We have only just a minute, just sixty seconds in it;
Forced upon us can't refuse it, Didn't seek and didn't choose it;
We must suffer if we lose it, Give account if we abuse it,
Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.
It hardly seems possible that our month (seems like only a minute) in India
is gone but early tomorrow we must be on our way. We wish we could have done
more, some of our expectations were not fulfilled, but we also had opportunities that we could not have imagined. Hopefully we were instruments of the Holy Spirit most of the time. ...
who have been asking about some of the special ones we've met along the way,
here are few updates:
Woman in the Plastic Sari
Our prayers to find the woman one more time were
answered - but to our sorrow, God said "no." We will continue to pray for
her and hope you will join us in this important mission. Over and over again,
God has reminded us that we are here to pray. The need in India is so
great and our contributions are so small. But prayer is huge and through
you can be easily multiplied.
S. - widow for whom so many of you prayed
Contradictory rumors are swirling
around Mahab but at this time, it is believed that no charges will be filed
against her for her husband's death. Our contacts tell us that S. has returned
to her parents' home in a northern state for safekeeping. It is likely our
friends here will never see her again, never be able to comfort her as she faces
life alone as a widow. Widows are a persecuted group in India and Jim will have
more stories to say about this condition when he shares what God is doing
through of Acts of Mercy in a future post.
The Laundry Man
The story of the original Laundry Man continues as we did
return to his services once again. He spent some time away visiting family but
we stopped by today to say good bye and he smiled, waved and nodded when we said
"next year." We will try to expand on this story to give details of the
last three weeks of encounters in the weeks to come but for now we want to
acknowledge all of you who reminded us that he would look different to us when
we remembered that Christ loves him as much He loves us.
Farewells, Hugs, & Kisses
This past week was Sports Week at Achiever
Academy and that means they set aside all academics and focus entirely on
physical competitions with an emphasis on sportsmanship. Each grade level is
divided into different "houses" (red, blue, green, & yellow) with each house
represented by students at each grade level. Tiny 3 yr. olds hopped
like frogs in races and learned to play musical chairs. Older students cheered
when the time came to play CoCo - a uniquely Indian team game of tag which
emphasizes teamwork and coordination. We got to serve as judges and the
events became so competitive that Jim was asked to record each finish of the
races to determine the winners! In the end, when Red House prevailed and
was awarded the championship trophy, it was hard to tell who was more excited,
the students or the teachers! The Grand Finale Ceremony marked the end of
the week-long competitions and was also a Grand Finale of our month here. We
awarded medals and certificates to the winners and hugged the teachers goodbye,
with promises to stay in touch. Most importantly, we promised to keep each other
in our hearts until next summer - and always, pray for one another. We
hope you will join us in this promise, too.
The time has come for us to return to the U.S. and yet it never seems as if
we really say goodbye. During his part of the closing ceremony speech, Jim
thanked the parents for welcoming us so warmly and told them we feel as if
Mahabalipuram is our second home. Susan thanked the parents for sharing their
children with us and Achiever Academy and reminded the teachers that they had
been called to serve the children "for such a time as this."
We thank you for joining us on this journey and hope you will continue to
pray for Achievers Academy and the villagers of Mahabalipuram, India. We have so
many more stories to share and hope you will continue to follow our blog as we
continue to share what God is doing in Mahabalipuram, India. The work is
not over for the future is just beginning for the children of Achiever
Academy. And Jesus is waiting for them - and all of us - there.
Until next time,
Jim & Susan