Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Our journey to India took 46 hours from departure from our homes to arrival in Manikpur at the Little Flower School and time with Dimbeswar.  There we were safely tucked away in an American style suite in the Gary Tate building. Our bedroom (24' X 22') and the western bathroom are the only two rooms that are finished and usable in the building.

It is monsoon here! We had several inches of rain each of the first days we were there.

The children are healthy and are learning so much Bible, songs and social skills under Nalini who comes every evening to the Ruth Gunter to work with the 25 girls who live there. The 19 boys are all housed at the Little Flower School and Pratap is hired to oversee the boys and teach them Bible as well as teaching in the school.  Both Nalini and Pratap are top notch. 

The first evening the girls entertained us with songs. Saturday they performed a drama of the birth of Jesus from Matthew. Nalini supervised both evenings. We spent the entire day being with the children in the nursery classroom of the Connie Tate building because of the rain and several inches of water standing in the yard.  They enjoyed receiving their bags with treats and we played games and took pictures and sang songs all day!

Our Sunday drew to a close here. Ten and a half hours ahead of you, we have enjoyed our sabboth..without the rest!  We are cleaning up and settling in for the night--so thankful for our accomodations here on the Little Flower School campus!  We have had a much more complete experience with our people here. The children have had two and a half days of holiday from their usual regimen to entertain and play with us. We are amazed at their new Bible knowledge, the songs they love to share, the English they are learning and their love for each other!  They have grown as a community much closer than most brothers and sisters.

Each morning we are served tea and breakfast here in our room.  Today we had French toast, steamed rice cakes and bananas.

We shared songs with the children from 9:00-9:30, enjoyed worship 9:30-10:15, Jonnie visited with the women while I had Bible class with the children from10:15-11:30.  Then I taped the children singing a couple of my favorite songs. Everyone was served lunch on the grounds...rice, lentils, chicken and vegetables.

We visited with the children and women before they were shuttled home. Then freshened up before going to Jaganath & Nilemi's home for tea. She demonstrated her weaving loom for us...on which she weaves her own saris!

We hustled home to leave for house church at Roger's home. Lawn chairs were gathered in the courtyard surrounded by the uncles' homes. Attending his house church are 25-30 of his family members!

Back home the boys had kept our dinner warm...rice with chicken, lentils, cabbage and a banana.

After a wrap up visit with Dimbeswar we retreated to our room for the night's rest.

Monday morning we enjoyed India's version of breakfast burritos and spicy fries. Our meals have been delightfully varied and deliciously prepared with love all week. Various staff from Ruth Gunter Children's Home have made most of our meals. We've had so many delicious sauces (curries...though not all include curry seasoning) to go over our rice at lunch and dinner. Today we had lunch in the home of the principal of James Connection Primary School Dhanjit Pattak.  He had to be in Chenai with a church member who is hospitalized there, but we had a wonderful visit with his parents while his wife, Puradi Pattak, prepared a smorgasbord for us!  We had two curries-one with lentil base and one with potato base- and a spicy pumpkin accompaniment, an egg omelet, crispy bread, cashews in the rice and two desserts...rice pudding and small cakes!  Lemons and apples were also on the table!

This morning we observed classrooms at Little Flower School, Ruth Gunter Extension and James Connection. Many of the RGCH children attend Little Flower School. Only a few are still catching up by attending kg2 classes at the extension. Soon they will be ready to move into the classrooms at LFS!  We were pleased that Philip has done so well his first year in school!  He has already progressed to class 6!  He and Esha have become the leaders of the children's home.

This evening Dimbeswar took us on a little tour and mini shopping trip. Then we had dinner with the Burman family at their kitchen table...pigeon, rice, lentils, turnips, fish, pineapples, bananas and a tiny custard dessert square!

Tuesday morning we arose early and said our last goodbyes to the boys of Ruth Gunter, the Burman family and several of the staff at Little Flower School.  Dimbeswar took us to the trainstation where we caught a train to Siliguri, West Bengal.  Four hours later, Mahendra met us on the train platform and we  out to their village, stopping by the new school to see the amazing construction that has occurred since we first visited eighteen months ago!  Mahendra is a strict task master, and he has overseen the construction of the first five classroom, teachers,s quarters and  office complex in a truly remarkable manner.  We are most impressed with his ingenuity in the construction of the buildings, the precision of the craftsmanship, the durability of the buildings and the beauty of the complex itself.

We are guests in their home this week and have already enjoyed the privilege of a welcome visit with church members in a church home, devotions with the family, two meals at their table and a great fellowship rejoicing in the souls that have been saved since we last met with the church.  Tomorrow we will spend at school in the classrooms, we will have training sessions with the six Sunday school teachers who teach classes around the village in three locations, have prayer session in a member's home which I have been asked to conduct the Bible lesson, and share the home life of this remarkable Christian family!

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