Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finals Days in India

Sorry it has been awhile since our last posting.  The network here has been down for the last three days.  By the time you read this Bill, Mickey and Rob will be home.  The weather here has been beautiful, it gets down to mid 40's at night and around 72 in the day.  On our second day the teaching the students did a great job.  We had given them some homework to do to see if they were understanding everything that we were teaching.  They all had it done and were doing great.  They are on fire for the Lord.  Later in the week we gave a personality test to help them with knowing why they do things the way they do.  After finishing the tests they all agreed about the personality that the test said they were.  Upon completion of the training we held a small graduation ceremony where each student was presented a certificate of completion for the course.  They have all agreed to take this material back to their church or krima and teach their leaders.  They have also made a commitment to teach and train at least 2 new leaders with this training.  They are desiring to multiply and disciple their people.  They have a passion for Christ, that we have not seen before. 
A little info about our students.  Some of them had to travel a great distance to get here.  Some as far as a 8 hour bus ride.  Some of them had to wait 2 days after the training was over to catch the next bus home.  Many of them live with in a couple hours of our driving, but do to the limited transportation it would take them 4 or 5 hours by bus. 
We again have tried new foods that are new to us.  Some of them we still don't know what they are and may never see again.  Pori is a fried flat bread that we all liked and had with each meal.  At a wedding reception we had mutton with rice, and deep fried egg plant.  That was different.  While we were going through the line to get our food, the grooms mother showed us the proper way to put our food on our plate.  They handed us our rice wrapped in banana leaves.  Mickey and Rob had left them closed and were putting there food next to it.  The lady took here hands and opened the rice and then picked up the food we had and put it on top of the rice.  Bill just laughed because he saw her coming and opened his rice wrap up and moved his food himself.  We also had fruit salad with some fruit that was orange in color and the size of a cherry tomato.  Taste was very different.  While at the wedding reception we got the opportunity to talk with the grooms father.  He was an avid hunter in his day and said that the "bunny huggers" got all of that changed.  He still loves to talk about the days of hunting and fishing.  He ask us to bring him a long bow on a next trip to India. 
It is now Wednesday night and we are starting to pack.  Throughout the evening several of the students and other people we met came to see us and say goodbye.  We were given several gifts and that was very humbling.  We were each given a hand made vest that was done in there traditional colors, a beautiful scarf, wooden flute, and other items. 
Beginning to Travel Home.
On Thursday morning we began our journey home at 7:00 am.  It would take 4 1/2 hours to travel from West Garo Hills to get to Gauwhati to catch our first flight.  When we arrived in Gauwhati we had a little extra time and we wanted to go to the CBCNEI center.  This is the Counsel of Baptist Church's for North East India.  This is there equivalent to our Parchment Valley Center in Ripley.  There they have a place called the Priscilla Centre.  This place was founded in 1997 and is for women that have been recused from prostitution and HIV infected areas.  There they are trained in cutting, tailoring, weaving and food processing for one year along with leadership development.  All items made here are sold to help keep the center running.  They make beautiful handbags, clothing, and scarfs.  After leaving the Priscilla Centre we saw a truck setting on the side of the road that read "Truck carrying Dead People", we had to stop and take of picture of that.  We arrived at the Gauwhati Airport and was waiting for our flight and saw a headline in the paper about Imphal, Manipur.  This was the area that we had visited the first week there.  In Imphal there are over 20 known militant groups that are working underground to try and take control.  The article stated that on the 18th the entire city was shut down by the military.  All stores, and roads were closed by the military due to a militant group trying to take control on that day.  There was no movement on that day as the military looked for this group of people.  Our first flight arrived on time and we were off, about mid way through the flight Bill and Mickey noticed some snow covered mountains sticking up through the clouds.  They asked some of the passengers on the plane and was told that it was Mount Everest.  Bill took some video of it.  It was an awesome sight to see.  We landed in Delhi with no problems and was waiting for our luggage, Rob and Mickey were standing together and they saw Mickeys comming our first.  Bill grabbed the duffle bag and wouldn't let it come to us and the airport security came over and talked to him and asked him if he had a problem.  They didn't see the humor in it that we did. Rob and Mickey couldn't contain the laughter as they talked to him.  We had a couple of hours before our next flight and had to be taken to the International Delhi airport, we ask our driver to take us to the nearest McDonalds.  We couldn't wait to taste some McD's fries.  No Big Macs here - Only Fish, Chicken, or a Veggie Burger.  On the way we saw 2 different wedding parades.  Here they will only get married on Wednesdays or Fridays.  They do a parade to show off the bride and groom with a band and a horse drawn carriage.  We we arrived at the McDonalds there were thousands of people linning the street with police everywhere.  We asked what was going on and they told us that it was the world premire of the movie Dehli 6 and that all of the stars of the movie were there for the red carpet premire of the movie.  Our next 2 flights were on time and very long.  We have now completed 9 flights and have all of our lougage.  We arrive in Charleston at 3:30 pm on Friday and our waiting for our lougage.  When it is unloaded we are missing 1 of Robs bag.  We knew it made it to Detriot because we had to check it through customs.  We had flown just over 20,000 miles with no problems until now.  After checking they said it should arrive some time later that night.  In all it took 45 hours to make it home from the time we began our journey.
We would like to thank everyone for the prayer for us and our families as we were away.  We could tell and feel your prayers.  God was at work all around us and everything worked out for his glory.
We would like to invite everyone out to this Sundays service, Bill and Mickey will share their stories and pictures at the 7:00 pm evening service.
Thanks for all that you have done for us.
In Chirsts Love,
Mickey and Bill

