GARY TATE SCHOLARSHIP AND ANNUAL PRIZE DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMME
The morning begins early here as the sun rises around 4:30! With the sun, the girls jump up from their mats and quietly slip down the stairs to freshen up for the day. Also with the rising of the sun came the end of the electricity! I did some laundry trying to delay washing my hair until the hot water was available, but no luck with that today!
Soon the girls have received tasks and are busy outside my door with medals in gold, silver and bronze and rolls of ribbons in blue, red and green. Tea is delivered to my room, and I choose to join the girls while I drink my tea. Soon the medals are hanging from the window bars in a variety of combinations of colors until supervision arrives and the ribbons and medals are rearranged to represent first, second and third places for sports day activities. Nelini and I remove and replace ribbons along with the girls.
When breakfast is served, Philip comes with an umbrella to escort me back to the house through the rain! Oh, how we wish this rain could fall in the Permian Basin...long, hard, steady rain! Our breakfast is extended by the rain. Travel to the school is difficult with so much precipitation, so the morning festivities are postponed for another hour. As I noticed a lull in the rain, I headed back to the Gary Tate Building just in time to find the program opening with prayer in the first floor gathering space.
Each grade level came to the front of the room to sing a song and Nelini and several of the Ruth Gunter children sang songs as well. Then Dimbeswar dedicated the building and the program today to Gary Tate. He gave a short biography of Gary and his work in India before announcing the two recipients of the first Gary Tate Scholarships. A young man and a young lady from last year's graduating class who had received the highest scores on the state exams were honored with cash rewards. Ajoy Das will follow a Science stream and Kasturi Ray will pursue an arts stream as they enter a nearby college this year. Mark and I were allowed the privilege of handing the awards to these young people and speaking words of encouragement to them and the students. Two young people had asked to speak to the assembly about the influence Gary had on their lives. They had both read the book, HEALING HANDS, given to Little Flower School by Gary. The young girl told how she had been addicted to technology...the boy to TV...and how reading of the determination of this young man to become the world's leading neurosurgeon had helped him to focus on more important things in life turned her heart to other things.
The next three hours were spent presenting medals for track and field day. Lunch was served...ours at the house and others in the assembly hall. Then the track and field day medals for the RGCH were awarded. When everyone else left, I had a little time with the children for pictures, bags and songs before those living in Sokohili had to leave. I got hugs and gave blessings and prayers as they headed out the door.
After a brief time of solitude (and watching the electricity come and go), I decided to take advantage of the time by checking emails on Dimbeswar's computer.
Mark and I visited. I visited the kitchen as dinner preparations were under way. It was fun to visit with Dimbeswar and Pratav while I peeled garlic gloves...actually contributing to dinner! As we watched, the boys retreated behind the partition in their dorm room to practice memory verses. What a delight to hear their sweet voices chopping through English!
After dinner we returned to the K1 room for devotionals. Scripture recitation, prayers, the story of David and Goliath told by Mama Patgiri, songs led by Nalini and by Raghav Ray and delightful dramas of Bible stories by the children! They enacted Zachaeus, the Good Samaritan and the Ten Virgins...complete with candles large and small! Their English was well enunciated and the actions helped us to recognize the stories. Nalini is doing an amazing job in working with them in large and small groups.
Each child with a part in a drama spent the night here on the LFS campus. You would imagine that eleven little girls ages 7-13 would giggle and whisper through the night. These girls know that 4:30 sunrise means 4:30 girls up! Snuggled in their pallet bed when I climbed the stairs, they all sat up to tell me goodnight. A couple snaps of the iPad and they were down for the night. When I returned from brushing my teeth, sweet sounds of slumber filled the vestibule.
I, on the other hand, had a very full day of blessings to contemplate before slumber reached my bed!