to move into the realm of thoughts and comments on the novel itself which are major spoilers. So, please do not read on if you have not already read the book but plan to eventually - or if you would really rather just poke out your own eye than read even the words "Harry Potter" one more time. Thank you very much.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!

First, I am still devastated over Fred's death. I balled when it happened as I read in the middle of the night and I admit to clutching my pillow the next morning and weeping all over again. There is something so utterly sad to me about a twin dying while the other lives.

None of the other deaths affected me nearly as much. I breathed a sigh of relief that Ron survived, according to JKR he was due to die but during the writing of OOTP she changed her mind. Whew.

I LOVED that it was Mrs. Weasley who did in Bellatrix. As a mother - I relate. I see a mother's heart throughout all 7 of the HP books. I think it's one of the main reasons I love them so much.

The Horcruxes:

Diary - Harry
Ring - Dumbledore
Locket - Ron
Cup - Hermoine
Diadem - Crabbe's Fire
Harry - Voldemort
Nagini - Neville

I'm really glad that everyone got to destroy one. And I literally CHEERED when Neville pulled Gryffindor's sword out of the sorting hat and decapitated Nagini! Yeah Neville!

Neville is by far my favorite non-main character. If he had died, I may have never ever recovered. Thank you JKR for putting him in the epilogue too!

Hermoine and Ron: Over SPEW. SPEW! Who'd have ever thought.

Next week I'll start my 2nd, slower read to attempt to catch all the stuff I missed on my first voracious reading.

Monday, August 06, 2007

For The First Time I Wish I Were There

I have lived in India since 1998, and until this past week I have never wished that I were anywhere else but here. Not for weddings, holidays, or vacations, ... It's just the way I am. I am where I am, and I don't waste time wishin' I was somewhere else.

But this, this, this is something on a whole other plane.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition has been in my Home Town of Pennsauken, NJ for the last week building a house for a needy family. My town, mine. Where we live when we go to the US. NOT ONLY THAT, (I know, hard to believe that there could be more) but they are building the house on property once owned by the church I grew up in. The church through which my parents were saved. The church where they were married, where my sister was married. The church where I was dedicated to God as a child, where I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, where I was baptized. It's where I fell in and out of love, and where I spent almost every meaningful moment of my life until I was 18.

I actually have recurring dreams about both church buildings (one is a 100 year old original and the other is the "new building" - both now owned by Urban Promise.)

The lot where that was donated by Urban Promise to build this house was where we played countless hours of youth group games. Most memorably the one where 2 trees on opposite sides were "bases" and you had to run between them without getting caught - what's that called? I loved that game.

The church, the buildings, the surrounding neighborhood (Camden) were such a huge part of my growing up - of making me be who I am.

I just wish I could have been there to see Ty say:

MOVE THAT BUS!

(I realize they are moving in furniture in the above photo)


For more information on this - and pictures!(because some of you readers where there with me):
http://www.courierpostonline.com/
http://www.urbanpromiseusa.org/get_involved/emhe.html

Oh, that I have only one lifetime...

Weeping Walls

When the walls at my house weep, there's been a lot of rain.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Why I Feel Weird

As far as I know this has nothing to do with being sprawled out in a broken chair in front of lots of people.

I haven't been feeling myself lately. It's like I've been attacked by the "lazies." I haven't been in the mood to do any of the creative or extracurricular things that I generally enjoy doing. Just the minimum amount of work was enough to send me up to my bed for a rest.

I couldn't figure it out. Was I under attack of Satan? Am I sick? Brain tumor? Depression? What?

Then I had a flash of understanding this morning.
It's G.

For the last few weeks she has stopped sleeping through the night and is waking up about 3 times to nurse. I knew this, I even commented on it to other people. But (possibly because of my weird imaginary illness) I didn't put 2 and 2 together til today.

No wonder I feel like a nap by 11AM every day. No wonder I don't feel like going out in the evenings. No wonder I don't feel like baking, blogging, visiting or doing any of the other non-essential things I generally love to do.

I'm suffering from a severe case of Lack Of Sleep.

What Happened?

About once a year I have some kind of embarrassing incident. I must have been due in August because here's what happened on Wednesday.

I was in a crowded room, there were no windows - lots of people. Long message, long message - it was O. preaching. I started to feel like I was going to pass out. The chair I was seated in had wobbly legs, I had to sit forward the entire time to keep the chair steady.

At long last the final prayer came. I thought to get up and slip outside for some oxygen. I leaned back in my chair to put my Bible away first.

CRACK!

The chair broke, down I went. Every eye was on me. I didn't care, I needed to get outside for AIR.

Later everyone kept asking me what happened.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mental Exhaustion

Last Wednesday we had a Cottage Meeting at our house. That's what we call the weekly Bible Studies at our church. They rotate from house to house. This is the first time we've hosted in a year and also the first time since G. was born. We decided instead of snacks we would serve a full meal at the end.

I expected 50 people, planned for 60.

One hundred people came. At 6:30, when people started arriving a half hour before the meeting started, I was on the phone ordering more food.

In the end, everyone ate and by Thursday I was mentally exhausted. I hoped to veg-out most of the day but I got a phone call early in the morning that a student from our school had died. He had been in the hospital a month, they thought he would recover, but he didn't. I heard it was Dengue Fever, I really don't know. He was in 9th grade and from a Sikh family. The family was going to burn the body at 11Am, we got there around 10 to pay our respects. All our teachers, 9th and 10th grade students and ministry staff came. O. and Aiyub said a few words, we prayed and left.

Very sad. It wore me out more. It was some week, let me tell you. I'm just starting to dig out.

The good news is, it's Wednesday again - Cottage Meeting - and not at my house!

Girl's Laundry

As the mother of 3 girls our laundry loads look like this:

White Load

Dark Load

Pink Load