Ministry: Mission Trip India
2004 India Mission Trip
July 15, 2004
Dear Prayer partners,
Since July 11, Assam is under heavy flood. 600,000 have become homeless and about 30 have died. All the train services and transportation have been affected.We feel sad about these suffering that come to Assam every year. On the other hand, we feel grateful to God that we left Guwahati on July 10 and could avoid this disaster, otherwise we would have been stranded, which would have affected rest of our trip.
Earlier, we decided to leave Tezu a day earlier than our original plan and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. A day after we crossed the rivers, they became uncrossable. At Itanagar also, the heavy rain started after we ended our training conference and it continued for more than a week. These incidents are certainly not merely a coincidence but a favor and providence of God because you all are praying with us. The hand of the Lord has been on us. Thank you for praying.
We arrived in Delhi on July 11, after 36 hours hectic train journey. Nowadays the train services from Guwahati to Delhi has improved a lot, but it still needs some more improvement in some areas. Any way, we enjoyed the ride and could sleep well. It was an educational ride for children as they viewed the beauty of the countryside and the reality of city life in northern India.
In Delhi, we are staying in Chowdhary Guest House. It is a small guesthouse with very small rooms, with poor facilities. Good hotels in New Delhi are unreasonably expensive. Tourism is one of the biggest businesses here. One must be very tactful in making any deal here.
On July 12, we hired a SUV type vehicle to go to Mussorie. Since July is a religious month in the western part of India, some of the roads were closed in order to provide safety for the pilgrims walking on foot. So we had to take a longer dirt and bumpy road. We were on the road for about 9 hours and felt quite tired and sick. Neema has fever and diarrhea since last two days. She hasn’t been eating well and has become quite weak. Please do uphold her in your prayers, and also do pray for rest of us that we stay healthy.
On our way to Mussorie, we saw long, colorful caravan of Hindu pilgrims in orange uniform. Each one had a rod/pole on his/her shoulder carrying the Holy Water from Ganga in two pots. We were told that these pilgrims would be walking 500-700 miles on foot to their village temple and pour the holy water on Shiva Linga (one of the Hindu Gods; God of Judgment). This is one of the ways they show their devotion to their God and seek blessing. Some do it because they have pledged to God and some seek certain blessing in their lives. We were amazed to see even women and young children in the crowd. Hindus in general are sincere seekers of God. The scene moved our heart and challenged us afresh. We realized how much more one who knows the living God and whose salvation is insured should show their devotion and reverence toward God, and how much we need to pray for those who are truly seeking God. Do pray for India.
Mussorie is a beautiful hill station. In olden days this was a retreat center for Western Missionaries during summer. The fresh and cool air makes the weather very pleasant. The mountains were covered with fog and yet the scenic beauty was enchanting. We stayed in Ashiyana Hotel for the night and next day we went to Wood Stock School. Wood Stock School was founded by American Missionaries. It has completed 150 years of existence. Initially, it was a school meant for Missionary’s children but now it serves students from all over the world, both Christians and non-Christians. It is one of the two schools in India that combines the American and Indian Syllabus of Education and thus removes great hurdles for children who are totally unfamiliar with Indian syllabus of education. We met the Director of Admission, Ms Cathy Holmes, who is from Wisconsin and has been a missionary in India for more than twenty years. She clarified many of our questions. Mrs. Ebenezer, the office Secretary, gave us the tour of the school and the campus. We could not see the dorms as the school was closed for summer vacation but we could visit some of the classrooms and could see the building and facilities from outside. Sonam, Neema, and Joshua were also excited to see this school. God willing, this will be the school they will be studying in when we return to India.
On our way to return, Neema was still having fever, but since she was maintaining a good spirit and attitude we decided to take up the return journey on the same bumpy dirt road for nine hours. We reached back New Delhi late evening and decided to cancel all our activities for the next day. Please pray that Neema will recover soon. Some of us are having mild diarrhea but so far we are doing well. The Lord has been indeed good to us. We’ll be here in Delhi until July 16. Then we will be in London for few days and meet our friend Mr. Andrew Gossage and his newly wed Filipino wife. We plan to be back to Chicago on July 23. Please continue to pray for rest of our trip and for our safe return.
We deeply appreciate your partnership in our ministry.