Sunday, November 19, 2017

The time of refreshing.

Today the preaching at the church was from ACTS 3 vs 1-9,one of my favourite anecdote in all of the bible.Whenever I read this episode it strangely touches me.Apart from the fact that it has some connection to my early childhood in my hometown where the sunday school teacher used to teach us this song and we as little children in all innocence used to sing these songs at the top of our voices,whether in the sunday school or otherwise.
The event goes that Peter and John are walking into the temple to preach the word of God and as they cross the gate called 'beautiful'to the temple a lame beggar eyes them and asks them for alms.Peter and John walk upto him and say,'Silver and Gold have I none,what I have I give to you,in the name of Jesus of Nazereth,stand up and walk.'The text says ,the beggar not only stood up and started walking but started jumping and praising the Lord.Further more it says that he clung to Peter and John and all the Jews there started looking at them in awe and that is when they say,'Ye men of Israel why do you marvel at this and why do you look at us like as though by our power and holiness we have made this man walk......' and they continue to preach Christ.
This anecdote speaks the very basis of what we are for and where we stand and what we ought to be doing.There is such a thin margin between being a beggar in the gate beautiful and being Peter and John.This question is valid in the lives of all humanity unfortunately for some of us believers included.
The portion the pastor stressed on was the need for repentance and conversion so that 'the times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord'.
For the beggar in the gate beautiful and the people of that town in Israel,'the time of refreshing'came because Peter and Paul stepped out in faith and the Lord honoured it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tipping point

Church today was at Dominion with the Hillsong.The preaching was from Nehemiah,a highly inspiring message.
1)Passion is a heart thing.
Nehemiah's heart was at the right place.The only qualification that mattered to God was that the heart be at the right place.
What does your heart break for?Sometimes it is good to offend the mind,things become clearer.
2)Action is trusting-It takes a lot of trust to act.We are the move of God.We are not born winners or losers but we are born choosers.One thing that keeps us from taking action is the fear of failure and in the real world we do fail but the moment we own our failure ,we own our fear.We are on a mission for God's vision.
3)Sometimes it takes somebody from outside to detect that the walls are broken.For the Israellites,the broken wall was the norm .That was how they had seen it perhaps most of their lifetime.It took a Nehemiah who was outside to see it,weep for it and facilitate the process.
We are called to be a Nehemiah for the rest of the world.
He shared that the hillsong church was built on foundation of sacrifices from individuals.
4)Others caught on the vision of Nehemiah and joined hands in collaberation.Collaberation is a together thing.Live,love and lead.
We collaberate with Jesus to build something eternal
There were some people who refused to cooperate with Nehemiah in the venture and made fun of him.They went down into eternity as people who did not show up.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Strange goodbyes..

Saying goodbye has never been too hard for me.
Today I had to say goodbye to someone who was on his way home supposedly to spend the next few days of his life.
With all the strange toxins in the blood that would drive a normal person crazy Mr X is unusually alert.The entire time he was in,I had to negotiate with him for every part of his management.Like a kid I had to kneel down before him and sweet talk him into allowing us to do anything at all.Finally when he realised things were serious he relented only to go three steps back and then the negotiations would start all over again.Each time I crossed the room he would give me the sweetest smile from the heart.That coming from a person whose kidney has literally stopped functioning for several days with a background of multi organ compromise is strange to say the least.
One fine day he decided he wanted to go home,his children arranged for care at home and he left.Just before going he thanked me for all the care I had given him.
Where do people draw such grace from at a critical juncture like this?
One day when I was crossing by his room I saw him looking up.I have said many prayers for him.I had hoped he would be a miracle we would see with our own eyes but it was not to be,I still pray that a miracle it might be,away from our eyes.
I will miss him in the wards.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Persecution


