After 6 great days in location 1 it was time to move down to the main campus for the final 6 days of the Mission. Any travel on Indian roads is an experience but also reveals colour and artistry.
Today in Tenali we received a wonderful musical welcome from the children in the Campus School. Then we enjoyed visiting each classroom and being able to encourage and chat to the students. (The cover photo shows the school)
Then off to Quarri College to see some 6th form students. All working hard on this hot Saturday! (Although as we keep getting told, it is winter!) In the Principal’s office we saw this great message
At the end of the day we were taken to the Mercy Mission and Medical Centre.
Tomorrow we will be heading to King’s Temple – the large church on site. Sue, Alun and Simon will be tag-preaching on Philippians 2… shining like stars!
After lunch Simon hopes to play the Kabaddi match he promised to have with many of the children! Ambulances will be in attendance.
Praise God we are all safely arrived in Peddapuram, it was certainly a long journey.
Triple bunk beds safely negotiated, some got more sleep/food/drink than others. A once in a lifetime experience that we all want to do once and never again!
So at 9am (on Monday – apparently this was an Express Train!) we arrived and were delighted to be met by David, Suresh and Christina’s eldest son.
After an exciting tuk-tuk ride we arrived at the house and enjoyed the first of our three curries of the day (potato curry with chapati and boiled egg, beef curry with rice and then spicy chicken noodles). We are already amazed and so thankful for how wonderfully we are being looked after.
It was a privilege to be taken to the beach and step into a part of the Indian Ocean (sort of, we think) but the really important part of the day began when we arrived at a children’s home close to where we are staying.
Using the story of Zacchaeus we shared with the children how important and precious they are. God knows each of their names and because they are valuable to Him he will take care of them and protect them.
This was followed with a few games and songs – we especially liked the song of praise and loud hallelujahs sung to us by the children.
We are now all ready for bed and looking forward to sharing good news, encouragement and prayer with different groups tomorrow.
people, three from Minchinhampton Baptist Church (Alun, Diane & Sue F), two from Cosham Baptist Church
(Simon and Sue B) and two from Banbury Community Church (Kate and Bethan) are
heading off to India on January 25th to see the amazing work
undertaken by the Christian NGO – Harvest India (HI). We go under the banner of
being the Together As One team. As
yet we have not received the itinerary for our time in India, so this prayer
letter is written in the expectation of events that may happen.
25th: Please pray for safe journeys to the airport and that we gel
as a team in the three hours before the flight leaves, as several of the team
have not met each other before. Pray for a safe and uneventful flight.
26th: We arrive in Chennai India in the early hours of the morning and
will be met by HI representatives. We then have a long train journey to a town
called Peddapuram. None of us have been on the trains in India before. Please
pray for a good and restful journey and that we settle into our accommodation
27th – Jan 29th:
Hopefully we will have had a good night’s sleep and will be recovered
from our travels. Each morning we will be spending a short time in devotional
studies, sharing the leading between us, as we feel lead by the Spirit before
we start our day. Please pray that the Lord will lay appropriate messages on
the heart of each leader to complement the activities we undertake in the days
we spend in Peddapuram. These could include:
visiting the Freedom Centre for
women rescued out of prostitution,
visiting a smaller children’s home,
seeing how the teak tree plantation
is growing since some of us first saw it in 2011 – not long after it had been
a village outreach event.
Visiting an elderly home
Each evening we will be
preparing for the next day and any messages, drama or craft activities that may
30th – February 6th: Please pray for a safe journey by road
to Tenali and the HI Campus, where we will settle into the new accommodation
block on campus. While in Tenali we expect to undertake the following
Safeguarding training: Please pray
for Simon Ford, Co-Pastor at Cosham Baptist Church who will be leading the
training sessions with key member of the HI leadership team. The training will
take place over two days, day one setting out the biblical mandate to keep
God’s people safe and day two the signs, symptoms of and the mechanisms for
dealing with safeguarding issues, Please pray that the training will address
the cultural issues and will be received well, and for those tasked with
helping interpret the words Simon speaks, for those whose comprehension of the
English language is not as good as others.
