Monday, 30 November 2009

Good Friday

Sonia, hubby Avinash and son Abner arrived on Thursday afternoon.
We had a great time together relaxing, chatting and of course the
big fat Indian wedding thrown in.
They left yesterday and the house feels so empty. On Friday morning Ben visited us.
He is a field worker (coordinator) for student ministries , very similar to Inter Varsity Fellowship.Ben is from South India.
He did his Masters from BHU
(Benares Hindu University) famous all over the world.
After that he dedicated himself to serve the Lord as a
missionary.His dad died when he was in Grade 2.
His mother is a woman of prayer he told us.
My Mom is showing him photos
of our student outreach.
We talked of the days gone by,
and outreach strategies
Ben is new in the field and needs prayers and encouragement.
Please pray for him.
He asked us if we could open our house for a
Bible study, we are glad to do that.
We gave him a packed lunch,
to substitute for his bachelor cooking.
Here are Sonia, Avinash and Abner relaxing under
the grapefruit tree.
They had grapefruit juice too.
And Abner perched himself on the tree and
sang Sunday School choruses all afternoon.
a partridge in a pear tree.

Friday, 27 November 2009

My adopted sister Sonia, hubby and son Abner
arrived yesterday afternoon.
Its so good to have them visiting,
the house seems full with
lots of activity.
Mummy is also very cheerful
and eating better.
Family visits are like therapy for us.
Tonight I will go with Sonia and family to
their friend 's wedding.They are the groomsmen.
I will take videos and photos.
I got these funny photos in an email from Herrad.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Just Thinking

What do you think these two darlings are thinking?

We hope no one notices we are
turkeys in a dog and cat disguise.

"I always wanted a portrait of myself
with a giant turkey and corn on the cob"
so thinks Thumbelina

The mystery of the hatching turkey.

And what am I thinking?
Well, work on the church wall is starting tomorrow
and we are desperately looking to God for the labour charges
Rs 30,000 ($650)
I want to admit that I am worried and anxious.
But God is testing our faith.
He has never let us down
This is His property He will provide.
Please pray that we may get help from our Father 's hand.
Last week 's Friday Fellowship meeting was
held in the house of 2 retired sisters.
The younger one was celebrating her 66th birthday
and we were invited for dinner.

They served us in these beautiful vintage dinner plates
which were gifted to their Professor father
who most probably visited the US
50 or 60 years ago.

I wonder if this building still exists today
as part of the New York University.

Yesterday I had a bit of an adventure.

I had to go to a Government office to meet a clerk. He made me wait for an hour before he showed up. But my work was done. After that I went to my Mom 's bank, the Allahabad Bank, which I want to declare on the Internet is the worst bank I have ever dealt with. If my mother 's pension was not being remitted in this concern we would have had nothing to do with it. The bank itself is fine, but the people working there are ogres.

Only once in a blue moon will you find someone who speaks to you in a civilized manner. This time I was very fortunate and a man went the second mile and gave me the information I wanted. Praise God.

After that that I went grocery shopping . All this time my transport bill was mounting up and being a very frugal person I did not like it. I walked as much as I could but with a heavy load of groceries I could not walk all the way home

Now there are these plainman share taxis called Vikrams, which I have told you about before. I have never travelled by them, because people of my social level don 't use them (its a cultural thing - no snobbing intended). But they are much cheaper than rickshaws. As I was walking down the road one passed by and I gathered up my courage and asked the conductor if he was going on my route. He said ;yes and the fare was 1/5th of what the rickshaw would charge me. Seeing nicely dressed teenage girls and ladies seated in it I also jumped in and enjoyed the cheap ride. One of the ladies was very impressed and encouraged me to use these taxis instead of the expensive rickshaws.

I can do that once in a while, in the cool season. This was my mini adventure.

I have posted very short videos of our trip to the kilns. You can see those yellow and black taxis passing us. We are in my Pastor 's car. Even if you find the videos boring enjoy the nice jazz music.

And don 't forget to pray for our church wall project.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Blooming of Roses

Last night we got a delivery of 30 bags of cement and this morning the last load of bricks. Hopefully work on the wall will begin by next week.

Its getting cooler. Temperature is in the 60s and 70s. That 's pretty cold for us. Got my light sweaters out and warm quilts too. Temperature will drop further in the coming days. We experience extreme climatic conditions here.

I got a call from my adopted sister Sonia that they are coming on Thursday 26th for a friend 's wedding (27th) We are very happy for this pleasant surprise. Sonia, her husband and son Abner will be here till Sunday afternoon. And I will tag along with them to the wedding,
hoping to take pictures and videos.

