Monday, 24 December 2012

Week 1: The Land of Extremes

We arrived in Delhi at an unearthly hour of the morning, but Indian Extreme Hospitality was undeterred - our host came to pick us up from the airport at four in the morning! After a few hours' sleep, we set out on a quest for sustenance, and stumbled upon the Bread-Omelette Man, working tirelessly at his stand - yes, we are proud to announce that our first meal in India was street food! We have made many fearless forays into Indian food since then - we came, we saw, we ate.

We quickly realised that crossing Delhi roads was something of an extreme sport! Peter would lead the way confidently, and the rest of us would follow him like a trail of hesitant ducklings.

 It was amusing to note, however, that just a few days later, the order had completely reversed. Peter was straggling at the tail end while Jan-Jaap and Danielle became our vanguard, weaving nimbly through fruit vendors and traffic. "It's just like parkour!" was the happy verdict.

We were part of an exciting Gideons Bible-distribution project, during which 30,000 Bibles (many of which were gift-wrapped as Christmas presents) were handed out to people on the streets all over Delhi. We even saw three people pray a salvation prayer! Perhaps the angels danced Bollywood-style as they rejoiced with us. Please pray that those 30,000 people who received Bibles will be eternally impacted.

We've been partnering with a local feeding programme in the slum - two or three members of our team join the long-term staff every morning, distributing boiled eggs and medicine to women and children who have been deemed especially needy. Please pray for encouragement for the long-term staff - their faith and perseverance is amazing.

We have shared about our various cultures at a 'Tourism and Cultural Orientation' class at the local university, and been surprised yet again by the hospitality and openness of the students there. We have made some good friends, please pray blessings over them. 

We have seen India's extremes of poverty and wealth, and felt in ourselves the extremes of sickness and still-overflowing joy, of some physical weariness and yet of energy and urgency. God has been so faithful through all these ups and downs. Please pray for health for those of us who have coughs/tummy upsets, and give thanks to Him for his Extreme Kindness towards us!

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