India Team Updates: October 2015
October 13, 2015
A small but mighty team left on October 8 for a trip to India to support our missionary partners, Hope For Today. The team includes Paige Parsons, Carey Akin, Ken Torbett and Whitney Denton. Jenny Thompson is sending updates from the team as she gets them. The pictures are posted here»
Friday, October 9
The Team landed in Dubai. Sounds like everyone slept and dozed pretty well on the plane. They have a four and a half hour layover and then will head to Hyderabad. I asked if they stood out in the airport but Paige said no and that there were people from about a thousand different cultures there and it was quite neat. They were at a Starbucks finishing off some final things for the children at the Alpha Home.
Attached are the devotions the team will be doing while on their trip if you’d like to follow along.
Saturday, October 10
The team arrived safely in Hyderabad late last night (our time). They checked into their hotel and it has
wifi! They’ve already visited the Alpha Home and Paige said it was such a blessed time. The picture to the right is of Whitney sharing about how Samuel and Moses answered God’s call with “here I am.” Esther and Peter are in the background. Esther wanted the team to teach the children the song, “Here I am, Lord” so this story was what they selected to go along with that. You can also see the signs they’ve made to welcome the team behind Carey. All of their pictures will be on it.
Isaiah 6:8 – Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Sunday, October 11
The team had a great Sunday in Hyderabad and made the three and a half hour drive safely to Karimnagar. In the morning, they attended church where Paige, Whitney and Ken all gave a greeting and Carey preached on the Holy Spirit whose presence they all felt! They were able to celebrate communion which Paige said was a very special time. In addition, as a special treat, Swapna was there to worship with them. She grew up in the Alpha Home and finishes her nursing degree next month!
After a delicious lunch of Hyderabad biryani and butter chicken (for those who love Indian cuisine) they packed and headed to Karimnagar. Ken’s luggage still hasn’t arrived but he’s making do with a few things he was able to purchase today. Check out the attached photo with the children all gathered around him! It looks like all are thoroughly enjoying themselves!
Tonight they had a time of worship with the team of people speaking and facilitating the conferences tomorrow. Keep them in your prayers as they prepare, speak and share with others (and for good rest right now). Continue to pray that those bags get to Ken and that Peter and Esther arrive safely tomorrow!
Monday, October 12
The team had a fabulous day today and there are some great pictures attached.
They began the day by meeting for breakfast in the hotel at 8am. Then they gathered at the medical camp site which is in the grounds of an old hospital. It was built in the 1930s and has been closed for 8 years. Paige described it as an amazing facility of about 30 acres with rambling rooms and courtyards. The church’s prayer is to reopen it and bring it alive again. The Bishop opened the service reading Ezekiel 37:1-6 about bringing dry bones to new life.
Dr. Whitney did a great job seeing her patients today. There were a lot of aches and pains but no major injuries or illnesses. She was also able to pray over many people. Ken went with Whitney to the medical camp and had a great day chatting with the patients and helping there. The picture of Rev. Dr. Peter Pereira is under the tents at the medical camp.
The conferences are in a beautiful church complex of the Church of South India which is a Wesleyan denomination (see photos). The men’s conference is taking place in the sanctuary while the women are in a separate fellowship-type hall. The team was greeted warmly today with silk shawls. You can see Ken wearing one of these. Carey taught a number of sessions today at the ILI conference which reportedly went well.
The ladies loved the soaps they were given which tied in beautifully with Paige’s sessions during the Women’s Conference (see photo). The soaps were labeled and tied by a life group of 8th grade girls at Mt. Bethel. There was a one week turnaround between the time they were labeled and wrapped and when they were given to the ladies!
All in all it sounds like a great day and I think they are set to do it again tomorrow! Keep them in your prayers.
Ezekiel 37:4-6 – Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones. Tell them, “Dry bones, listen to the Lord’s message. The Lord and King speaks to you. He says, “I will put breath in you. Then you will come to life again. I will attach tendons to you. I will put flesh on you. I will cover you with skin. So I will put breath in you. And you will come to life again. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Tuesday, October 13
I just texted with Paige as she woke up in Karimnagar. They are planning for another day of two conferences and the medical clinic. She asked for continued prayers for their sessions and the medical camp. She said there were a lot of Muslims and Hindu’s coming to check out the new life available at the medical camp :’) Their orphanage visit was cancelled because the kids have ten days off for a Hindu festival.
