IThis morning is a quiet morning by Indian standards. From my hotel room this morning, I can hear an occasional horn honking...the world is moving early to avoid today's proposed/threatened strike on the streets of Guwahatti.
We had heard of this impending strike and knew it would keep us from visiting Dipak's home, so Ray had rearranged our schedule to see him yesterday afternoon. Though the red dirt was wet and slippery as we climbed the steep slope, we managed to keep our footing and collect as much on the bottom of the shoes as needed to create platform sandals! I was a good inch to two inches taller when I got back to the hotel!
So today is a slow day with time to collaborate and imagine what the future of NE Indian missions and GCR missions committee might be. It gives us time to walk the streets of Guwahatti and pray for the people here to learn of the love of Christ.
As I wait in the lobby of the Naskata Hotel for the guys to come down for breakfast, two of Gary Tate's Guwahatti contacts dropped by to visit and invite us to come visit at Jayanta's computer center later today. According to these gentlemen the strike is not scheduled for this area, but several cities aistance from here. They honored us with towels personalized with our names in Assamese and English and gifted me a book documenting his Christian walk and service and a nice calendar.
This morning we hired a driver for the day. He took us for a ride through the city of Guwahati to a souvenir area where we visited several shops. We enjoyed seeing the beautiful handiworks typical of this area of India. We stopped by a Christian book store where I purchased a bible in Assamese and a few children's Bible stories to give away. We dropped by the Baptist compound where Ray and Helen lived for a period of time. There we decided to have lunch before moving on. It was delicious ... vegetables, dal and rice.
We had a quick stop by the hotel before driving out to visit with Jayanta and Zeenat Barman in their printing shop. It was a delightful visit with the family, three of his computer students, Mama Giri who is living with him, Pulak and Michael. In his shop he makes Xerox copies, serves as the local photographer with a variety of backdrops, does silk screen printing, teaches computer skills, distributes WBS lessons in Assamese and shares the gospel with his customers day by day. Zeenat is the assistant director of an English Medium school near their home, and Eve is their adorable three-year-old daughter.
Across the street we visited David and his wife in a renewed clothing store. David is also a Christian living his faith day by day on the street. We purchased Assamese tea they were selling as a fund raiser for a primary school. I also purchased a head strap woven by his father-in-law used to carry heavy loads on an individual's back and, of course, a couple baskets! David had Hindi New Testaments from the Gideons that he gives to each of his patrons. He gave one to me!
Then we all loaded up and went to visit Danjit and his lovely family in their home. Michael climbed in the car with us while Jayanta, Zeenat and Eve jumped on their motorbike and ran ahead of us to wake up Danjit. Danjit later remarked that we had appeared in his home like a thief in the night. He was totally unprepared for our visit. David also climbed on his motorbike and met us in the home of his pastor. We enjoyed an afternoon snack of boiled eggs, bananas, tea biscuits and chai. His family is delightful, very friendly and most hospitable. Their four year old daughter, Patricia, in in nursery school. His wife's fifteen year old sister lives with them and is studying in class nine. Danjit is a math teacher and a preacher. His chapel houses a church of 9-15 congregants and is located in his front yard. Ray was able Sunday to worship on the mountain top with Dipak in the morning and in the afternoon with Danjit and his church. Jayanta took notes during Ray's lesson then translated them into Assamese and has already been distributing them from his shop.
On the way back to the hotel, we dropped by a grocery store looking for spices.
Ray had a visit at the hotel from a Christian brother who is an officer in a bank here in Guwahatti. We enjoyed meeting him in the lobby for a while before dinner.
During dinner, Mother and I played Words with Friends...internationally! Then just as we finished dinner, Dimbeswar and Michael stopped by the hotel for a brief visit to arrange travel plans for tomorrow morning.
We have had a busy day and look forward to a good night's sleep!