India - Bangalore
Dates: October 3-16
Ministry Partner: GBC Global Partners Timothy and Julie P.
Ministry Focus: Children's ministry, partner encouragement
We have the privilege of again returning to Bangalore, India, which is home to Grace Global Partners Timothy and Julie P. This year Timothy and Julie have requested a children's ministry component to the team, which will include Vacation Bible School, helping with devotions, homework, mentoring, teaching songs, and playing games with the children at the the Living Word Children's Home.
Updated Saturday, October 19
evening things changed slightly as we reconsidered our initial plan to visit Mysore on Monday. (first
day of the Dasara festival) The taxi driver could not be talked into
taking us to Mysore
- even with additional Rupees! Five hours coming and going in packed stop
and go India traffic didn’t appeal to him and on second thought it didn’t
appeal to us much either. So we stayed in town, enjoyed a fabulous Indian
lunch and did some shopping in the afternoon and evening.
evening we had devotions with the kids and dinner with Timothy and Julie.
We enjoyed home made cookies as an illustration for our devotion and celebrated
Pryanka’s birthday as well. It was a special surprise to find at each of
our place settings around the dinner table a stack of home made cards from each
of the children to each one of us on the team thanking us for the time we spent
together and for the VBS. Everyone was touched and we shared many hugs
and tears saying good bye as they went off to bed.
few hours later, around 10:30pm we loaded up our taxi with luggage and headed
off to the airport… about a 2 hour drive. Our boarding time was around
3:30am so we planned to just hang out in the airport until then. It was a
little tight and bumpy as the driver sped down the road weaving around potholes
and cars. A little over halfway there, we had an emergency call to stop
on the side of the road (a little motion sickness to relieve) but then
continued on to the airport. Our team fared well although a couple of us
seemed to take turns with motion sickness even after landing in LAX. But
by God’s grace, we’re back now and so grateful for the time we were able to
spend with Timothy and Julie and the children.
Thank you for your
continued prayers and faithful encouragement. The Lord is doing a great
work in Bangalore
and it was a gift to be part of it – if even for such a short time.
the Lord brings to your mind the stories we’ve shared and the work of Timothy
and Julie, please continue to earnestly pray for them, the land which they need
to pay off by next month, and for their vision to care for orphans and reach
the lost throughout India.
From all of us, Timothy & Julie, and the children – thank you!
Updated Friday, October 18
Our Bangalore team returned home on Wednesday, excited to have had the chance to share the love of Christ with the children at Living Word and to encourage our friends Tim and Julie. A couple of team members had health issues on the way home - please pray for health for all as they adjust back to life Stateside. And thank you for entering into this ministry through your prayers.
Updated Saturday, October 12
E-mail from Sheri
Well, Friday we slept in
and started VBS a couple hours later in the day. We had a great time
picking up where we left off and the kids loved having their faces painted that
afternoon when they came back from their rest time. Today was our last
day together in the book of James. Their enthusiasm to learn has
remained a highlight. Seeing how each of them have been able to
grasp and apply the things we've been discussing has been
rewarding. Jasmine, the caretaker who lives with the children and
helps them with all of their daily activities, was sharing on the way back
from our picnic how the VBS was an answer to prayer for
them. They had been praying for the right timing and the right theme
for the VBS and really asking the Lord to provide them with just what he
would have them learn. When she saw that it was the book of
James and the theme's purpose was to address the testing of our faith
she said she knew immediately God had answered her
prayers. She was so encouraged that it was not just fun songs
and activities but that it was solid teaching which she feels so
burdened for the kids to have. She shared that teaching
about testing and perseverance could not have come at a better time for them
and the kids will have gained something they can hold onto for a
lifetime. We've had such a great week with the kids and we're so glad
there are still a few more days remaining. Yesterday evening as well
as this evening Kate led the children's time in devotions. Timothy
and Julie were excited for her to share and model for the children what they
have been working to teach them about devotions as they ask the older kids to
lead from time to time.
Tomorrow we'll be
spending the morning together having our worship service followed by lunch and
time together doing crafts, playing games and giving
haircuts. Monday we're planning to visit Mysore and take in the
sights with Timothy and Julie as a team. Pray for safe travels
and good health in the days to come as we get ready to return. As
one might expect when making a trip like this we have had a few travel related
health issues... but by God's grace our team is well and has shown
good team work and flexibility filling in for each other when needed throughout
our various activities each day. As for pictures - still working on
that! We have so many great pictures (the new land, milking cows,
devotions together, face painting, monkey, the open market, puppet shows
and our day at the picnic) and would love to share them but we're having
some difficulty with that process. Thanks for bearing with us
on this and for your continued prayers for our remaining time here.
Updated Saturday, October 12
You may have seen on the news that a cylcone (the Pacific version of a hurricane) is approaching the north-east coast of India. With Bangalore located in southern India, we don't expect our team to be affected. However, some of the children at Living Word come from the state that will be hit hardest, and will have family members in the path of the storm. Thank you for praying for what will be a major weather crisis in a very poor part of the country.
Updated Thursday, October 10
E-mail from Sheri
It's Thursday and we've come to the end of a very full and
adventurous day! We took today off from VBS and headed out early
morning on a two hour drive to have a picnic in the mountains at a place
where two main rivers merge. The bus ride was filled with
singing, conversation and the India countryside. Cattle, goats and sheep
were all using the road nearly as much as we were and as we neared the
mountains the landscape opened up and the view was beautiful.
