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2015 February

posted 1 Jul 2016, 22:03 by Simon Morgan   [ updated 1 Jul 2016, 22:04 ]

This quarter's report for the Moinabad children's home is from Bro Mark and Sis Sharon Lawrie who along with their children visited the home during December and January. Bro Mark and Sis Sharon both server on the CICH committee in Australia.

This was our 5th trip to India as a family with Gabi, Angus, Phoebe and Lucas. Sharon and I also did 2 mission trips way back in the early nineties and I have had two business trips as well over the last couple of

years. So we are pretty familiar with India. However India never ceases to be incredible-the anti-pollution control van on the roadside scattered with thousands of pieces of litter, the amazing way that Indians manage electricity and also traffic, the ever constant noise of dogs barking or the amplified sounds of calls to prayer from a number of masjid (mosques) or the chant of Hindu devotees preparing for a pilgrimage-just over the back fence of the Moinabad Christadelphian Children’s Home and ALL at once!

We flew Tiger, one stop over in Singapore (3.30am to 10.40pm mind you) but very convenient and quite cheap at around $850 per ticket return Perth to Hyderabad. I think that Tiger may have stopped flying ex other Australian cities though. 

We arrived just after midnight on 10th Dec. Spent the next 2 days recuperating and having initial talks to the parents and the kids about the Christmas play and organising our practice schedule and finding out about how to help out with other events in our stay ahead, eg Shunem xmas play music.

We travelled down to Bangalore (now called Bengaluru) for the first weekend after we arrived to help out with the studies, the music and the games at the Karnataka Christadelphian Youth weekend. It was great to see brothers and sisters that we first met back in 1990 and whose children are now active youth and even getting married (there was a wedding the following weekend-Sis Becky Harry-Bro Don Bosco and Sis Joyce’s daughter to a brother from Perth). It was also lovely to spend time with Bro Linus and Sis Susan Daniel (nee Fotheringham) who are dear friends and who we knew before they knew each other (Sharon and I met Linus as a schoolboy interested friend back in 1990). It was so nice to spend time with the vibrant young people in Bangalore. We also were fortunate enough to attend a little bit of the graduation ceremony of the students from the Bartimaeus school for the blind, before heading back to Hyderabad.

We travelled down to Bengaluru and back again on the night sleeper train and it is always an interesting journey to the heart of Indian culture. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the Christmas ceremony for the street lepers as our train was delayed along with a mix up with our pick up- always make sure you show the train tickets to both Aaron and Mathews! There is more than one station…

Back at Moinabad Dec 15 we started preparing for the Christmas program, teaching the kids their parts as well as some songs to accompany the performance. Some super helpers in Jackie Aunty (Gorman) and

Dianne Aunty (Green) flew in to our assistance in direction, stage management and prop making. In addition we attended the Christmas program at Darsipali (the Christadelphian home for lepers (particularly the aged)) with a lovely performance from the children of the Shunem Home (hostel) which cares for and educates the children of street lepers in Hyderabad-training them in English as well as Telegu and various school subjects as well as health and hygiene. The kids were so cute dressed as sheep and cattle and donkeys and shepherd boys, wise men, Joseph and Mary. They performed in Telegu the local language, and then performed a more extensive program at the annual Christmas program at Shunem itself in English. (It is a lovely place that can have more than a hundred kids at any time and is a poverty cycle breaking initiative that is funded by some ecclesia’s in the UK). It is hard not to cry when you see these beautiful children some of the older ones of which are doing or have completed degree courses. We were treated to another performance of the children from Shunem, this time just the preschool kids-very cute! (See photo).

Then finally the night of the Moinabad children’s home came on December 23 and despite some technical hitches the Charis Home children and friends performed a play “Who was this man Jesus” to a mixed

audience of around 150 people and the girls of Charis Home (the youngest cohort of children at Moinabad) performed a spectacular Malayalam Christian dance. A crowd of 200 were fed a scrumptious curry cooked by team Moinabad.

On Christmas day we had Bro Tim Galbraith’s Meditation (albeit not run by Tim who was in Australia speaking at a Bible School, but by son-in-law Bro Jonathon Hewitt. We were blessed have the company of Sis Sarah the whole of our stay in India) and then lunch at Shunem Home with further dance performances in the front garden at Shunem. A couple of days rest which included watching Frozen and The Emperor’s Groove outside by a fire at Moinabad and then things really got busy!

The end of year truth camp Dec 27-Jan 1 saw a mix of interested friends and brothers and sisters from various parts of India and this year Bangladesh (as well as a sprinkling of Aussies and a Kiwi and Sis

Hannah Ogden from Birmingham though more recently of Perth. Bro Mark Morgan from Melbourne did some studies on the hidden God and I spoke on the witness of God and his promises, the word and the way and the witness that we are to each other. 200 people attended and there were special presentations in the evenings followed by CYC (ably run by Gabi, Angus and Phoebe with some help from Bro Lachie Smith from Perth and Sis Eloise Caudery from Melbourne and Bro Jonnie from Madurai). Children activities were run by a number of volunteers from India and Jacqui and Di Aunties. This time is especially valuable for the children who live in isolation to provide a taste of fellowship and spiritual learning with others. There was also a spectacular music evening followed by the New Year’s Eve bonfire and meditation which featured a beautiful song by the Bangla brothers and sisters to candlelight.

Between the studies were first principle discussion groups that helped broaden the understanding of the brothers and sisters and prepare those who were interested. About 25 people requested baptism and 10 were immersed on New Year’s Day including (now) Bro Ashok Sunderaj, son of Bro Sunderaj and Sis Mary of Hyderabad Ecclesia.

It was a fabulous time in God’s service, sharing the love of Christ with so many old and new friends in the Lord. It is hard work at times but you get so much more than you give.