Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm going to post the six india updates that we wrote while we were there, here, in sequential order. Here is india update #1:

Here is an update from india, please forward as appropriate.

We barely made it onto our flight. We were sitting there at the check in counter for two and a half hours. We tried to check in, and it couldn't find our reservations. After speaking with a few different people, the manager came out and personally started working on the issue. An hour after we arrived, she came back out and told us our ticket reservation had been cancelled, and she was working on it. The rest of the team got through just fine, except for the Olynicks, so they and us stayed behind as well with us to wait for the issue to be sorted out. Well, the time ticked by, and still nothing. The team was getting wrestless, calling us quite often to ask if we had gotten through yet, as they were boarding. Then we got another call... they were done boarding. We heard the "last boarding call" call over the loudspeakers for our flight, and we were still sitting at the (now empty) check in gate. The manager rushed out, got our bags checked, and two nice Northwest employees rushed us through security, to the international wing, and out to our plane, minutes before we shoved off. And, we had the nicest seats in coach, for the trouble. :) We weren't really scared or anything, we knew that this was God's trip, and no one really messes with God and wins.

We left the ground at around 1pm home time on the 14th, and arrived in hyderabad about 3am on the 16th. our third day of the trip... and we just got there. We went to a hotel, slept for a couple hours, got up, ate some indian food, and hopped on a charter bus for the 6-7 hour ride to the place we would be doing our ministering: Vijayawada.

The ride was incredible- the first sights and sounds of India were... interesting. It feels almost like Mexico City- except, it never gets any better. There is no "good" part of town. It's all poverty, as far as the eye can see, no end in sight. The smell of fermenting garbage and feces permeates the entire country, from what I've been able to smell. Nowhere is a safe haven from the smell, even the hotel rooms are permeated with it. Looking out the window on the bus was... crazy. Seeing people sleeping in piles of rubble, cows meandering around the street eating the piles of trash, (there was trash everywhere, every street, every corner, every building) and the traffic explained briefly: near death experiences every 5 seconds, flavored with noncaring pedestrians and mopeds. There are no traffic laws here. We almost died on that busride a few hundred times, and it almost turned into a game, where the entire bus would cheer when we made it by another bus with less than inches to spare. The bus driver drove like a nascar driver. But the problem was, so was everyone else. And we were on the bus. haha. Someone got some of it on video, and I'm sure it'll be good :)

So we're in Vijayawada now, arrived last night. The indian food is... well, authentic? And, well, we can only eat about half of it for health reasons. And it's near impossible to carry anything yourself around here- I actually was told no, I cannot carry my own bags to my room. They need their tips... heh.

I'm sitting right now in our hotel room, hearing the constant honking and screeching of Indian traffic, and smelling the acrid smell of trash. But it's all worth it- today was the first day of the womens conference, and already the blind are seeing, the deaf and dumb spirit is loosening it's grip on this nation that is cursed with poverty and pure complacancy that permeates this place. Even the homeless on the side of the road just sit there. No one cleans up, no one tries to get ahead around here. Everyone just does what they can to get by, no more, no less. It's evident in the workmanship of their buildings, the power lines, even the streets. Attached are a few pictures we've taken so far. They will help illustrate the stories above so far. Pray for us. We have yet to see a miracle happen before our eyes, and we've been praying for some crippled hands and some blind eyes.

We're expecting it soon. :)


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