Beanie Babies, Bibles, & Chainsaws

Jan. 13, 2014

We have arrived, safe and sound (Praise the Lord!), but without our checked baggage. We are supposed to pick up 7 bins and 3 bags from the Chennai Airport this evening at 2:30 AM. The bins are filled with toys, children’s ministry supplies, basketball hoops, a chainsaw, bibles and bible commentaries… and the bags are Pastor Ted’s and Sarah Ryan’s. I’m sure Pastor Ted would like to change out of his travel clothes… and you know that the rest of us would all benefit from it as well! 😉

Sarah has been without her clothes and medicine for 2 days now. The Lord has provided – she is dressed in some authentic Indian garb today, and she has been doing OK without her medicine for now. God is good. Please keep her lifted up.

The Bozeman team arrived at Sunny’s parents house (we call them "Daddy" & Miriam) at 3 AM on Jan. 12th and were waiting for us to give us some "dinner" and then we went straight to bed. We woke up at 7 and made it to the bible college by 8 AM for our first full day of ministry!

Brenda, a 2nd year team member from Oceanside, CA, arrived at 8 am after a flight delay. Her presence is a great blessing! She has some children’s ministry ideas that will be very helpful and she loves the Indian people very much.

Our first day looked like this:
7am – Morning worship, prayer and breakfast at Daddy’s.
8am – Pastor Ted teaches the bible college students.
10am – Devotional and time of Worship (David shared about Christ being the only doctrine and knowledge that we really need Colossians 2:1-10 & Gracia taught them some new worship songs in English. The students are still singing 10,000 Reasons, a song she taught them last year. They are also using the djembe drum, a gift from the previous year).
10am – The children from the villages arrive at GHBC and we teach them bible stories, perform skits, sing songs, play games, feed them, and they dance for us. Steven and John are very good actors, by the way! We taught them how to play Duck, Duck, Chicken… because they weren’t sure what a goose was.
12:30 pm – We eat spicy food with our hands
2 pm – Luke & Pastor Ted spend some one-on-one time with the students getting to know them and hear their testimonies while the rest of us tour the school
3 pm – Some of the team went back to Daddy & Miriam’s to cure the jet lag and get our second wind!
5 pm – We cram into the van to head to Pastor Christopher’s new church. It was started about a week ago. It was so encouraging to see the fruit of our prayers! Our brothers and sisters in India have been trying to start a church here for almost 3 years. It is a relatively small area where 10,000 people live, mostly in huts. There were many kids there, so please pray that their parents and the rest of the village will come to faith in Jesus Christ and pray for Pastor Christopher and his new wife.
6:30 pm – We went to another new church plant, in a village nearby. We learned that the father of one of the bible college students donated the land and building after receiving Christ as his own personal savior. He had plans to use the land for a business, but God had different plans, apparently! Usually there are 18 children in attendance, but 10 of them were gone because this week is the Tamil New Year and they are celebrating with their families. Steven and Pastor Ted did some magic tricks for the kids at both churches. They were a big hit!
8 pm – Dinner. Most of us headed to bed immediately afterwards and we all got a very restful night’s sleep, finally!

The rest of the week will be very similar to this schedule, except when we receive our bins we will be able to do some building too. Steven is excited to play basketball with the other kids here. He might have quite the advantage though, as he is twice as tall as the other 13 year olds here!!!

If you were wondering what the chainsaw was for………. Right now, GHBC pays $200/year for firewood. They use the wood to cook for all the students and children daily. With this chainsaw, they will be able to cut their own trees, for free. Their only cost will be gas for the van to get to the woods, and fuel for the chainsaw. We also brought them a battery powered circular saw and a drill so they have means to build and repair anything around the school.

I know… it seems a little strange to have bins filled with Beanie Babies, Bibles, and Chainsaws… but we want to meet their spiritual AND practical needs in any way we can.

We are so blessed to come alongside our brothers and sisters here in India. Please keep us in prayer! We will update you all again soon. Blessings!

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