Over the last few days I have been getting this prompting to write about christian persecution.
I was not sure why ,today I realise it is the international day of prayer for persecuted christians.
I got a message early this morning about how in a village church some fundamentalists had stopped a church service of simple tribal folks but some unknown people had beaten the fundamentalists black and blue.
Now the organisation was all out to close down the church.I have visited that simple village.The tribals are dirt poor and suffer from depression,mental illnesses,etc.It was a precarious situation for the goodman's family .Just going around with him was frightening enough he lives amongst the majority caste.His little son in all innocence can be quiet vociferous about his belief.This was the place where I saw an old man working alone to build the church brick by brick with his own hands in his land.That poor tribal man had a vision so big that it could very well touch eternity.I was deeply touched even as he bent down to remove grass stuck on my skirt,but I also sensed persecution in the future.
Going back to the Word ,Jesus in several places has mentioned persecution .
John 15-vs 18-20
'If the world hates you......
If they have persecuted me ,they will also persecute you...'
1st Peter 1 vs 7
'The trial of your faith....'
Mathew 5,vs 11
'Blessed are you when people insult you,persecute you......'
Today the bible reading was from ACTS 8 where the chapter starts with the anecdote of the persecution that broke out against the church in Jerusalem.About Saul leading the way ,persecuting christians as he destroyed churches.
This very Saul,aka Paul was a chosen vessel of Christ ,became a means of salvation for the gentiles and the author of most of new testament.
What is this good news that it catches like fire.I heard one of the Jew pastors saying that a person who reads the new testament twice word to word would have no other choice,but to accept Christ as the Lord and savior.
The Word of God is it's own defence.When I was in school I used to have innocent enough classmates who had the fear of the bible.In their superstition filled faith they had been forbidden to touch any form of christian literature.Now they are believers and attend different churches,I hear.
I hear of persecution ,it was foretold by our lord.
I was deeply inspired by the story behind Chris Tomlin's 'Whom shall I fear'where the writer when going through a personal challenge goes back to the anecdote in 2 King's 6 where the King of Aram sends his army to capture Elisha the prophet and when his servant sees the army of the king he is frightened,Elisha tells him,'Don't be afraid ,those who are with us are more than those who are with them.'And he prays that God open his servants eye to see.Then the servant sees the hills full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
We worship the same God.
Persecution is to be expected but at the backdrop of persecution is the larger than life images of revelation where the angel of the Lord writes to different churches and commends those churches who are able to overcome and persist inspite of all odds and most of all the promise Romans 14 :11-'....every knee will bow...'and Revelation 20,21,and 22 that seals it all.
In the mean time may we have very many testimonies of God's faithfullness ....against all odds.
For'the earth will be filled with the knowledge of His glory as the waters cover the sea.'Habakkuk 2:14.



My sheep will know my voice.....



Today once again the church was beautiful with a report on one of the countries the pastor couple had visited.
A tiny country which had an official census of one beleiver in 1951 has around 1-2 million beleivers as of today.
The churches are an epitome of new testament churches from the ACTS.
1)Factors that have led to church growth are healing from sickness,
2)rejection of highly binding and superstition filled old religion.They have known the truth and truth has set them free.
3)The drastic changes they see in the lives of the believers.
The takeaway lesson they took from the experience was that the Lord is sovereign.
While trekking through the mountains and walking close to the Lord the song above brought much comfort to the pastor.
We heard the song in the church today.
May it be our prayer.

Snap-shots.