It was a perfect day out together. When we arrived, the
guys took a small round woven boat across the river in order
to find a good place to set up for the day. All 33 of us would have
been ferried across the river on these little boats... if it weren't for some
minor concerns like water seeping up through the bottom and poor balance
over deep water. And yes, the boats only went half way across the
river at which point you were to climb out onto a large rock and wade the
rest of the way across. It was decided that we were better off simply
wading across the river at a shallow crossing. (...and
the whirlpool/crocodile warning sign??) So each of us, along
with the kids paired up with their buddies, waded into the water about
waste deep and took everything we had brought with us across the
river. Backpacks, pots, wooden stakes, tarps, games, water and food
to cook - even a very large propane stove - all crossed the
river! We set up camp for the day a little further down river and had
such a great time. Here, the water was only about a foot deep
and the current was slow. The kids just played their hearts
out! There were jobs for everyone and together we made curried
chicken. After lunch we rode in a little blue bus down
river a short distance and hiked to see waterfalls and fascinating rock
When we returned, Abby shared her story of being
orphaned at age 4 in Bulgaria and how God used that experience to draw her to
himself. They quietly listened, completely unsuspecting of her
story. Pray for the children over these remaining days and the weeks to
follow our leaving. Their losses are great and many have blocked out the
memory of their experiences leading to their time now at the Living Word
Children's Home with Timothy and Julie. Pray for wisdom and discernment
for Timothy and Julie as they continue to nurture and love them through their
pain and healing.
Updated Tuesday, October 8 - Two updates from Sheri
begun! We've been having a great time getting to know the kids as
we've begun teaching the book of James. Today was only our second
day. Dave and Gerry are teaching the older ones who are mostly
boys. Dave's emphasis is on abiding in Christ and what
that looks like as they study James together. Gerry has really
enjoyed the enthusiasm of the boys he's teaching and their eagerness
to learn and to please. All of the children are like
We were pleasantly surprised
to have a good friend from Timothy and Julie's church here in Bangalore be able
to join us this week and help out with the team. Her name is Shirley and
it's been a joy to have her join us. She'll be leading alongside Abby,
Kate and Sheri as they teach the younger children.
Abby has been encouraged by
the good understanding of the material that the younger children are
showing. It will be especially meaningful to hear from each of
the children in a couple days after they have completed a special
homework assignment she gave them today. Each child is to write down
their story... tell about their family, where they came from and how they came
to be with Timothy and Julie.
On Thursday we're taking a day
off from VBS in order to take the children on an all day picnic
outing. At that time Abby will be sharing her own story about her
adoption from Bulgaria, how she came to the States and now to India to be with
the children. Pray especially for our time together that day. We'll
continue VBS after that finishing on Saturday.
Kate has been having a
great time with the kids. Yesterday evening was a special time for
her as she was able to give each of them a sock monster. She hand
made and named each of them with a specific child in mind. It
was a treat!
Our days are full, starting
early with breakfast, team devotions and VBS prep. VBS begins when the
children arrive... around 9:30 or so and finish up around 1:00 so they can have
lunch and rest/nap. A few hours later they rejoin us and we're able
to play games, sing and do crafts, followed by devotions and dinner anytime
Today, in addition to
VBS, we experienced the adventure of the open market, the fun of home made
cookies, crafts, devotions and prayer together, and good conversations with
Timothy and Julie. Continue to pray for them as they move forward with
their vision for the land. Pray for each of the 20 children as they
process the things they're being taught as well as their stories which they'll
be sharing with us. Pray also that we'll continue to make the most of our
days, enjoying the moments God is providing for us to encourage one other
as we're together for this short while.
you so much for your prayers and encouragement as our team headed out
just a few days ago. It's been so good to see Timothy and Julie again, to
pass on greetings and love from our Grace family and supporters, and to meet
the children. We are enjoying getting to know them as we settle in
to life together.
Updated Friday, October 4
we had church together with Dave speaking in the morning and Gerry in the
evening. In the afternoon we were able to drive out to see the new
property that Timothy and Julie are in the process of purchasing. God has
opened a great door of opportunity for them and it was a special time to walk
the property and see the vision they have for their ministry.
were there, the current land owner invited us to have tea
together. When we accepted he said he would be right back. He
needed to go get his cows so that he could milk them and make us
fresh tea. He was happy to give Abby and Kate the lessons they requested
on how to milk a cow! Abby thought he made it look way too easy!
But the tea was great and his hospitality even greater.
begins our week of VBS and everyone is excited! Pray for us as we teach
the book of James and just love the kids through all of the things we'll be
This week we'll be doing VBS Monday through Saturday with
Thursday as a special outing day taking the kids on a picnic. It'll go
fast! So pray that we make the most of it and do not miss the
opportunities God gives us to slow down and see him at work in the moments.
still recovering from jet lag but hopeful that tomorrow brings us closer to our
new normal. Last night Kate said... I really need to go sleep. My
body is feeling all bizurko. (She may speak for all of us more than she
And with that, we'll say good night. Picture to come!
We got word this afternoon that our team arrived without incident in Bangalore. Thank you for praying for their ministry this week. Come back often for news of their progress.
Updated Thursday, October 3
Our Bangalore team was prayed off the parking lot by friends and family and headed to India.