Monday, February 16, 2009

Things are shaking in India

Monday February 16th
Did you hear about the earthquake that shook India this morning.  It happened about 50 miles from us and rated a 5.0 on the rictor scale.  They said it shook the area we are in at about 1:00 am, but we wouldn't know.  We slept through it.  The morning started at 5:30 am with shower and breakfast.  We then began our teaching at 7:00, we had 17 students for this Level 2 training.  It started slow and was hard to teach.  We were teaching concepts that they did not understand in writing goals and purpose statements.  It took about 4 hours to get though this section.  After lunch they began to catch on and they all understand it now.  We have started to write goals and how to evaluate our programs.  They do a great job on evangelism.  For them it was a cool day.  For us it was a hot day and made it even harder to teach.  They treat us very well here and they will give you all they have to make you fill welcome even if it means they will go with out.  It is hard for us to sit and eat a meal, they will not eat will us.  The women wait until we are done and will eat last, even if it is cold. 
New Foods and a taste on the wild side.
Last night we had dinner at Mary's house.  This is Silchi's fieance,  there we had fish that we would would call creek chubs.  Also we had pomogranites in a yogurt fruit salad.  Today Bill, Rob, and Mickey tried deep fried cottage cheese.  Mickey did not like it, Bill and Rob said it tasted like cheese sticks.  Mickey did not agree.  We got to travel to a black smith shop this evening where a gentleman makes knives.  It takes 8 hours for each knive and they sell for $10.00.  We also stopped at a shop where they hand make purses, hand bags, and clothing. 
Will end for now. 
Mickey and Bill.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Experience in India

Late entry Messed up blog for day 5.

Sorry so long in between blogs, it's hard finding a internet server here. Here is what has happened the last 3 days. On Day three we had some minor problems. First our flight was delayed 1 hour. That meant we would miss our connecting flight out of Guwhati. We were to leave at 12:40 and we did not take off until 1:00. When we landed we did not even make it into the air port. They met us as we got off the plane and took us to the next flight that was waiting on us. We had to get off the bus 1 at a time and identify our luggage and then we could get on the next plane. It was already full of passengers waiting to take off. Since it was late we had a HOT landing and there were girls next to us and behind us throwing up. When we got through customs as foreiners we were loaded into a car that normally could fit 4 people with no luaggage. My Goldberg status lives on in Imphal as I was leaving the airport the military men were again taking Mickeys picture and looking at him. There is no electric until 5:00 pm and lasts only til 9:00 pm. That is if they have it at all. They are learning to change there lives to live without it. We have now tasted Carp and Corn Soup and some that we could not identify. It gets dark at 5:30 and daylight at 5:00. We went to bed at 6:00 and got up every 2 hours. The beds are only 1" thick on solid wood or concrete. Day 4 - Extremally COLD SHOWERS - NO HOT WATER..... There are 30 different languages spoken in Manipur. Could not go to the villiages to preach at night due to a burnt. A burnt is where a undergroud group starts a civil uprising that makes it not safe to be on the roads. They will rock the vehicle until its stops and then burn it. This was our first day of teaching, a little dissappointing with only 16 students and 6 books for them to use. The Manipur Baptist School has 900 students in it. Grades Pre K thru 12 and a monthly tutition of 150 to 400 Rupes a month or $3.00 to $8.00 USD a month. We had to adapt to our teaching and could not use any of our overheads or powerpoint presentations. We taught the entire day without any electric. We had dinner at the hotel where we are now staying - alot of food for very little money. Whole Chicken costs only $4.50 American. A can of coke and a kit kat are only about .65 cents. Day 5 - We were cut short on our teaching and could only go until noon. We have a new definiton of a cheese and egg sandwich. The teaching was very promising and a group from MBC has a good start on it and they do evangelism very good. We will be leaving here in the morning to fly to Tura and then drive to the Garo Baptist Church. It will be a 4 hour drive back into the mountains. Hopefully we will blog you soon.