Leprosy was declared eradicated in
India in 2005, but it is still there and India now has the highest number of
new leprosy cases in the world. In the past two and a half years, India has
accounted for 60% of the global total of new cases.(Source www.downtoearth.org.ind).
Pray for us as we visit a leper colony set up by HI and support feeding and the
ministry to them. Pray for the medical teams who treat their wounds and for the
pastor (who also has leprosy) living with them.
On the HI campus is the Rockharbour
Orphanage where we will spend time playing games with the children and being
entertained by them. Pray for Kate and Bethan as they take part in learning
their dance routines, and teaching some ‘western ballet, contemporary and tap
dance’ routines to them. We may also visit the smaller children’s homes, often
based in the homes of HI staff members.
We often do craft based activities, play games, sing songs and bring a
message from the bible.
On the campus is also a school
where we hope Bethan will spend a day alongside children of her own age (10) as
a pupil for a day. Pray that she will find the experience challenging and
rewarding in conversation with her peers who want to learn more conversational
English. We may also visit the Quarry College and the KSK College and other
Pray for the women in the Ashryah
Centre, where women who have been rescued out of prostitution are given back
their dignity, taught new skills from which they can make a living, and their
children supported by HI. Pray we would
have comforting and wise words for them.
Pray for our visits to the homes
for the elderly and widows. So many Dalit elderly are abandoned to beg on the
streets when the family has to make the choice ‘feed the children or the
elderly relative’. Pray that we can bring comfort and a word that shows them
they are loved and matter to God.
On Sunday we will either be in the
3000 seat church (Kings Temple) on campus bringing a message or we will be in a
small village church somewhere near Tenali. Pray for wisdom in bringing Gods
word and for our translators who faithfully work alongside us translating
everything into Telagu, as many in the villages do not speak any English.
Pray for Sue B as she spends some
time teaching in the Nursing Collage in Tenali. Pray that she will be a
blessing bringing her expertise to complement the amazing work undertaken by
the Educational staff there.
At some point we will undertake a
village outreach, often in an evening, where many will come to hear the Gospel
preached, sing and be prayed for. They truly are wonderful to be at. Pray that
we would bring the right message through drama, song and spoken word and that
many will give their lives to Christ.
Pray for the women who make use of
the HI night shelter for their children, as they ply their trade in the red
light areas. Pray that God will impact their lives and that they will take the
step out of prostitution and allow HI to support them while they learn a new
way of making a living. Pray for us as we visit (during the day) and meet the
HI staff who work with these families.
We may visit a community hospital
and AIDs hospice. Pray for the medical staff who serve and for the free medical
camps that are held regularly.
Pray for fortitude as we undertake
a mercy mission, where we participate in the regular distribution of food to
the marginalized Dalit. It can become very intimidating when there is a fear
from those at the end of the lines that food may run out.
Pray for Sue F as she gives
testimony at any opportunity we have to bring a message.
Pray for Diane and I as we lead the
team and pray that no one will become ill, too fatigued or emotionally drained
as a result of seeing the plight of the Dalit and other oppressed groups.
will travel back to Chennai either during the day on the 6th Feb or
through the night for our early morning flight back to the UK on the 7th.
Please pray for these arrangements and for safe journeys by whatever method is
used to get us back to Chennai from Tenali. We arrive back in the UK at around
1pm on the 7th to the cold and damp!
you for your support. Knowing people in the UK are praying for us and for the
team at HI is very reassuring.
will be posting some pictures on FaceBook – Harvest India Visit – January 2020
( ask to join the group) and writing a daily blog at www.coshambaptist.org/blog where
you can follow our activities. Technology permitting!
Our God is good and he is doing wonderful
works through HI and we will only be too happy to tell you about our trip on
Together As One Team
& Diane Davies, Sue Fairley, Simon
Ford, Sue Brooks, Kate Davies, Bethan Davies.