Monday, January 23, 2006

Donna’s “healing” experience:

I noted in one of our emails that I had pulled my back out – just bending over, nothing big. But, ouch! So I spent a couple of days moving very slowing and fairly uncomfortable. The Bishop decided to call upon one his pastor’s who is a known healer. I did not know at all what to expect! The man did not stand more than 5 feet tall and was quite small in stature. First of all, this pastor did not speak much English so communication was the first issue. He first instructed me to sit upon the floor (not an easy task to begin with). He then began to rub a special oil (nice aroma) into his hands and all up and down my back at the point of my pain. He applied some pressure (not necessarily gentle, I might add) for about 10 minutes. He then instructed me to cross my arms in front of me. He then reached behind me (still all the while, I am on the floor!) and proceeded to lift me up a few inches! I heard the cracks in my spine – which actually felt quite good. He then yanked me to the left and then to the right, and then repeated the whole process. I was then asked to stand and bend to the left and then bend to the right. Voila! No more pain! Unbelievable! Harold is having some pain in his hand (due to tendonitis) so the Bishop has requested the pastor’s return to heal his hand! We’ll keep you posted on that as well!

Some highlights to share with you: We begin each morning sitting out on the front stoop of the Bishop’s house enjoying the cool temperatures. The heat of the day generally arrives around 10am and climbs well into the 80’s or higher. It has not been an unbearable heat at all. We begin with our daily morning devotions, just the two of us. This has been a wonderful way to begin renewing our own relationship together and with God. We listen to the very many and different sounds the birds make as well as the goats next door. The front of the house overlooks a beautiful mountain. We are surrounded by palm trees and beautiful smelling flowers. The mosquitoes have not been a problem in this area. They are there for sure, but we have not really been bothered.

The people here are very friendly, the children are just beautiful. The schoolgirls pass by the front of the Bishop’s house each morning waving and giggling in their light blue shirts and navy skirts – their school uniform. Other days they wear bright colored saris and just seem to float by. We are struck by such grace and elegance in the midst of such poverty and rough conditions.

We try to walk into the village center each day which is a crossroads about ¼ mile from the Bishop’s house. Along the way we see a primitive blacksmith sitting on the ground in his shop forging something or other. We pass by homes where people wave and smile. We have become familiar to many and known as friends of the Bishop. We also pass by a “roadhouse”. We had wondered what the building was watching men hurry in and out. The Bishop later explained that this was a place to drink illegal beverages. I guess Harold won’t be visiting this establishment. Let’s just say it’s been a very dry week. We visited some local shops today and purchased our first roll of toilet paper – just to keep up supply because you all certainly know that we packed quite a bit! We then went to our favorite “bakery and chi shop”. It’s a stall along the main street of about 8 feet wide and 6 feet deep. Behind that is another small room with two tables and plastic chairs. On the tables there are plates of “tiffin” which are various fried treats, most of them sweet although today we had one made with onion and another with coconut. We also purchased another case of water. Then the proprietor hailed us an auto-rickshaw, a three wheeled contraption made from a motorcycle with a backseat for two (or, in Indian style, 6!!!). They are covered and a lot of fun to ride in. The cost is 10 rupees which equals about 25 cents to get back home.

Harold is preparing for a sermon on Wednesday for the Golden Jubilee service in another church of the diocese about 2 hours away. We will be spending the day there. The Bishop left this morning for an even more remote village and will spend the next two nights there. He had hoped Harold could travel along with him but unfortunately the government requires a special permit be acquired in order to do this. The Bishop said he loves to spend the night listening to the wild animals and eating wild game. He brought along a rubber processing machine which the diocese is giving to the community there. This will help people of all religions to process the latex they harvest from the trees in the forest. The diocese seems to be quite ecumenically minded and deeply committed to mission and service to people of all religions. It is clear they have a passion for the poor. Harold visited the diocesan offices on Saturday and had a great conversation with their director of Social Work programs. We’ll tell you more about that later.

Harold and Donna


  • At 5:07 AM, Blogger John and Karen said…

    Oh, Boy - how hard is this going to be for your medical insurance to reimburse you for these services?!

    Karen M.


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