Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yesterday was a very long day but full of things we want to share with you. We left early in the morning and drove a very long 2 or so hours into the mountains to worship with another small village. The Bishop had already been on a two day journey with other parishes so he met us there. We traveled with his wife Susan. The journey there was filled with beautiful scenery that we watched unfold with the sunrise. We drove by tea plantations with workers already busy before the heat of the day could start pounding on them. We drove by cows and goats simply wandering about. It was not an easy drive for the roads are very rough and very windy with lots of hairpin turns (thank goodness for the Dramamine). There is barely enough room on the road for two vehicles so there is a great deal of tooting horns to alert on comers that someone is approaching but also a lot of pulling off to the side to allow someone else to pass. I thought we had finally reached our destination when I realized we were simply going to transfer into a jeep for the remainder of the ride was far too steep and rough for the car! At that point (and after a very long and bumpy ride) I was able to communicate the word toilet to Susan and she realized after seeing the panic in my eyes that she best help me locate one quickly! She found one and I’m still not sure if she begged mercy on a family or if this was truly one of those “rest areas”! Either way, it was my first experience and you will all know that I faired just fine. Not the best experience in the world but I have certainly visited worse outhouses in the USA! The remainder of the journey was actually only another 5 minutes or so but upon our arrival we discovered that the pastor’s house actually had a western toilet in it! Imagine that! Out there in the middle of nowhere! When we arrived we realized that the service had already begun and Susan shared that “we were late”. But still, we were invited to first sit down to have a cup of tea and some rice cakes which we politely accepted. We then entered the sanctuary and I cannot begin to tell you the feeling that so overwhelmed us. The people! The church was packed. It was a special service for them as they were also about to welcome in a new confirmation class – old and young people. We also shared communion together. Harold had been asked to preach the sermon which the Bishop translated beautifully for him (at one point I thought the Bishop was going to go off on a tangent when I began to hear a lot of “hallelujah’s” and “praise God”!). (I also have to share that the day before all of this, Harold was preparing his sermon and started to print it out….the Bishop’s printer ran out of ink so I ended up handwriting the remaining pages for him! Karen – what would he do without us??) The service was long – about 3 hours in all! But the people! They were beautiful! They look so happy. We sang familiar hymns – well, I hummed. They were not singing in English! And the children! They are all so curious and just want to be near us, touch us and many just wanted to stroke my hair. They are definitely God’s children. After the service, we were invited to have lunch. Actually everyone was served lunch. We joined together with the other pastors who attended in the pastor’s home. His 3 young children hovered nearby (there is a photo of me with these children while I am eating my lunch). Our lunch was served to us on large banana leaves, not plates. And, of course, no eating utensils so we had to use our hand. Harold has become quite good at this, however, it is still a struggle for me! After lunch we spent some time visiting with the local people and took many photos to remember them all. We journeyed home after our long day and had our first experience on Indian roads at night! Not something I would like to do too often!

We are now spending a couple of quiet days getting ready for the Bishop’s next adventure. We miss you all very much and look forward to sharing our experiences with you in person!


  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Carol and Gary Fritz said…

    What a great adventure you are both having! The pictures are incredible!We look forward to your postings!

    Carol and Gary

  • At 8:30 AM, Blogger Sue Dann said…

    What fabulous reading you are providing for us - many thanks for the time & effort this takes for you !! If possible, can you take photos to send us of where you are staying ? It would be nice to see your kitchen, outside of the house, yard, etc. I loved the tea plantation photo and the women doing their wash in the river ! It puts our lives in proper perspective all right !! I also loved the photo of Harold in the procession in his robe. Have you taken a photo of Harold in his robes with the pastors, Bishop, etc. It would make a wonderful photo for the Church Herald magazine also. Take care and rest; Harold - get rid of that nasty dysentery soon please !! Safe travels and take good care of each other. fondly, Sue Dann


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