As you travel through life,snapshots of moments hit you as you travel along.You capture it or you let it pass.Somethings are worth reminding oneself of.
I have been blessed by parents who have all their lives lived a life of living faith.Their prayers have been a lifeline that has carried them through life.Now when I look back I wonder at their wisdom and the richness of their lives.My mother taught the sunday school and then carried it onwards to teach small kids their first ABCs in the church in the week days when our district had no concept of primary schools.She read us bible stories from small children books and we had our family prayers every night at home.Often you would find dad and mom spontanaeusly share in the course of the day how the Word of the lord reprimended them in a certain course of action.It was never preachy,it was very often shared in a sheepish manner.
The other culture my parents cultivated with great care is entertaining missionaries .We had men and women of God visit and stay in our house all our lives.My mother never tired of hosting them with a certain amount of reverance.
Living in the countryside has it's advantages,we are in very many ways not counting the pennies like the city folks.With very faithful people who served us,some actually life-long we lived ,now I gather a dream of a childhood.I remember us five siblings sitting by the fire in the evening and watching the servants eat the mountain of their meals and my brother doing a running football commentary as they made their way through the pile.We were too young and innocent to understand that they might have been embarrased and they were tired after a days work to care too much I think.
There were two star housekeepers,one served lifelong ,I guess we were his family and the other more than twenty years.One was a brahmin from Nepal apparently from a good family and the other had family members in the oppositte hill but no home as such.Their faithfulness to the family are legendary.Then there were people who came and went,many of whom we never got to get acquainted with. I remember the season for rice harvesting,it used to be a busy time.Host of men and women in colourful clothes used to dance on the rice sheafs in the field.These were labourers from nepal and they made a proper occasion of the event.The place used to come alive with people making rice flakes and I used to be the rare child who loved it and so used to sit with the servants eating it straight from the crusher even as it took shape.My parents used to find it amusing.
Cardomom harvesting time was a time of family gathering.All our cousins from the town used to camp in my hometown to take stock of their own produce.It also used to be a time when we had our family dinners almost every night,picnics and invitations to the house of the sarders who managed our cardomom.We loved the traditional meals in these houses.We used to weave our imagination around different landmarks and spend time with our tenants who would go out of their way to keep all of us entertained.
Thank God,there was no television when we were kids.I remember mom playing the early morning christian programme in radio Ceylon.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Life support

Letting a loved one go is a difficult process.
The decision to stop the life support is I guess a harrowing one.The decision mostly lies with the doctor but the patient's kin is taken into consideration before any such step is taken.One Mr X was by his hallucinating wife's bed-side everyday.I was not looking after that patient but one day when I was crossing by ,she cheerfully called out to me and pointed to the window and kept insisting that the child at the window was bugging her.We were on the fourth floor of the window of the only building.When the time came to stop the lifesupport,we were doing the difficult job of explaining things to the husband and he was obviously finding it very difficult to come to a decision.Suddenly one of my senior colleagues explained that he did not have to carry the burden of having made the final decision because the final decision lay with the doctor.The fully grown man just started weeping,in confusion,in relief,in sadness and I am not sure what else it was.
Medical profession is a venerated place where we allow utter strangers into the most vulnerable and hurting parts of our lives.We are given access to the pain of our society.How we react to the hurt is very different.
In India when disaster strikes,there is a commotion....there is screaming,yelling everyone around the two kilometre radius comes to know something's happened.
Another thing that struck me this week was a handover I listened to.Someone was being handed over as being from a deeply religious family,christian was specified.I stopped short in whatever I was doing to listen with my mouth gaping,I think.My second reaction was a deep chuckle.
Was being deeply religious a sickness?I guess the kid was right in a certain sense.
My education continues in cultures so different from where my roots are and yet when one talks of roots it is not the place where I was born,places where I grew up,the places where I spend some significant part of my life which I sense is my root,it is actually among people I have grown up with,met along this journey at different times and different places whom God has ordained to influence my life ..so the journey continues till I am safely Home.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A prayer.

What is it lord?
What is this restlessness?
I have not felt this forever.
There is a deep,deep pain somewhere,
I don't remember hurting anywhere.
No bruise,no fall,no nothing
and yet this constant pain.
Something new,
in the arena of my life.
I am praying more,I am reading more
and I am working less intelligently,
I feel.
What is it Lord ?
this abyss of pain,
Does it have a root?
It's alien to me ,
It's not physical,
I labelled it spiritual
a few weeks back but now I wonder?
I hurt and I know not why?
O great physician ,
I come to you as always
for your healing
from I know not what,
as you pour your
balm on my hurting soul,
Could you please show me
where the cut is?


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Just thoughts on Flying Lotus....

