Posted by: janpierce | November 9, 2009

Rainy Days—What a Relief!

It is raining here and the beginning of their winter. It is still in the high 70’s or low 80’s and the humidity is so high that the pages of all our books are curling and when I took out a piece of gum to chew, it drooped and felt wet!  Bugs galore–we slather ourselves with Odomos, a bug cream and spray with deet and still get lots of bites. But—that is just the little stuff. There is BIG stuff happening all the time.

Yesterday we attended the three hour service held here for students and faculty. It was so sweet, the time flew by. Roger preached on faithfulness and it was powerful and well-received. We are both teaching morning devotion times. Roger goes to the men’s part of the campus although we live in the women’s section. I have lots of lessons prepared and the schedule is on Indian time so I never really know when I will have another teaching time until it happens. Good thing I prepared before coming or that would be upping my adrenaline levels. As it is I love the women and bonded with them instantly.

Last night I sat with three of the women who come from Orissa. Their stories are heartbreaking. In one church thirty of the members were killed during that uprising in August of 2008. The persecution continues, although it is not openly violent right now. One of the women was a teacher. She can have her old job back if only she will pretend to be a Hindu. She would need to wear the red dot or the red line down the part of her hair, and everyone would allow her to come back. But if she stands up for Christ, she has no job. She lost her mother, her aunt and uncle in the killings. She had to identify their bodies. Many of the women had been raped and then their breasts were cut off. Would I have the faith to stand for Christ in such circumstances? These women do. They all say it is not their ministry they return to, but God’s. One of the women has 90 orphans in a Christian hostel that keeps being attacked and destroyed, then they rebuild. The other one has thirty orphans she has gathered up after their parents were killed. The government has given her 40,000 rupees to rebuild a home, but when that is gone she doesn’t know how they will live. It took me a long time to go to sleep last night after hearing their stories.

Yesterday afternoon we had a women’s craft time. We continued to learn to crochet, and I had brought some materials to make bookmarks and verse cards decorated with stickers and pens. They were all over that project and the materials quickly disappeared. The women from the Northeast, Assam and Manipur, made beautiful bookmarks that they will save for Christmas gifts for their women and children.

They always worry that we don’t eat enough. This morning they made french toast and fried eggs for us. We didn’t eat the heaping bowl of rice or much of the peanut chutney that was also on the table so I suppose we are still in trouble! We always get better food than the rest of the people and we struggle with that, knowing there isn’t a thing we can do about it. Culture– you both love and hate it.

I am fully adapted now to being in India. My hair is stick straight, the eye make-up is a total waste of time in this humidity, it just runs all over the place. The lights are so dim that even looking in a mirror you can’t see the latest zit or the gray roots–all in all it is very freeing and relaxing. The clothes are loose and most women my age have ample tummies. I know I will suffer when I get home, but right now it seems very unimportant to be thin and worried about looks.  The women say I look good to them and Roger has gotten his usual remarks about looking like he is from Hollywood. Ahhhh, life is good!

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