I wanted to ask you to also pray for their time back in Hyderabad and that God will use them to accomplish just what He wants during the days they have there. As of right now, I think their schedule is open in places. So, I’m praying that He keeps them busy while they are there doing just what He’splanned.
Also, Ken’s bags still aren’t there. They are hoping for tomorrow in Hyderabad!
Thank you prayer warriors!
Tuesday, October 13, part 2
Today Carey, Ken, and Paige all got the opportunity to spend the morning at the medical camp with Whitney. Paige said Whitney is just amazing with the care and concern she gives each patient. Ken is quick to help and evidently did a good job diplomatically handling the waiting line.
At the conferences, Carey, Ken and Paige taught today. Paige’s session on Esther ended with the women praying over one another while massaging oil of myrrh into one another’s hands. The team concluded the day with dinner with Peter and Esther, devotions and studying for their sessions tomorrow.
They will wrap up their time in Karimnagar tomorrow and head back to Hyderabad on Thursday.
Keep them in your prayers!
Esther 4:12-14 – When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Don not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Wednesday, October 14
The team finished up their conferences in Karimnagar and they’ve made it back to Hyderabad. Evidently they were just in time for rush hour traffic but made it safely back to the hotel where Ken’s luggage awaited him. Needless to say, he was thrilled! They ordered room service after a long day and all should be sleeping soundly by now.
Everyone finished well with Carey and Ken wrapping up the ILI conference and Whitney (teaching on Lydia) and Paige (on Dorcas) concluding the Women’s Conference. The pictures show all the ladies in their beautiful and colorful saris. Today, the gift from the team to the conference attendees was a bookmark. These were made by Whitney’s 5th grade mother/daughter God’s GIRLS Group at Mt. Bethel and the same group of 8th grade girls who helped with the soaps. A big shout out to all who participated in making the bookmarks. Both the men and women received them. They have a cross on them, are colorful and can mark six places in their Bibles. I know they’ll enjoy them for years to come!
Another highlight in Karimnagar was seeing a former Alpha Home girl, Prasanna. She is in 11th grade and lives there now to take care of her 81 year old grandmother as the main caregiver and housekeeper. She is also able to attend school there. She and Paige reminisced about a time, a couple of mission trips ago, when the team had a sleepover at the Alpha Home (girls only). It is one of her fond memories and she also remembers Shoba (a beloved Hope for Today staff member) getting on to them for talking and not sleeping (its the same all over the world with girls and sleepovers!). It is such a blessing to see these girls doing so well.
Acts 9:36 – In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
Thursday, October 15
The team got to sleep in a bit today and then went to our favorite clothing store, Neeru’s. They had a late lunch and then headed over to the Alpha Home. They brought custard apples with them for the children. They are an Indian fruit that looks like an artichoke but has flesh inside that is somewhat pear like.
They had a special time of fellowship and prayer. The pictures show Peter and Esther leading some of the fellowship. In one of the photos, the children are gathered around Peter praying over him for his birthday which is next week. The little girl Peter is holding is new to the Alpha Home and has only been there about 6 months. All the children consider Peter and Esther their father and mother and the affection between them is mutual.
Tomorrow they will be at the Hope for Today office spending time with the staff and getting updates, etc. They will get to see a graduation of one the Alpha Vocational Technical Centers. This is one of Hope for Today’s compassion ministries where over 1,700 women have been trained to sew and do other types of needlework to sustain their families.
Friday, Saturday and Home!
The team has started their long trip home. They had a great last couple of days in Hyderabad. On Friday after breakfast (see picture of Carey’s Paper Dosa) they had a day of fellowship in the office with the HFT staff and got to attend an Alpha Vocational Technical Center Graduation. The picture shows the graduates with their diplomas. The amount of women they’ve trained is even more amazing given that they do it in groups of 10-20 each time. They also got to go shopping at Sheila’s for souvenirs to bring home.
Today, as they prepared to leave, they got to see Solomon. Pastor Solomon was with HFT for years and left to pastor his own church. Many India Mission Teams over the past decade were shepherded by Solomon. See the picture of the dedicated staff with the team and Solomon!