Goldberg and his handler.

India Update

Day 6 or there abouts.
The day started and ended with delays.  We were supposed to have a driver pick us up at 10:00 am to take us shopping and then to the airport.  They showed up at 11:00 and drove us to the international shopping market and we were able to shop for 10 minutes.  We then left for the airport to catch our flight that we supposed to leave at 2:05 pm.  We checked in at 12:00 and the plane did not arrive.  At 3:05 we were able to get on the plane.  The flight was supposed to take 55 minutes and they did it in 33 minutes with another HOT landing.  After landing it took 4 1/2 hours to drive to Tura in the Garo Hills.  Since being at the airport at noon we had not eaten anything.  Potato chips at 8:00 pm never tasted so good.  After arriving in Tura we had dinner at a bachelor party for Silchi.  We went to our room and we opened the door and our first gecko met us at the shower door.  During dinner they brought out a dessert for us to try.  Mickey was the only one to they this.  It is called a beetle nut.  It is also known as a narcotic.  The easiest way to describe the effects is it numbs your face and throat.  You take a piece of the beetle nut, a piece of the beetle leaf and a little bit of lime and then you chew it.  It had to be the worst thing he has ever tasted.  They all had a good laugh.
Day 7 or so.
Rob and Bill preached at 2 different churches today and both services were packed with people even sitting on the outside of the church to hear Gods word.  Bill only preached for 35 minutes but the service lasted just over 2 1/2 hours.  One of the church members had us over for lunch and again we experienced new foods.  We took a tour of Tura and saw a swinging bridge, view from the mountain tops, a water fall that we could even hear and we were over a mile away from it.  A natural fish hatchery where Jamie, Mark and Lynn would go crazy.  There were fish there over 28 inches and 10 lbs.  Tomorrow on Monday we will start our teaching at 7:00 am until 4:40 pm for the next 3 days.  Please keep us in your prayers and we love each of you.
Bill & Mickey

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

India - Day 2

We made it to the Taj Mahal today after a little bit of trouble. Again, the road we were suppose to travel had an accident on it and we had to go an alternative route. this route took us through the most dangerous village in India. We followed a man that was in the indian mofia, quite a guy. his license plate read, king Corba, all mofia in India had this license plates. We went the back roads through some really neat villages. All of the people in the villages could only point and stare when the saw Mickey. We had a great guide and learned alot about the Taj. I can now understand why it is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The traffic here in India is intense. There are no rules to follow and no age limit to drive. Road rage gets a new meaning here. While on our tours today, Mickey had his picture taken with about 50 different people. They all thought he was a wrestler and Rob and I did our part by calling him Goldburg. Our driver was sure he had watched Mickey on TV before. It was funny watching everyone point and stare at Mic. We had dinner at a McDonald's that did not serve red meat. They did however serve fries, chicken, fish and veggie burgers. It was an experience. We learned a great deal about the culture and costumes today. We fly out tomorrow at 9:30am for Imphal and teach our first class in the evening. I know that everyone is praying for us and we thank you for that and ask that you continue to pray for us. Hopefully, we will be able to write again latter.
bill and Mic

Monday, February 9, 2009

India - Message 1

After 30 hours of travel we have arrived at our motel. We were 24 hours in the air and the other 6 hours were lay overs. Our fights went great, not a problem. Our luggage made it with us. Our first flight from Charleston to Detroit was full. Mickey was able to switch a seat so he and I were not packed in like sardines. Our second leg, Detriot to Amsterdam was awesome. The plane was only about a third full and we had entire isles to ourselves. We had a chance to stretch out and enjoy the flight. We had a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam, by the way it was boring. We ate lunch there. I had a slice of pizza and a bottle of Coke Light and the price came to $12.11. Nothing is cheap! our last leg of the flight was booked to capacity. Mickey, rob and I all sat in the same row. Talk about being crowded. Our flight landed at 11:00pm their time which was about 12:30pm our time. They are 10 1/2 hours ahead of us. Tomorrow we take a trip to the Taj Mahol. time for a nap. We leave at 6:00am. So far, so good.
Bill and mic