India's demonetisation demon and the general mood in the country with it's after-effect has AR Rahman compose a musical piece on it.Beautifully haunting it is left to people's interpretation.
One of the saddest mistake anyone with a clout of some sort can make is to step over people and think that some weak voices can be ignored and their ideas perpetuated at the discomfort of some people who may not matter very much.The utter disregard for the poor and the weak,the marginalised,the minorities....it goes on,....Besides one can't say too much about people who egg you on ,who mislead you,encourage you towards this end because the very basic fabric of their ethical stand ,if there is any,is missing,there are no absolutes to stand by.
There may be people with good intent,however the company you keep will paint the colour of the house you build.
India is a country where Antilla can exist next to the slums.I did not buy a jio simcard.
The richness of India lies in it's villages.In the year 2013-14,as I sat in my OPD and saw the patients and got talking to them ,the poor villagers were ,everyone of them,clearly segregated by their religion.This was in the aftermath of the Muzzaffarnagar incident and I was very close to UP then.These were very simple villagers who were made pawn by the manipulation of dirty political minds.Three years hence I wonder where they are at?Were they included in the agenda of the people who were supposed to be their messiahs or are they still running around in circles.
My non-believer friend observed ,you always side up for the under-dog.
I do because I know for sure that God is on their side...

Thursday, October 26, 2017

All these pieces,broken and scattered...

Today I heard that one of my favourite patients passed away.It left me very sad because she was such a nice and a beautiful person.I attended to her on atleast three of her admissions and she was the gentlest patient,most encouraging and always cheerful,grateful inspite of the difficult life she would have had socially and physically.
That is the thing with being posted in the colder wards ,the patients grow on you and before you know they make an impression on your mind.
This admission I did not meet her because I was posted elsewhere and I was shocked to hear the news.
Every time she was in the hospital in her manifold admissions regardless of where she was ,if I passed by ,we would always greet each other like friends.My stone cold doctor's heart actually hurt to know of her passing away.The world will be poorer by a rich soul eaten away too young by alcohol.
There was another incident that struck me today.We had to reveal a tough diagnosis to one person and even as a senior explained the situation I was struck by the way he received the information.There was no change in his expression,his jet blue eyes continued to look at us with the same expression as he clarified his various doubts.I wondered to myself ,how come the news had not made any difference to him?
Minutes later I found a gentleman from an adjacent bed sitting beside him with a sad expression on his face but he still looked unaffected,and then towards the end of the day I saw him sitting on his bed,lost in his thought ,it was like as though things were just sinking in.
I walked up to his bed and generally asked after him and gave him an update about his case,he thanked me umpteen number of times with such grace but what I actually wanted to do was to thank him.
I can easily understand why our Lord Jesus loved to be with certain kind of people.They are as human being so much more beautiful,fragile ,broken ...in many ways so much more emptied of self and definately more likeable anyday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Reformation...



1.The move was prompted by the spirit of God.
2.Real men facing real questions.
3.Compelled to move out of the comfort zone.
4.They were so compelled that like after the ACTs days they were willing to sacrifice everything for it.
5.As Greg Gilbert puts it,they were standing up for the gospel of Jesus Christ because they had that unshaking belief that it was powered by the God of the universe and the gates of hell could not prevail against it.
6.It was not a wishy washy endeavour.It was clear ,thought out ,compelled by the spirit of God and depended mostly on the grace and revelation of God.
7.They were men and women who were fed up of playing clergy?
8.People who possess the law of God should specially be careful of complacency and dilution for comfort,therefore corruption.
9.They were perhaps individuals who had asked the right questions and had reached the end of themselves.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lori Sealy - God Moves in a Mysterious Way

'HESSED' Lifestyle.


Today as I walked to the church,I did, with a spiritual burden in my heart and I prayed to the Lord fervently to speak to me.He normally does in this particular church.We had a visiting pastor who continued in the meditation from the book of Ruth.
The pastor requested a special song.
God moves in mysterious ways-by William Cowper.
(John 13 vs 7.)
The things we discussed today were -
God is in control.
Providence is mysterious the decision is from the Lord.
Chapter 1-Sorrow
Chapter 2-Service
Chapter 3-Surrender
Chapter 4-Satisfaction

God guides Ruth-
verse 1-Hidden whisper.
verse 3-'As it turned out'-The turning point and the hinge that changes Ruth's life forever.
It was Ruth's free choice within the sovereignity of God.

