src=”https://ruthgraham.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/carey-puplit.jpg?w=224″ alt=”In William Carey’s pulpit.” width=”224″ height=”300″ class=”size-medium wp-image-1744″ /> In William Carey’s pulpit.
[/caption]src=”https://ruthgraham.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/gus-peters.jpg?w=224″ alt=”Pastor of Carey Baptist Church, Gus Peters.” width=”224″ height=”300″ class=”size-medium wp-image-1745″ /> Pastor of Carey Baptist Church, Gus Peters.[/caption]
Thank you for praying. It was a quick, hard, wonderful trip.
All our planes were on time, the luggage arrived, we stayed healthy…God was gracious.
India is really on the other side of the world – such along trip. Twenty hours by air – changing planes in Doha, Qatar. No plane is comfortable or pleasant for that much time. But at least I didn’t have to walk or swim!
Krista and I arrived in Calcutta at about 2:30 AM. The person we thought was to meet us was not there. We waited for an hour outside the airport but finally decided we were very tired and needed to find a place to sleep. All the while men were coming up volunteering to take us to a hotel. There was one gentleman that stayed by us the whole time – like a guardian. We asked if there was a Marriott or Hilton. He said “no” but he knew a hotel nearby. I was not scared but I was concerned.
We got in his cab and drove off. The first hotel was not acceptable. I soon realized that my standard of acceptable was very different form Calcutta’s standard! I told him to take us into the city thinking surely there would be some business hotel…
He took off into the night.
I knew Calcutta was a unique city in the world but I was not prepared for the pollution, traffic, crowd, noise…the poverty is on a different level.
We got to a hotel that wasn’t much better than the first but we were too tired to argue. It was now about 4:30 AM. We got two rooms, were able to get Internet so we could notify folks where we were and went to sleep. (Every room has a fine layer of dust. The bed linens are dingy gray as is the one towel.)
We slept until about 10:30. The pastor of the Carey Baptist Church, Gus Peters, called to pick us up for lunch. (Coming out of the restaurant we saw a large dead rat – glad I saw him after lunch!) We had a great time with him. He took us to tour the city – saw Victoria’s memorial and other sites – went to the Ganges river and watched a man prepare to deposit a family member’s ashes then go through the Hindu ritual of “burial”. Others were lined up to do the same. The river is wide but so polluted. Hindu shrines seem to be on each corner. Incense and flowers…
The roads and traffic are hard to describe. They are like nothing I have ever experienced (with maybe the exception of Tokyo and Cairo back in the 60s). In Calcutta there seem to be no traffic rules – the one who gets his nose in first, has the right of way! The roads are JAMMED with taxis, busses, trucks, mopeds, pedicabs, rickshaws, some private cars (even saw a Land Rover and a Porsche dealership!!), people, animals…The sidewalks are taken with small stalls to sell any number of items so people are forced into the road. Potholes and broken roads abound. It is jarring, to say the least. Horns beep and blast all the time….
From there we went to the church and the Calcutta Bible College. What a contrast! We attended the Tuesday night Bible study there and then had dinner with the pastor and his family in their home. Such a privilege.
At that point we were about to fall into our plates. Gus took us back to our hotel to get some rest. That was our first day!
The next day we were to meet up with our friend, Kishor Pandagade, from the Sates who had missed his plane out of Jerusalem. We met him at the airport at the last minute and flew to the Assam region (the tea growing capital) and drove 3 hours up to Udalguri – close to the Bhutan border where we were guests of the Boro Baptist Convention.
More to come…plus pictures.
It’s hard to believe Christmas was just a little over 4 weeks ago!
I am writing this to ask you to pray for me as I head to India on February 1st. It will be a full trip with many opportunities to minister to those who are hurting and discouraged. I will be in the Assam region – near the Bhutan border – speaking to thousands of people. I have never been to this part of the world and I am looking forward to the experience. I arrive back in DC on February 11th – so it is a quick trip – hardly have time to adjust to the time change.
Please pray for the messages I will bring to these dear people. My message of grace does not change but I want the messages, illustrations, to be understandable and appropriate. I do not want cultural differences to be a hindrance. I do have an Indian friend who has gone over them for me.
