From the Pages of Nathan’s Journal by Nathan Graham (Pastor Ike’s son)
January 24, 2007 we were heading to Cleveland airport. It was snowing, but I didn’t care because I was going to India where it’s hot and nice. We made it to Detroit, and it was cold there too. Pastor Hoyt was already on the plane so we met him on the plane. We flew from Detroit to Amsterdam and we made it to Amserdam okay. We got there at 3:30am and it was cold there too but it wasn’t snowing. When we got to our next gate in Amsterdam, the security pulled me over and it scared me really bad. We arrived into Bombay airport in India; dude, we had to wait like 13 or 14 hours. It was long. We slept on the hard chairs on the hard chairs and the hard cold marble floors in the airport. Dude, our flight was sweeet! We had our own personal screen in front of us so we could watch movies; listen to music and other stuff. It was tight. The food was sick on the plane though. We ate in the Bombayairport for breakfast and it was awesome. The restaurant was called Café Coffee Lounge, and they had good food. When we where flying from Amsterdam to India we flew over Mt. Ararat. That was awesome! On Jan. 26th, we arrived at Coimbatore from Bombay. That flight was long too. The Rajan family was waiting for us outside. When they saw us, they greeted us and gave us flowers. Then, Paul Rajan took us to a restaurant called Super Cook. They had good food there. When we were heading to our hotel, we saw a family of three riding on a little motorcycle. It was crazy! The road was scary too. I thought we were going to get in a car accident. The way people drive – it’s crazy! When we got to our hotel, our room was pretty nice and our beds were hard like a cardboard box; and showerhead barely worked but Pastor Hoyt fixed it. The next day we left to go toPondicherry by train. When we got to the train station, it looked pretty bad. I have never smelled anything like it! There was trash everywhere. We saw rats on the tracks. I thought that was cool. When one of the trains stop, people are crazy. They all rush to get on. Our train was sweet. We got to sleep on it. Our cabin was a sleeper cabin because it was going to take 10 hours to get to Pondicherry. On the train there were no covers or pillows. Everybody in India stared at us like every single time. Well, we arrived inPondicherry at 5 or 6 in the morning. We went out for breakfast, they we went to church in Pondicherry. Munisamy is one of the elders there. Dad did the sermon and Pastor Hoyt did the communion part and so then they had their first communion and it was a historical moment for the Indian GRACE BRETHREN churches! It felt great for them. I think I know; it felt great for me because I was there when it happened. They did the three-fold communion. The hotel we stayed in had no covers so it was cold at night. Oh yeah, at church the ladies sit on the right side of the room and the men sit on the left side of the room. Their building is fairly new and they are still working on it. When we ate they served us curry, cabbage, rice, potatoes, and a chip like thing. It was good.
After Pondicherry, we took a car to Chennai. We went shopping and we went looking around in Chennai. In Coimbatore, Paul took us sight-seeing. We visited a prayer center which was really cool, and we visited cool temples in another state. We drove through where the Tsuname hit; that was awesome to see. We flew to Kochinot see dad’s old friend. His name is Abraham Thomas and his wife’s name is Grace. Grace fixed us American food. It was awesome. She fixed us fried chicken, corn, rice, curry, some kind of greens and for desert, she fixed apple crisp with ice-cream on it. It was good! Then after that Abraham showed us (well, he showed dad, Pastor Hoyt and Paul) around his house. I was sleeping. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but dad woke me up and he showed me around Abraham’s house. It was amazing! It was like paradise (lol). He has his own banana trees, jack fruit trees, papaya trees, coconut trees and he grows his own pepper. It’s amazing! The reason we went to see Abraham was so dad could spend time with him and to hear his input about the whole thing about all the churches in India that want to join the CGBCI.
After we got done seeing Abraham and Grace, we went to Sankarankoil to see Samuel and his family and his work there in Sankarankoil.
We returned to Coimbatore and Sarah took us to a tailoring school where a whole bunch of ladies practice sewing. Dad shared he testimony with the ladies there. Two of them were Muslim and 12 of them were Hindu. Back in Coimbatore, we all took a walk and dad passed a guy on the street that fixes shoes so he got his shoe fixed. At the Rajan’s house they have a children’s ministry and we got to go to that. It was cool.
After we got done visiting the children, we headed off to see Paul’s dad in Rajapalayam. We took a train again to get there. It took 5 hours by train and 2 hours by bus. It’s like our there in the Boondocks! His dad takes care of children from broken families or they are abandoned. Everywhere I went, they would follow me. It was great! The kept giving me handshakes. It seems like I shook ten hundred hands. Everybody in Rajapalayam was very nice. It seems that people in the country are nicer than people in the city. We visited a couple of the other villages too. I think we visited like two villages; I don’t remember well. We went back toCoimbatoreto go to church and I believe dad preached. After the sermon they had communion there. It was their first time too so it was another historical moment. There three little girls kept staring at me. It felt weird (lol).
On Monday, we went shopping for gifts for family and friends and at the store where we were, there were three guys that walked in dressed up like women. The looked NASTY! Monday was our last day in Coimbatore.
Tuesday, it was time to go and we left at1:00pm. I had like 5 minutes to get what I wanted and I forgot about the time. I had dad, Paul, Sarah and Pastor Hoyt all looking for me. It was great! Finally, they found me and then we headed for the Coimbatore airport to go home. We left from the Coimbatore airport to go to Bombay and we had a 7 hour layover there. We got on the plane like 12:00am, I believe. We got to the Amsterdam airport to change planes and, like our next gate was like close by, so that was great. We got on our plane to head to the Detroit airport and from Detroit back home to Ohio. We got back home at 3:00pm. That was the end of our trip.