Trip to the Beach

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So it has been a while. A long time actually since anything of "substance" was displayed for you to see. For this, we sincerely apologize. As you may know, we got a puppy. This has required a significant portion of our time, and has allowed us to ponder the similarites between having a pet, and having a child. I apologize to my parents for everything. Everything. This has also allowed me to view, possibly, the type of relationship God has with humanity. While I may know what is good for the dog, he doesn't. When I try to stop him from running into the street, he gets agitated, because he obviously knows what's best for his little life while I, the 'wiser' creature appear as a tyrant. Well, I know that God isn't a tyrant, but with this experience I have a little more appreciation for His sadness when we dangerously cross the road to eat a pile of cow poop. And there is a lot of poop available for us to eat out there.

But the season has brought in a new wave of heat, and I can't sleep, so we're going to offer a new series of photos. The first few pics are several months old while the latter are quite recent.

Andhra Pradesh

Ah, here we are, the lovely newly wedded couple near a waterfall. 1 year next month. We followed a trail to its end and this is what we found.


Many vehicles are adorned with symbols, idols, stickers, or fabrics to distinguish themselves within this greatly diverse land. But I found this one particularly interesting. Recent travel has taken us into the northeast. This is the stretch of land beyond West Bengal, where the people are distinclty Asian in apperance. We were very close to Bangladesh and not far from Bhutan. This is a largely Muslim and Christian area, which has escaped the turmoil and violence that so many pundits and armchair histories relish in when discussing the 2 faiths. Rather, the driver of this car seems to display his understanding of there relationship; he was a Muslim. Many are the zealot and militant who walk in pompus misinterpretation for political gain while choosing to clash with toungues and engage in violence. They simply fail to see that we are brothers and sisters beneath the Great God of Abraham, and this pains me. While I am a Christian, I have richly gained from the Islamic faith. India has offered this fortunate opportunity which has greatly impacted my relationship and understanding of my Creator and Saviour.

This little man says so much to me. His face toward the blackboard, intensly practicing his script. We are coming here to build a large boarding school. There were about 200 kids at this smaller school. The need for education is vast, but particulary for the rural areas. In this region, bible truths have spread rapidly over the past decade and there are many Christians now gathering on Sabbath. Many members were Sunday observers who've choose to believe and practice the 10 Commandments and the to follow biblical example of Jesus, his disciples and the apostles. The 'central' church in this area has experienced enough growth to form 2 seperate congregations which have each established a church of their own. I was told that there are over 50 "nearby" villages holding regular bible studies on Sabbath. The best and most amazing part is that this growth is from within. There are no foreign missionaries going into these villages but the work of dedicated pioneers who roam from village to village. The Holy Spirit is active in raising up an end time people who will witness to the world what it means to believe in the bible.


This series is particularly interesting. So there is an old Indian man who goes to the same church that we attend in Delhi. He's 74, but from the eastern tribal lands of Jharkhand. He invited us to attend "something special" but didn't really tell us what it was. After a short stay in Kolkata, we took a train and then truck many hours towards this place. What we found was about 2,500 people gathering for an "Annual Meeting." The peoples who gathered here all walked, some as long as a day, and they were composed from 4 different languages/dialects. They arrived and stayed for 6 days. This place is also an example of rapid church growth without foreign influence. Their membership has increased by 5,000 in 4 years.

On Sabbath morning, we joined many along the shores of a large pond to see some baptisms. I couldn't help but think the scene looked strangely Galileean. There was beautiful music playing from drums, chimes and a guitar. The people joined their family and friends on the shores as 92 people were baptised. It was an amazing thing to see. I haven't cried in years, but this scene pulled tears of joy out of me. It was probably the greatest event I've ever witnessed.

The chef said they were serving about 350 Lbs of rice per meal!

If you don't have a church, find some bricks and bamboo. Now the building is too small, and the people flow out into the "front yard."

Along the way, on the way home.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I knew I see Mt. Everest, but I didn't know it would be by chance out of an airplane window. You'll see some good pics from NE India very soon. We've been out of blog world for a time, and we certainly apologize. We've got a new addition to our family! His name is Buck. If you remember, Buck was the name of the dog in Jack London's "Call of the WIld" So after playing with these wild beasts on the Indian streets, we couldn't resist taking one in.

Buck likes to eat his veggies. But his favorite foods are chicken (about 5 pounds a week) and the meaty leg bones of goats (3 a week).