I ask you to pray for all the travel arrangements to go smoothly, baggage to arrive, health, stamina… Pray for the translators to be accurate – and even improve my message! Mostly pray, Jesus will be lifted up and glorified as the one True God and Savior of us all. I want all we do and say to be a blessing.
My wonderful assistant, Krista, is accompanying me. She is very diplomatic and gracious – as well as lots of fun.
I am not sure I’ll have Internet while there…but when I do I will report to you! Thank you for praying.
Is anyone as frustrated as I am about packaging? Everything is packaged in such a way as to cause the person trying to open it, some bodily harm! It drives me crazy. From child proof caps to milk jugs to CD covers to olive jars. Maddening!
Maybe it is my age or early arthritis in my left hand but it seems like everything is hard to open. This morning I tried to open a bottle of milk for my cereal. It was a plastic bottle. The lid was attached by a plastic seal that splits as you twist. It didn’t. I finally got a knife to split the little ring from the lid and even then it was difficult. I was about to give up when it finally gave way. And my hand hurt.
Yesterday, I tried to open a jar of pickled peppers. I like them in my salad. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Wrong.
It was a plastic jar with a plastic lid that had a seal between the jar and the lid. It was supposed to twist open and the seal would break. It didn’t happen. No matter how hard I twisted. I got a knife to pop the seal. That didn’t work. I tried to pry the lid off. That didn’t work. I banged it in the counter. That didn’t work. I had one of those rubber discs. That didn’t work.
Frustrated, I left it on the counter and ate my salad without the peppers.
Later, as I went out the door to go to the grocery store, I saw the jar of pickled peppers and decided to take them back to the store for the manager to open it. On the way into the store I noticed the potato chip delivery man. The bottom of a carton full of bags of potato chips opened and all the bags spilled out on the parking lot. The man was scrambling to pick them all up before a car came and smashed them. I offered to help but he said he was OK and mumbled about the quality of the box.
He went back to his truck. I then remembered my pickle jar! So when he got back out of his truck, I asked if he would help me! He agreed. I showed him the jar of pickled peppers. He was only to happy to show off to me! Even with gloves on he struggled to open it! I felt vindicated!
I told him I wasn’t married so there was no man in the house to open them. (What a great “pick up” line if I were that kind of girl!)
So next time I need a jar opened I may just have the check out person or bag-person open them before I leave the store!!
But that’s nuts. Why does packaging have to be so difficult?
On New Year’s Eve I went to see the movie, “Unbroken”. A story of incredible torture and suffering during World War II in the Pacific. It is intense. It is a story of remarkable character and courage.
But it is sad that the best part of his life was glossed over in a sentence or two.
Louie Zamporini came home from the war a hero. But he was full of resentment and hatred for what happened to him. He married but soon his life spiraled out of control. The nightmares of his time in prison tormented him every night. He began to drink to try to forget. He was full of anger. His wife could not longer take it and filed for divorce.
But a neighbor invited her to come hear a young evangelist in Los Angeles by the name of Billy Graham. She went and gave her heart to Christ. She came home and told her husband she was changed and would not go through with the divorce. She asked him to accompany her to hear Billy Graham. He reluctantly went and left the meeting declaring he never wanted to go back. The next night she invited him again; he loved her so he agreed but said he would leave before the invitation.
He did go and as he listened to Billy Graham he was convicted by the scriptures. He committed his life to Christ that night and immediately knew he was changed. The anger was gone. He never had another nightmare.
It is a remarkable story – a miracle. How God changed his life. You can see “the rest of the story” that was left out of the film but go to: billygraham.org/video/louis-zamperini-captured-by-grace/. It will thrill you!
The movie, “Unbroken” was good but the best was left out. See for yourself!
This seems an appropriate prayer written by Frances Ridley Havergal:
Another year is dawning:
Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee.
Another year of progress
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast:
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet happy rest.
Another year of service,
Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in Heaven,
Another year with Thee.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned…for unto us a child is born…”
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”