Boaz shows kindness to Ruth.
verse 7-Glean
verse 10-foreigners

Difficult place to be and yet the best place to be.
God has compassion for the foreigners.

verse 20-Hessed.(greek for kindness,goodness,loyalty,generosity..)
Verse 20-Go'el.(Kinsman redeemer.)

Both Ruth and Boaz were living a 'Hessed' lifestyle.In the ordinrariness of their hessed lifestyle God was pleased with them and met them.It was ordinary but significant.

Learnings-
There are no small decisions with God.
We are not always aware of the big picture that God has in mind.
God will provide within the confines of His will for those who obey him and want to serve others.

It ended with a clipping of Martin Luther King ,Jnrs speech-'I am not fearing any man because mine eyes have seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord.'


Saturday, October 21, 2017

WHEN CHRIST SHALL COME...

The last time I was in England in 2012-2013,England was commemorating 200 years of the freedom from slavery and the legislation that was pushed through by Lord William Wilberforce.
This time England is celebrating 500 years of reformation which is officially on the 31st of October but celebration has begun with walks,exhibition ,etc in different parts of London and England.The last sunday I was in Central London so the morning I ran down Anu's flat to the church located literally a few doors away.I realised I was more than half an hour early and it incidentally happened to be a lutherian church.There were a few ladies preparing the room for the service with flowers et,al.I was attracted to the series of exhibition on the wall which commemorated the reformation again.The lady,encouraged me to walk around the room looking at the posters,et all.I did one round of the room and all of the sixty seats in the hall,looked like an exclusive group of Lutherians who seemed to know each other well and shouted greetings as each person did their bits preparing for the day.
I ,for one ,decided to take the train to Tottenham court to attend the hillsong church in Dominion theatre.Unbeknowest,there were 'Jesus-the rock,opera'being performed that day.I had ,for sometime ,been wanting to watch an opera.It is an expensive affair but it is part of what London is all about.Here I was getting to watch a christian opera just like that.I mentally thanked the Lord for the providence.It was beautifully done by what I thought were professionals but later was told by the pastor that they were actually all members of the church and they have this event every year.He invited people in the audience who had a talent and interest to join the group for next year.
Even before the opera started I was touched by the youngsters leading the worship and the congregation in the Dominion theatre which was packed as usual to the hilt...one phrase struck my mind-'reaching out and actually striking a chord with a generation'-the youngsters were pretty much comfortable and part of the ministry.They were allowed to grow and flourish in the ways of God without the restrictions of hegomany which has become a common practise in our current day ministry.
Should our current day ministry fail ,the last nail in the coffin will be 'H'.Jesus never allowed it in his ministry during His time ,infact He made it a point to associate with sinners and with those in the periphery.He continued right from His birth to travel downwards to be with those He ministered to.It was these weaklings whom He lifted up and prepared for the ministry and later by the power of the Holy spirit,these weak people was used by God to put the world upside down.
One thing I really appreciate about the Hillsong ministry is there are no stars.Everything is run by the youngsters and the pastor gives the message,a punch ....which is literally it.All the members ,those youngsters are the stars, and Jesus is the Superstar!!



Friday, October 13, 2017

Living the mandate...


