Monday, August 18, 2014

Bible College

While in India, Chris had the opportunity to teach 11 classes at the Bible college. People come from all over India to attend three years of courses to prepare them to return to their home state and minister to people in their native language. Many of them leave and then return to their homes where they may face severe persecution. Some travel for days (or even weeks) to get to the campus. Some come with only the clothes on their back. But they all come with a desire to serve the Lord and bring others to faith…

Two of these students are siblings from a Brahmin level Hindu family who were recently saved and came to the Bible college to study. They have been truly blessed with the gift of tongues! While they know hardly any English, they are able to understand all of the preaching and teaching that they hear. I wish there had been someone to interpret for them to hear their story! You could just see the joy of the Lord in them!

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Classes are taught in English since the students come from many different states and all speak a different language. That was very nice but also challenging. I also had the opportunity to teach a class to the Bible college girls and Dr. Rick spoke about the WWJD? concept and gave each of the students a bracelet.

Bible college 01 Chris lecturing to the students.

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At the college, the boys and girls attend classes together but sit apart. They also don’t sit together at meals or do the same chores: ie- girls clean while the boys chop firewood. But they all get up at 5:30am and love to sing! You can hear them singing all the time. It’s wonderful to listen to on an evening walk after tea! In the afternoons, some of the boys go and play volleyball in front of the auditorium.

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Bible college 05Bible college 04Boys’ side

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Girls’ side

After the class, the many of the boys would come and thank us for coming and shake our hands. They would also ask Chris questions and want to take pictures on their phones.

Bible college 11 Bible college 10 These kids all have an amazing testimony and faith in God but I also found that they are just like kids their age everywhere. They struggle with the same things, enjoy the same things, want the same things…

The last day of class, we got everyone together for a group shot…

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Kids at IEM

These are pictures of the kids at the Children's Home. There are currently 50 boys and 50 girls ages 5-12. Three men take care of the boys and two women are in charge of the girls. While we were there, we held a 5-day VBS in the evenings. It was a TON of fun!

The kids only speak Malayalam, so either Varghese or Reji translated for us. Each night we started with the kids singing us a song. Then we sang Jesus Loves Me in English and taught them the motions. I told the story, followed by a craft, a game, and ending with review and prayer with Chris. And we had gifts for them just before we left. We learned the first night that the next time we’ll buy all the same toy to avoid any conflicts… :o)

The room we met in was the boys’ sleeping room. Every night they put out their beds and every morning they stack them against the walls again. The girls’ room was on the other side of the back wall. All their backpacks are on the table in the back all ready for school in the morning…

The first night we told the story of Moses, made bookmarks and played a game with the globe balls from Rick…

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The globe games were great fun!

When we arrived on the second night, the power was out and the kids were just sitting in the dark singing a song. Just as we walked in the door, the power went back on and all the kids burst into applause when we walked in the door! :o) Night two was the story of Daniel, a glow stick craft (Jesus is the light of the world), and a globe ball relay…

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After we all got our necklaces made we turned out all the lights…

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It was great hearing them when they looked around and saw one another!

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We played a game of Simon Says, which is challenging with a translator… ;o)

The Wordless Book was the lesson for day three. It went much better than I expected! The kids knew all the colors in English and remembered what they all meant for their bracelets. They liked them so much that they would show them to me every time I saw them…

As a bonus we were able to give our extra bracelets and the Wordless Book I had made out of felt to one of the pastors we met who is involved in Child Evangelism Fellowship in India!

children 65children 67Helping tie bracelets for the boys. The girls tied them on for one another. I guess boys don’t do that??? ;o)

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Every morning the kids get up at 5:30am. They clean up the sleeping room, take baths, eat breakfast, have Bible lesson, do chores, and head to school around 9am…

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The next night, Varghese went home to his family for a few days and Reji came in to translate for our story about Noah. One of the boys requested the story and I just couldn’t say no. So I quickly wrote up the story, modified half our fish crafts and we added a fun and lively dental hygiene lesson from Dr Rick! It was a very good night!

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Singing Jesus Loves Me

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children 26children 25children 30 children 27 children 28 children 29   The boys made some pretty fancy arks!

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The kids loved taking “photos” and getting to see them!

children 78Praying with Pastor Chris

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Learning that you can’t brush your teeth with your eyes. LOL

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Everyone got a new toothbrush!

The kids don’t get home until about 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon. They have tea, take another bath, do homework, have dinner, more homework and head to bed around 9:30! They have a very full day!!!

children 79children 80children 81children 83 children 82Getting home from school

Then before we knew it, it was the last day of VBS. :o(  For the final day we told stories about Jesus and fish (the calling of the disciples to be fishers of men and the feeding of the 5000), made fish and gave the kids their balloon balls that the ladies at our church made for them. I’m glad to have had help blowing up all those balloons! They LOVED them!!!

children 38That’s only half the balls! 

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A whole school of fish!

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children 54 children 52 children 53The kids held their balls on their heads while waiting for their next instructions.

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Final review with Pastor Chris

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Us and the gang!

It was really hard to say goodbye to these guys! We had thought these kids were orphans but they are not. Most merely have parents that are simply too poor to care for them. After they turn 12, they have to leave the Children’s Home and then IEM supports them financially to live at home. A few are abandoned. Some have heartbreaking stories. Like the two girls who were hated by their father who wanted boys and tried to kill one of the girls by placing burning coals on the back of her head. They were eventually found by one of the wardens begging in the street. Joshua and Moses were left waiting while the other children were all picked up by family or friends for summer vacation and had to spend their holiday with a warden’s family.

more children 01These three kids have a happier story. The boy and girl on the ends are 11-year-old twins and their 10-year-old brother is in the middle. Their parents are missionaries in northern India and they are living here at the home while they attend school. They are very talented, well-behaved children who hope to be in the ministry someday and love English classes in school!

Kids at the home are available for sponsorship through IEM and are always in need of your prayers!