Today, Saturday, is our last day here in Damoh. This evening we catch the overnight train to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Then on to New Delhi after lunch. We want to share with you a fond memory or two of our stay here in Damoh:
Mark--Friday night I got the honor and priviledge of speaking to over 300 women. My points simply came right out of Esther which was the text for the women's retreat. I began with reminding them that women have been making history since Eve and Adam in the garden of Eden. I challenged them that if they wanted to be history makers also there were three principles we must adhere to: 1) Learn when to remain quiet--Esther listened to wise advice and remained quiet until the correct time arose; 2) Learn when to speak up--Esther spoke up to Xerxes about Haman when the time was right--also we can't remain quiet about what Jesus has done for us; there is power in our testimonies; 3) Learn to see God in all situations--even the tough ones. I closed with the challenge to change history and for the men to get out of their way!
Suzette--Its hard to pick just a few fond moments. But I guess the one that will stand out the most was coloring with my Asha child. Also when we were at the orphanage seeing the girls bounce up balloons and one of the girls telling me that she did not want me to leave. The overwhelming feeling of hospitality that we receive while we are here will always be in my mind.
Judy-- Watching Bugagee & the elders dance and praise at Hatta is branded on my heart forever. And when he came to Sheela & David's to be interviewed and placed his hand on my head and gave a blessing. AND... watching all the women from all the states of India worship together- loving God. AND... watching the leadership and strength of Sheela Lall.
Tricia-- At the beginning of the women's conference a representataive from each state marched in displaying their state's flag. The colors of the flags were beautiful. It was so much more than I had expected. The flag ceremony made me realize how very important this conference was to those attending. On the first night a young girl probably about 12 or 13 years old sang in English"As the Deer." Her young pure voice resonated in my soul as God spoke to me through the Psalm.
Larry--Experiencing christianity blossom in India has been a blessing. It is reminescent of the first apostles spreading the Gospel to those who had never heard or expereinced the love of Jesus Christ. Contrary to our experience in the United States, the followers of Christ in India are subject to persecution. This brings a whole new meaning to the authenticity and sincerity of these people... It is inspiring.
Lezlie--It's hard to pick just one moment. Do I pick the lizard in Ashley & I's toilet, the lizard I found as I put my pants on one morning, or falling in a hole? Haha! There is no doubt I have made good and funny memories here in Damoh. One moment that definitely sticks out in my mind is our trip to Hatta. I was overwhelmed with the love that exuded from Bugagee as he broke bread with all of us. The welcoming smiles and laughs as I photographed the woman, cows, and sceenery will forever be etched in my mind. And photos of Bugagee standing in a beautiful field will soon be hanging on my walls at home.
Ashley--My memories from Damoh are much more simple than my friends. I will remember walking across the field towards the room where the conference was held watching the children find great joy in playing cricket. When I close my eyes, I see women from across the country of India sitting around a camp fire engaged in watching their friends perform tribal dances and songs. I will remember the sounds of India forever. The cars honking from the street, the songs from the Hindu temple echoing in the distance, and the sound of Subhu's wistle. I will always hold the simplicity and character of India in my heart!
Alan--My second time around has been rewarding in so many ways. From making new friends and bettering other friendships to having the opportunity to see the dramatic change the work being done here has accomplished. To narrow down my experience to a best memory is difficult, but if I must...Gandhigram, the village full of kids who previously had no future, has done a 180 with the support from the mission. This is where my heart was drawn during my first trip and I have been working at home to garner support for these kids. What a blessing to see these kids again, now that I recognize many of them from my work. They are very well behaved, learning so much, and growing up in a Christian environment. These precious creations of God are getting an opportunity to live a good life thanks to the work of the Mid India Christian Services and from the support they are now receiving from my friends and family in Amarillo. Thank You!
Lisa-What great memories! My favorite would be worshiping with the women at the conference. Now I understand why scripture says nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Language, dress, customs, etc; nothing was a barrier to worship. The bridge in our lives is that of King Jesus and that will never fade away.
Brian- my favorite memories have to be the impact that we have made in the Asha childrens lives. for us to come to them and share our time and lives is priceless. You cannot help but leave places like India changed. Once you see India and spend time with its people it forever changes you.
Connie ~ The Women's Seminar is definitely my favorite memory however one of my first impressions of worship at Nokelal's church has stayed in my mind from the beginning. To sit and see the joy on their faces as they sat beneath a banner that said "May the evil go away and the kingdom of the Sacrifice King come!" will be forever etched in my memory.