Thursday, January 19, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006
Yesterday was quite an interesting experience. We were invited to attend a celebration (a Jubilation) at their college. The chief minister of Kerala (would be like the governor of the state) was there as the primary speaker and he was greeted with the crowds, throwing garlands of flowers, a small little band playing to escort him into the assembly room; and Harold and I were escorted up onto the stage with him!!! I was the only female present on that stage! Unbelievable! This was a big deal. Of course, we didn't understand most of what was being said. Dad was asked to speak and offer the blessing. I was asked to sing a song with my guitar! My first performance in India! They have asked me to do a concert as well! The whole program took over 2 hours. It was very very hot ~ we were parched. We have learned to carry our drinking water whereever we go.

There is so much to tell you! After the program, the Bishop drove us down this dirt road close by to the college and introduced us to children who are being sheltered and educated in two nearby homes. Their parents are living in the forests, and are very poor. These children are being given a very good opportunity to have better lives. They are the most beautiful things you have every laid eyes on. They are especially curious of us and do a lot of giggling. We are the only Westerners anywhere! So, we of course, are a curious thing to them. Most of them do not speak much English. The one thing they always seem to want to know is where do we come from and how many children do we have. They insisted on serving us hot tea and bananas. We sat in their backyard and visited with them for a short while. They are always looking to make us feel welcomed and at home. It has been very nice.

This morning was very cool outside, a welcome relief to yesterday. But already, now at 9:30am we can begin to feel the heat of the day coming quickly.

We are still having difficulty with the computer so hopefully will have that straightened out soon. So far, using the Bishop's computer to get email is working fairly well.

The Bishop tells us that there are elephants and tigers in the mountains which surround us ~ only about an hour away (gulp!). He has invited us to visit tribal churches in the mountains and expect we will travel there by jeep! The Bishop promises wild meat tonight for dinner from one of the villages.

The Bishop and the Diocese have a major focus on ministry to the poor which the majority of the Diocese members are. They are constantly distributing bags of rice. While the chief minister was here, the Bishop presented a petition that the government give the same social welfare priviledges to low caste Christians as are given to low caste Hindus. Currently, once a low caste person embraces Christianity they are excluded from social welfare services. The Bishop is clearly a political as well as a religious figure in Kerala, with a passion for the poor. We find him quite loving and generous in just the short two days we have known him. Annie indicated that we will very soon feel like he is a parent to us. This is already very true. He greeted us with hugs and love. He has made it clear that his home is our home. We feel very welcomed here.

Harold and Donna


  • At 8:58 AM, Blogger KyleDel said…

    Alright! Let's hear it for the Rock and Roll star making her first Indian appearance! Could we call this a "world tour"? :)

  • At 6:46 AM, Blogger Carol and Gary Fritz said…

    Hi Harold and Donna:

    How very exciting everything sounds. And, Donna, your first concert!!?? We think of you quite often. The whole process and everything you are doing is amazing already!! Take care of yourselves and drink lots of water!! We are so very happy for you and proud of you.
    Our Love in Christ,
    Carol and Gary


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