I have to get the house ready by Thursday. Was busy doing that all day and in the evening talked with my elder sister and family for over an hour on Skype.
Later on I watched some TV coverage on last year 's Mumbai terror attacks on 26/11. It was very disturbing and emotionally moving to watch the stories of the victims, survivors and martyrs. Mama could not endure it, she had to leave, she was crying. and I was too.About 180 people lost their lives in that reign of barbarism. People with gaping holes in their hearts will never get their loved ones back. Parents will not know how their children would grow up. Children robbed of their parents love and protection. Husbands, wives , grandparents , brothers, sisters all under a veil of tears.How inconsolable I would be if it had happened to me.
I found this amazing video and take comfort in the miracle of nature.
I think they used a time lapse camera.

The handiwork of God, who gives beauty in the place of ashes,as the Bible says. He is the God of all comfort.Just as the buds unfold imperceptibly in the stillness of time,here captured by an electronic eye, God 's love and comfort can unfold in our hearts if we let it.

Here are roses from our garden taken last year.Right now our bushes have been pruned, they will bloom after a few days.

When the Rose is Faded by Walter de la Mare
When the rose is faded, Memory may still dwell on Her beauty shadowed, And the sweet smell gone. That vanishing loveliness, That burdening breath, No bond of life hath then, Nor grief of death. 'Tis the immortal thought Whose passion still Makes the changing The unchangeable. Oh, thus thy beauty, Loveliest on earth to me, Dark with no sorrow, shines And burns, with thee.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Lean Cuisine

I am so happy my knee pain and swelling has subsided.
It is God 's mercy.
Otherwise with the onset of the cold weather
I would have had a lot to deal with.
My younger sister and her two boys are coming for Christmas and winter vacations after several years
and I don 't want to be hindered
or mobility impaired in any way.
The temperature is ranging between the 60s - low 80s ,
that is very pleasant for us and we are using light
winter clothing.
I have entitled this post Lean Cuisine
because that 's what the plain man is being
forced to opt for due to rising prices.

Eggs have become a delicacy.
One egg costs Rs 4 and in Kanpur ( another
city its Rs 6)
Prices are likely to go up.
My Indian FB friend says its madness.

The Poultry Association says the prices of maize, polished rice oil, soybean oil-cake and vitamins
has double or even tripled that 's
why the eggs cost more.
Sugar is Rs 40 per kilo.
It seems this Christmas we 'll have to make
egg less/sugarless cake.
I make an egg less chocolate cake
which is very nice.
I use vinegar in it, but
of course sugar is needed.
My newspaper jokingly suggests
that its a good time to go on a diet.

We are struggling with our church wall building materials.
Already our bricks , cement ,
sand and gravel cost Rupees 60.000 ($1,300)
We have used up most of our church funds
that we saved up in the past several months.
The prices of building materials
is zooming upwards daily.
We are in need of another
Rs 30,000 ($650) for labour and other expenses.
This is our major concern.
We have stepped forth in faith
believing God will provide.
Please uphold our financial needs in your prayers.
Any help will be greatly appreciated,
however small.
Little becomes much when God is in it.
We are standing or walking, trusting
hoping in the promises of God.
The Lord is faithful in His promises.
Blessed are all who wait for Him
to help them.
Isaiah 30;18

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Photo Day

Yesterday afternoon my right knee developed throbbing
inflammation and swelling. Old arthritis resurfacing after a gap of 3 years.
I just couldn 't believe it.It has been raining since Friday and
the wet - damp weather brought on a bit of trouble, but I did not expect it
to flare up like this.
I massaged my knee with herbal oils and creams
and woke up this morning able to walk.
I was virtually dragging myself everywhere last night.

There was a time when I wondered if I would be able to walk normally.
And God healed me in His own time.
Thank you Facebook friends for your prayers.
I posted a request there.This morning we got 2 tractor loads of bricks .
Two more to come tomorrow.

They were supposed to arrive in a truck,

but it couldn 't enter city limits because of traffic restrictions..

The tractor drivers have to grease the palms of (or bribe)

traffics cops and check points to get in.

I went to the bank with Pastor to withdraw the money
for the payment. Quite a large amount.
I asked him to hold the bag for safety reasons.
Purse snatching can happen.
They accept cash payment only...
to avoid income tax , I suppose.
The kiln owner has a fleet of 25 trucks and tractors
which are used to transport bricks all over the district.
He must be a very affluent man, but if you meet them
you will never know.
They keep a very low profile.
Just like ordinary working men.
The older conservative and traditional businessmen live a very subdued
life, they don 't flaunt their wealth.
But the trend is changing with the younger generation.
They are living it up as a part
of the swish set.

Our coxcombs. We have lots of them.
My blogfriends

very kindly sent me packets of seeds to plant in my garden.

Above is the corn coming up.
There are Indian okra or ladyfinger plant growing in between.

