It seems like a long time since I have written to tell you all what has been going on. As you all have heard we made it safely to India. The last part of that journey was a little difficult because of the time of day that it was. We arrived in India at 11:45 pm, but it felt like 12:45 pm to us because we were used to Myanmar time. Our next flight left at 5:55am so we didn’t have to long to sleep in between at the hotel we rented for a couple of hours, though it still felt very good to lay flat on a bed.
Upon arriving at the Coimbatore airport Saturday morning I immediately was looking for Paul and Sarah, I knew that they were around there somewhere and couldn’t wait to see them. Sure enough after we picked up our luggage and walked out the door they were there waving to us. Benny was there as well. It was so good to see all of them again. We loaded up our suitcases in the taxi and I had the privilege of riding in Paul’s car with him and Sarah as we drove to the orphanage. They took us a different route so I didn’t know when we would round the next corner and I would be able to see the orphanage. About 45 minutes later we did round that final corner and I saw the Agape Home orphanage!
Driving through the gate I saw the children all lined up on the steps waiting to greet us. Once we got out of the vehicles they sang us a welcome song and greeted us in English. We climbed the steps and were greeted in the India fashion with the ‘stuff’ (I cannot remember the word) that they throw on your head.
We were then led to the meeting room and were soon surrounded by the children seated on the floor. As I looked around I remembered 8 of the children that were there when I was here 2 years ago. I counted and additional 16 children who were new. That first day all of the kids were very shy around us, even the ones that remembered Pastor Ike and I. However by Sunday evening they were acting themselves and very outgoing and asking us all kinds of questions! Little by little I have been working on their names.
Sunday morning we had the privilege of attending church at the Agape Home. Benjamin and I sang the Tamil song: Yesu Rajanin and the English song: I Sing the Mighty Power of God. Pastor Ike then shared a very good message on temptation and what our response should be when we are faced with it. In the afternoon we had a service for the kids and began to teach them the wordless book. After that Benjamin and I brought some tennis balls and juggled for the boys and began to teach some of them to juggle. There are a couple of the boys who are very fast learners! That evening the boys were all around us asking us all kinds of questions about what our favorites were, including: color, food, animal, bird, song, fruit, vegetable, Bible story, etc. It was so much fun talking to them!
Monday morning I woke up before my alarm went off even though I went to bed quite late, or should I say early in the morning.
After spending time on the roof I was told by Pastor Ike that there were some men from Odisha that had arrived. We were told that they would be arriving late, and they had come early! We went down to talk with them and review their names. I was so thankful that I had worked on their names and was able to remember most of them. Some of them looked quite a bit different from the picture that I had and I didn’t recognize them until I heard their names. Unfortunately of the 13 men that came only 2 speak English so it is hard to talk to them. I cannot wait until heaven when the curse of Babel will be removed!
Later on in the morning after breakfast, we had two lessons with the kids. We taught them the song: Jesus Loves Me, and a couple of memory verses, as well as two more colors in the wordless book. After eating a great lunch we had another session with them. Ever since Benjamin and I had brought the tennis balls down to them they were trying to teach us cricket. We told them that we would play with them Monday afternoon or evening. So after the lesson was completed we had our cricket lesson. I figured we would just play for an hour or so, but it ended up going for at least 3 hours! It was quite enjoyable, especially when I was able to involve one of the men from Odisha who doesn’t speak English.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time here at Agape Home. I am looking forward to tomorrow when the rest of the men are scheduled to arrive. The time is going to fly right by, so I am trying to soak up every minute of it.
The plan is that we will be leaving Agape Home on this Friday evening and will not return. Next week we will be visiting the other churches in Tamil Nadu, as well as visiting and looking into the possibility of tribal ministries here. The plan is that I am supposed to preach on Sunday morning in Pondicherry and on Tuesday in the south at an outreach that they will be having there, so I covet your prayers for those opportunities.
Pray that we would continue to have good interaction with the children and be able to encourage them. Pray also that we will have clear communication as we use interpreters during the conference and as we talk with the men who don’t speak English. Pray also that God would continue to give us good health and the strength we need to carry out what He wants us to do.
Thank you once again for all of your prayers!