Posted by: janpierce | November 15, 2009

One Week To Go

Last night we returned from two days in Jangaon, which is abou 50 km. from here. We hired a taxi to pick us up and enjoyed the day drive there. It is greener than usual from the same rains that brought flooding to other parts of Andhra Pradesh. I never get tired of watching the people. The women’s clothing is always bright and colorful, the men, not so much. I like watching the working women carrying things on their heads. Everything from food, to wood, to clothing to bags of cement go up on top of their heads for transporting. Sometimes they have a little circle of cloth there to protect their heads and help with balance, but just as often it’s not there.

We enjoyed two days at Dayanilayam in Jangaon. Sadly we recognized just a few of the children there now. Of the 60 or more children I taught two years ago I only saw two or three. Of course many of those children were from the community and do not live in the hostel. The other component is that these children all come from extremely poor families who are often in upheavals of one sort of another and so they come and go. One little three year old boy just came there as his mother was beaten to death by his father and then the father committed suicide after coming out of prison. We enjoyed watching the children  give little performances for Children’s Day which is November 14th and celebrates the birthday of Nehru. They say he loved children and there is a national holiday in his honor. Children are allowed to make up songs, dances and skits and perform them–this is a big deal as usually they only recite or perform things in strict conformity. In the evening they also sang their songs and did their dances and honored us. It felt familiar and strange at the same time to be there. It has been nearly two years since we spent two months there. We still follow the progress of some of the older children who are attending high school,junior college, nursing training or other things. Often the courses they are taking are just a shadow of the kind of education they would get in the U.S. or some other developed country, but it is a big step for them. Just learning English will guarantee a better job and a better life for them. Dayanilayam has had an infusion of support and they are building a dining hall, a new boys’ dorm and an English Medium school. So time marches on and “progress” is coming to them as it does in our areas where an empty spot has another building put on it.

We were happy to return here to TENT as there is only one week left to be with the women and we enjoy them so much. This morning was their last Sunday before going home and many of them had songs to share in thankfulness for their time here. During the service one of the elderly teachers known as Uncle George, a retired English professor, shared that the man who killed the Australian missionary several years ago and two of his children by firebombing their car, had been baptized in prison. Everyone cheered at that news as a sinner was reclaimed by God. Then one of the women from Orissa got up and prayed for the salvation of the Hindu Extremists who killed her parents.

At lunch the director’s wife told how when the Tsunami hit the southern part of India and Sri Lanka they traveled down there and brought back 50 women who had lost husbands, children and homes, and thus their livelihood. They stayed here for six months learning a new way to make a living. One woman told how she had given her child into the arms of her mother while she went into her hut to cook. When the wave came, she watched helplessly while both her mother and child were swept away.

Do you wonder why we seem to have an easy life in America? I do. The topic of teaching this morning in church was partly from James, suffering for Christ and being courageous as you go. Will there be persecution? Yes, for these women there most likely will be. They are going into their homes and into nearby communities with the truth of Jesus who wants to reconcile people to God and they may need to turn the other cheek as they go about their work. I feel like I’m on holy ground here.

We’re anxiously looking forward to Thanksgiving with our family. Today it is probably in the low 90’s, partly cloudy, a little windy and very humid! We’ll come home to typical Northwest weather I’m sure and will probably freeze for a few days.

I’m getting some excellent interviews with various women and hope to turn some of them into “real writing.”  Thanks to those who comment and e-mail, it is so great to hear from you.

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Responses

  1. Jan, I tried to leave you a comment earlier, but the technology demons stole it away! I’m working on the weekly prayer list & it’s always good to stop & read your blog. It’s all so interesting & I have a hard time picking out what to include in the prayer list. I also finished up mounting all the praises for the year on a big freestanding praise board at G&G. Wow! Wait until you see it! We are doing a praise service on Sun, Nov 29. I sit here with a heavy heart because my long time friend, Dave, age 55, died this morning. But I think of him now in Heaven rejoicing & reveling in God’s great love. I miss you both & look forward to your return. Love & Hugs, Debby

  2. It sounds like you both are having another memorable experience! I have this Monday off so I will be able to go with Mike to pick you guys up at PDX Yes we are having our regular rainy weather. I had to use the defroster in the car the other morning. We are going to visit baby Mikey this Saturday. He will probably be in the hospital Thanksgiving week so we are going to stay home. Last year we missed TG with them because I broke my back. We just love your writings.

    God Bless you both, Sharon and Mike


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