I had some leave in hand after working a hot month where I was doing twelve hour stretch duties night and day.I looked at the holiday brochure and nothing appealed.I decided to google christian retreat centre and that is how I came across Stanton House.I kept my options open but wrote to them.The letter I received was so hands on and had an air of familiarity.Ruth had written back saying they would book a room for me for the days I had asked for if I wanted.It was in a village in Oxford.
Stanton house is run by two couples who felt a call from God to run this retreat centre,and it apparently runs full all the year round.We were ministered to by one couple.Ruth is practical,matter of fact and is very efficient and John ,the other half has a sensitivity of a deeply caring man of God.Ruth fed us with wonderful home-cooked meals and John with kindly concern and the word of God in devotions every evening after supper.There were seven of us from different walks of life,I was deeply touched to see the impact of a ministry like theirs were making to different people who walked through their door.There is a baptist vicar who had a calling from God to visit this place every wednesday.He spends time in the prayer room and is available to counsel.There is a prayer room and a community kitchen stocked with tea.coffee and breakfast material.The rooms are comfortable with settings strategically decorated to keep the creative and reflective juices flowing ,each room has this writing desk which beckons you every now and then to write something.One is very clear that money should not be a factor keeping one out of Stanton house.
My welcome verse was one on worship.One can hear the birds,the nature,the bells from the distant church ring.One has access to the green grounds which actually extends all the way to the sheep farm.International church volunteers help Ruth and John with the management.One feels direly tempted to pitch in because one feels so much at home.
What impressed me more than anything was John and Ruth's willingness to share their lives with everyone that walks in through the door.I often found them at my door calling me for supper incase I had missed hearing the bell.It was humbling to see them like a family member running up the three stories and standing outside our door.The meals were the time the hosts would expertly draw every member in,asking questions and just expressing interest in each of our lives.
The evening devotion is called the thought for the day and it was never over the top.We looked at the different aspects of the charecter of God apart from being a father.We also looked at the mount of transfiguration and the God's affirmation of His son.The last evening, it was a simple message on how straight after the Mount of transfiguration ,Jesus comes down to face disciples who bring before him a dumb boy,they cannot heal.The message was simple.Jesus is with us when we have our mountain top experiences and He is with us when we go down to the valley to do the mundane.Visitors like me are there around the year except for a fortnight in December.
I am more than convinced that pulpits and conferences have their moments,often few and far between but it is in the mundane of serving ,like Ruth behind the apron in the kitchen or John filling in the gaps,I often chanced upon him washing,stocking up the community kitchen,clearing the table..behind the scenes,...and yet was always available for us,one feels the presence of the Lord .....for a christian, home is where the Lord Jesus is honoured ....and I felt at home in Stanton House.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

When Peace Like A River (hymn with words and music) - Horatio G. Spafford

My God,My God......


1.Whenever I want some meat I attend the baptist church,they stick to the scripture and also gives us cues to further reading.
Today we started a study on the book of Ruth.I was attending church after two weeks of missing it because of night and day weekend duties.I had forgotten how beautiful it is.
We concentrated on the 1st chapter.
The first chapter outlines the life of an israellite family of Ebimelech and his wife Ruth and their two sons who leave Bethleham their homeplace and migrate to a pagan land of Moab because there is famine in Bethleham.
While in Moab Ebimelech dies.Their two sons marry girls from the foreign land but soon even the two sons die.So the three widows are left to fend for themselves.Naomi hears news about Bethleham being blessed by the Lord again so decides to go back home
and she finally does with one of the daughter in law who refuses to leave her and comes back to her land.

The learnings on it and the reflections were-
God was interested in the situation of a single man.
The anecdote happens in Bethleham .
Bethleham actually means ,'a house of bread'.
There is famine in the house of bread,it does not tell us how but as a consequence of people of God turning away from Him.
The famine may have been caused by invaders,by internal disease and malaise in the society,failure of crops..but one thing is clear God had turned His face away from that region for a time,as a result of disobedience ,that is how Naomi interprets it.
Ebimelech decides to take his family away to Moab,which is fifty kilometres away beyond the dead sea.
Why did he choose Moab ? Moab was a place which harboured a contempt for God and was a pagan land.Was Ebimelech in God's will or was he suffering from a malady that often troubles God's people of disobedience and discontentment that made him to choose 'death' in certain sense.
Ebimelech had run away from death in the land but it pursued him to Moab.
2.The second charecter we come across here is of Naomi,who in own words ,when she comes back to Bethleham says,'I had gone away full but have come back empty handed.'She lost her husband,two young sons and a daughter-in-law.But beyond the loss and the bitterness or 'mara' as she calls it she has the underlying trust in the Ellshadai.
One often finds that christians find it hard to grieve and we put on a brave face in public for ....As John Ortberg puts it'hiding away in the cave with our pain'-but our omnipotent ,omnipresent God finds us even in that cave and does His work in us.When we lose our loved ones ,there is an empty space and our lives do change forever ,never to be the same again.
Expressing pain and discomfort is legitimate and healthy and necessary.What more legitimacy do we want then the picture of our savior shedding great drops of blood while He prayed ,'if you will Lord let this cup pass from me ,and yet not my will but yours be done' or the Christ Himself crying out on the cross,'My God,My GOd,why have you forsaken me?'-the pain was real,whether physical,mental or spiritual and our Lord when He expresses the pain also stands with us in the dark,difficult and painful areas of our lives reassuring us that he has been there and knows what it is like to be there,and it is allright to feel the pain and express the distress.
In our hardship and grieving we will experience the comfort of Elshaddai.He will be our mountain of shelter and strength.
We concluded the service with the story behind that beautiful hymn,'when peace like a river attendeth my way...when sorrow like sweet billows roll...'
This was a hymn written by Horatio G Spafford.

'Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family — a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.

On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.

Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”

Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.

According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Chorus:

It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul

Anna gave birth to three more children, one of which died at age four with dreaded pneumonia. In August 1881, the Spaffords moved to Jerusalem. Mr. Spafford died and is buried in that city.

And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, shall keep your hearts, your minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rediscovering my love for tea,onions and....

I had heard of many things becoming clearer as we go along in life but age teaches one a lot of things one just used to bustle through and not really give a second thought to in life.
I recently discovered my preference of a good tea over coffee when I have gobbled down both all my life.I am not talking about a dhaba tea or the indian chai but a good quality tea leaf brewed well with milk,with or without sugar.It has always been served in my house and yet I never gave it a thought.
At home one really is never hard on choices because one is not stretched or challenged to the limit,I firmly believe the joy of something comes through when one has earned it.Life is very different at home.
The other thing that has surprised me is the taste of fried onions.I was out for lunch where I had ordered fish and chips and there were multiple choices in an add-on side dish,one of them was fried onions.Now who in India eats fried onions as a side dish?Anyways for the want of a better alternative I went for it..and it was fried onion in a batter like our good old onion pakoras but the quality of oil used was better I think,so it tasted pretty good and I did not get a headache after that.
Every week when I go grocery shopping I pick out a multiple pack fries because it is so much more easier to eat it when one is quite short of energy whether at home or at work.Needless to say that the flavour I have zeroed down on are cheese and onions.However,last week I made it a point not to pick the fries and I have lasted a week without them.I am into a bit of experiment.
However onions have become a regular part of my grocery shopping.
I saw a young iranian kid,barely twenty six,newly married, happened to come into the acute care with relentless diarrhoea and vomiting.Apparently had been to Germany where he had a pain in the abdomen was treated for it,did not get better so he had come back to his home of residence .He was pretty scared that he would die and kept asking ,'Am I dying?because I have recently got married.'I felt such compassion in my heart for the kid.
Then there was this lady doctor in a burkha who would keep flashing a very friendly smile to me ,one fine day she walked up to me and asked me,'Are you from Ladakh or Sikkim?'.I was stunned ,I would have thought she was somewhere from the middle east.She was actually from Kashmir.I felt a sense of joy to know that she was from India,but also a niggling sense of deep pain at the situation in the valley,an open wound festering on India's arm that seems to bleed forever and continues to hurt everyone who loves India.
I have a lot of breaks coming up in the next few days before I get into my regular slot.I have been skimming through the holiday brochures to see where I could spend some time,eventually I have zeroed down to spending a short time in Stanton house retreat in Oxford with the Word.
Also got the news that my friend Sheba lost her mother.I have had the joy of meeting her twice in my life and have enjoyed her hospitality.I have always been struck by her quiet,smiling presence.I cannot even begin to fathom what a great loss it must be for the family,though for a short time, for in a blink of an eye our earthly lives are over but we continue our journey onwards in eternity.
My prayer is 'Father please keep us safe by your side till we meet on the other shore'-In Christ's name we ask.





Thursday, September 21, 2017

To truly see.

