Right, you all have busy lives and we are also very busy so let’s just get on with this shall we?
The Indian straight-to-the-point way of speaking is starting to rub off on us. We no longer notice the constant ring of car horns. We no longer stop and stare when we pass a goat or a cow on the pavement. We no longer high five each other when we successfully cross the road. It seems like this mad city is beginning to feel like our home.
Our supervisor Ben Francis preaches at Big Life Church. We went along with him for the service that began at 10:30 in “Indian timings”. So when the service began at 11:45 with enthusiastic Hindi worship music we enjoyed clapping along even if we didn’t understand all the words. After around half an hour of Hindi songs the band began to play “Mercy is Falling”. The passion the band played with and the novelty of a song we could understand made it an incredibly joyful moment for us. Ben then preached a sermon in Hindi and at 1.30pm we were taken out for lunch. Afterwards Tom described it as
“the most full I have ever been.”
It was a very good Biriyani.
We have done a few activities outside of church on Sunday with Big Life so we are on a first name basis with a fair number of the congregation.
We had an all day youth event which involved Naomi singing and playing guitar to Hindi and Bengali worship music. We were split into 4 separate groups and played games with the youth of this church. While most of the conversations were in Hindi we still enjoyed this chance to socialise with people of a similar age.
We also returned to Circular Road Baptist Church, next door to the guesthouse. While the energy levels were a lot lower here, it is helpful to have worship music and a sermon entirely in English. The sermons are very powerful at this church as well.
We are still working Monday to Friday at GNCEM. As part of their Christmas show coming up we made up a dance routine to teach the children. While Naomi was in her element, the fact that Tom and Lewis have played a part in creating and teaching a dance is remarkable. Watching the children practice and perform their moves in school is nothing short of surreal.
We started our evening work at a project for children from the streets also. This is more instantly rewarding than GNCEM as there are only 14 children and they speak adequate English so we can already see their growth and our relationships with them building. We do a 1 hour bible study a week with them and help them with their studies.
We visited the Victoria Memoriam which was peaceful and quiet! The gardens wouldn’t have looked out of place in the U.K. but the soaring November heat certainly would have done.
Learning the Lingo:
We are now at the stage of having useful phrases to use at the school such as Cholo (let’s go), Choop (shh) and bosho (sit down). We also know body parts, colours and some foods. So we can have short conversations with non-English speakers which is rather satisfying.
The Food Life:
Ben has shown us some more lovely Indian sweets. We have had khirer chop, a Bengali pastry sweet with ginger inside. This gets a solid 7 out of 10.
We also had torbesh which was like a small doughnut with raisins. This gets an 8 out of 10. We recommend they make them bigger!
ROSPOMs (Ray of Sunshine, Puddle of Mud):
ROS – Getting to know the kids more and starting to build relationships with them…. even if they do throw up on you!!
POM – Not feeling 100% as I have a bad cough and then also having a kid throw up on you is not nice at all
ROS – When we drove past a zoo on the way back from school and saw a hatti (elephant in Bengali) I got all the kids to chant “HATTI HATTI HATTI !!!” A proud moment the chant lasted a good 2 minutes.
POM – sometimes the school can be challenging when we have to try and teach 40 hyper 4 year old kids
ROS – aaaaaaaahhh We got to go to an Indian wedding and I bought a snazzy blue and gold sari which made me very happy
POM – I was very tired at the beginning of the month which was difficult. Tom thought I had anemia but I am back on track so no anemia.
ROS – One day at the school one of the kids began to play “kabbadi” with me. This is like tig. Before I knew it I had about 12 kids in a circle around me all trying to tickle me.
POM – I’ve had an annoying cough for a few days now.
The Future is Exciting:
- We are going to the rural villages to see the newly planted churches soon.
- Our school projects have Christmas shows coming up.
- The café in the guesthouse is getting busier and busier in the run up to Christmas.
Please Pray for Us!
Our most urgent prayer request is that we become settled in a church. Within the team we have strongly differing views on which church should become the one that we attend each week while we are here. We have not fallen out over the matter as we are all truly seeking God’s will. We don’t want anyone to sacrifice what they truly believe is the right thing to do in God’s eyes but we really want to all go to church on Sunday together as a group of four. We do not know the ideal outcome of this situation.
Please also pray for our health as we have bad coughs at the moment.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”