Posted by: janpierce | November 27, 2010

Marriage Seminar and More

As we were driving through the streets of Allahabad the other day with Nina, the pastor’s wife, I saw some people camping alongside the road. There was open area under some trees and it was nearing nightime. The women had little fires going and the children were there playing. I had seen a similar scene the last time we were here so I asked about the people. As it turns out they are nomadic, probably Banjara, and they follow the jobs and ways to live. Since this is wedding season the women go out each evening to follow the wedding processions. At certain times during each parade there are coins tossed out into the crowd. The women then dive for them. It was said that last week a rich family had a wedding and they were throwing out 500 rupee notes.

I asked the pastor and wife about Miss Groene, the Norwegian lady I met and they knew immediately who I was talking about. She came with a Pentecostal work and now runs an orphanage and school outside of town. She is 92 but still manages the work. I was certain that she was a Christian by her demeanor and kind ways.

I had a manicure today from one of the Hindi speaking girls. This is the way she makes her income. For 50 rupees, about one dollar I had arm washing, defoliating, and various other kinds of rubbing and massaging and then the nails cleaned, trimmed, filed and polished. The whole operation lasted about an hour and, once again, I could get used to this treatment.

Last night we did the first marriage seminar at the chapel on the grounds of a large seminary here in town. We had hoped to sit in a circle and see everyone’s faces, but it turned out to be hard wooden pews and us standing up front with a lectern. Ugh. But about twenty people turned out and we had a good time. We covered five principles of a Christian marriage such as covenant relationship, unity and so on. There was good participation and we had them jot down questions to answer during session two.  We’ve sifted through the questions and there is a wide variety but two major areas of concern here are the interference of parents in the life of a couple, especially the husband’s mother dictating the life of the daughter in law, and then the age-old question of how much and in what ways a wife is to submit. Sigh. All I know to do is go back to scriptures, because we are too entrenched in American culture to know how to speak into lives here. So we’ll do that and pray that people will be encouraged. Tonight we talk about communication. Then Roger will preach on Sunday. I have two more sessions with the young women next week. The time is flying by.

Yesterday the air quality was terrible. But last night and again today it is raining and that helps to clear it out some. I would think that upper respiratory problems must be rampant here with the poor air quality.

Up on the roof this morning I was watching a boy of about ten play. He moved brush to one side (which is put there to help cool the building) and was clearing an area in preparation for some game. Then he was walking across a narrow little ledge from his roof to the one next door. He didn’t hesitate at all though if he fell down the side he’d be a goner. I also watched a man who has been sanding and painting the home next door. Sanding all day long by hand and then whitewashing for a nice clean look. Most of the buildings get dark and mildewy in a short time due to the humidity.

David is helping us to prepare a short video from the ones taken out in the two villages last week. About 3/4 of the Indian population still live in rural villages where the clock seems to be turned back about a hundred years. We love going to the villages where the people are so hungry for any little story or song or testimony.



  1. Hi Jan,

    I am enjoying your updates. I’m always thankful when some situation (like the one you mention) forces me to rely on Scripture. I sometimes think I know the answers to things but it’s only by prayer and the Word that these people will hear what God wants them to hear. Thankyou for your faithfulness and for sharing yourself with these beautiful people. Thanks also for letting the rest of us share in your experience. Happy Thanksgiving! With warm regards, Kathy

  2. Thanks, Kathy,
    I’m looking forward to time together when I get home.

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