This is an okra flower

Here are some seedlings.

We had to wait for cooler weather to plant them.

A while back I went to the Post Office

Above are the newer buildings.
The older British style building is on the other side.
They are all very well maintained.

I saw some pots of these very pretty leaves.
And helped myself to a tiny bunch.

We planted them in a pot which is thriving now.

Ravens and eagles are frequent visitors in our area,
scavenging for food from the rubbish bins of nearby eateries.
Some of them perch on our mango and neem trees to eat
their treats. Often they drop the bones in the grass below
much to the joy of naughty Sheeba.
Here she is sniffing out her ' gifts from above '
When we call her she doesn 't want to
come into the house. So I have to bribe her with
biscuits. I shake the biscuit tin
and hearing the pleasant sound she comes zooming in.
Sometimes I think she tempts me to create biscuit music.

Just like the ravens brought food for the Prophet Elijah.
Our ravens drop tasty morsels for Sheeba.
What a thought!
All this would make a very bad sermon illustration. LOL
So I am dissuading Pastors from incorporating it into their homilies. Laff!

These are eggplant, brinjals or aubergines from our garden.
Today is an auspicious day for Hindu weddings.
It is close to 11pm and there are lots of wedding parties
going on in the marriage halls and hotels in our locality.
Loud fireworks and music.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

I want to laugh

This dog is an artist

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Happy Children 's Day

Children's day, in hindi known as "Bal Diwas", in India falls on November 14th every year and for good reason. Children's day in India is celebrated on Pandit Nehru's birthday as a day of fun and frolic, a celebration of childhood, children and Nehruji's love for them.
About Jawahar Lal Nehru
On November14, 1889, a son was born to an eminent lawyer, Motilal Nehru and his wife Swaroop Rani at Allahabad. They named him Jawaharlal. He was a brilliant, kindhearted child who was greatly loved by all.

His father wanted to give him the best education and hence sent him to England for his M.A. from Cambridge. The British ruled India at that time. When he returned to India, young Jawaharlal realized that he wanted to help the poor and the downtrodden. He took part in the Freedom Struggle of India and became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi who had just returned from South Africa at that time. When India gained its independence, he became the first Prime Minister of free India.
He was a perfect blend of eastern philosophical values and western scientific thinking and encouraged technological progress. But he was also a man of letters and a great poet and wrote some famous works like, ‘Glimpses of World History’ and ‘Discovery of India’. His letters to his daughter, Indira, were also compiled into a book and reflects his philosophical outlook, his compassion and above all, his tender heart.
The Birth of Chacha Nehru
Chacha Nehru as the children fondly referred to him, was fond of both children and roses. In fact he often compared the two, saying that children were like the buds in a garden. They should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they were the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow. He felt that children are the real strength of a country and the very foundation of society. He was the ‘beloved’ of all the children who gave him the endearing name of ‘Chacha Nehru’. ((Above -my friend Ruth with her grandson)
As a tribute to this great man and his love for the children, his birthday is celebrated all over India as ‘CHILDREN’S DAY’. Most schools have cultural programmes for the day, with the students managing it all. All over the country, various cultural, social, and even corporate, institutions conduct competitions for children. Children's Day is a day for children to engage in fun and frolic. Schools celebrate this day by organizing cultural programmes. Teachers of the school perform songs and dances for their students. Therefore, Children's Day is special. It is a day set aside to remember Pandit Nehru and his love for children.

Above are the children of the toilers of the brick kilns.I took these photos on my trip. Children such as these are bereft of all the joy and celebration .They live almost forgotten lives . The bright beams of education, health services and progress rarely touch their lives. But it is heartening to see that social and private organizations making a small difference in the world of the more fortunate ones.
Jesus has given us a heart of compassion for children. He said"Forbid not these little ones from coming to me".
He said;the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like little children.
Why little children? Because children are dependent. They cannot survive without care and provision. They yield themselves to their parents or caregivers. There is no pride, arrogance or stubbornness in hearts. (except those who don 't want to eat their veggies or stop watching too much of Cartoon Network! LOL)
Likewise we can only enter into the kingdom of God if we totally surrender ourselves to him. Depend upon him for our sustenance and growth. Be open to his correction and molding.
But we have to take an important step first.
"But as many as received Him to them gave He the right to become the children of God even to those who believe in His name" John 1;12
Its been raining since the past 2 days. The downpour washed out many of the Children Day 's celebrations like picnics and sports events.
A family visited us in the afternoon and she brought us love ly rice and coconut pancakes as a surprise.
The rain stopped by 3 pm and again we went to some brick kilns to compare prices etc. We are close to an order.
Sorry I' ve been a little slow in visiting blogs in the past few days,I will drop for a vist soon.