Sisters are such a precious gift from God.I am tripple blessed,I have three.Today is aie Mimi's birthday.Aie Mimie is two years older than me and we have been buddies since the time I remember.I was the younger and so have always had my way with her.She would let me win every race,take precedence in all the games we played as a kid,This day I celebrate her innocence,her prayerful dependance on God as she stewards two little children from difficult backgrounds in a christian upbringing,as she wrestles with the sheer schedule of everyday living teaching her college kids and yet holds all the certificates to her name.She is faithful and comitted in the way she looks after mom and dad,ever mindful of their desires as she takes all the effort to fulfill it in what way she can.I am grateful to God for her.
She was the tomboy of the family.Always included in all the adventures my brothers planned out,whether it was hiking,going to the cardomom fields for the yearly survey,running after wild horses,or wrestling with the boys.She was an athelete in school winning shotput,javelin and the disc throwing events,she was also good in marathon.An average kid in school she excelled from her 11th standard and went on to pick up the maximum number of certificates in the family.She always remains a child at heart it seems grappling more with life than the rest of us.
Last week Nabeel Quereshi died.I have never set my eyes on him as a person but he was mere 34 years when he passed away to glory.I was deeply touched by his life and his testimony and his passing away had a deep impact on me.A pakistani immigrant in America,had such an impact in his short life on so many people around the world.God's infinate grace helped him see.He was a chosen vessel of God,meant for His glory.
I realise how finite our lives are and how we spend the major portion of it chasing after things which have no eternal value.We live trying to live to other people's expectations and it is when we face death that we have to come face to face with our fears and most importantly the God we know.
How well do we know our God?Is it a borrowed faith that we have built our lives on ,do we truly know our God?It is only by God's grace that we come to junctures like his when we truly have to face ourselves through unsmoked mirrors.
As Elizabeth Browning famously said,

"The earth is crammed with heaven
and every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes,
the rest sit around and pick blueberries."


Father,help me to truly see.
In Jesus' name.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A heartbeat away..

Two things happened this week that made me feel vulnerable.I am known to be a tough cookie otherwise.
I have been following the Harvey and the Irma story quite closely and have beem praying with the beleivers since the 1st of September when the Lord put it in my heart.
On thursday mprning I found a small paronochia forming in one of my fingers.It was painful but I pushed it to the back of my mind while I continued to work.The second day ,there was pain but it was busy and so I ignored it again.In the morning one of my colleagues insisted I run down to the minors and see someone there ,but I was caught up with the work so ignored it.Towards mid-morning I noticed a reddish track forming along one side of my finger all the way to the back of my hand(Tracking),so I ran down to the minors and registered myself.The nurse practitioner who looked into it was very kind.She put a nick,squeezed out the pus ,put a water proof bandage and gave me enough Flucloxacillin for the next five days and kept asking me if I was okay for work.I was finishing my duty in another hour or so.I felt comfortably vulnerable and very grateful to the NP in the busy A and E.
It was a friday,two whole days of weekend to rest and enjoy.
It had been a busy week and I start with my hot from next week where I work longer hours and also have a lot of zero days for the next one month.
In the evening I decided to cook some rice and dal and store it for a week.I put them to cook and forgot about it for a cool half and hour.By the time I realised it the rice and the dal had charred to bits and the kitchen was full of smoke,the fire alarm started and went on till the fire officer came and put it off.
It made me realise how vulnerable our human lives were.having heard about a young doctor in Liberia who got charred to death in the accomodation he was living in,it could have been me.
This morning speaking to my near ninety years old father,I felt vulnerable again.I realised while I jaunt around the world doing what I do ,how dependant on his just being there I am.This is a father who can never see a tear in the eyes of any of his children,soft,kind,always there for us.
I spoke to my mother ,she has always been the strong one,the disciplinarian.
I realised anew how dependant on the grace of the almighty God we are everyday.
'What is man that you are mindful of him,son of man that you care for him?'Psalm 8,vs 4.
Whether it is a Harvey,Irma,fire,earthquake,sickness or anything...it is just a heart beat away-we live and breathe in Him by His grace alone.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday in London thus far.

I booked myself into the summer accomodation ,Prince's garden of the imperial college,comfortable room in the heart of south Kensington ,along the exhibition raod leading to Prince's consort road ,across the road from the science mueseum and the history museum.Hyde park and the Kensington park are five minutes walk along the same path.Amazing location!Breakfast went with the accomodation.A generous english breakfast.Good way to start the day.Met Dreier,a french data analyst who was on a break in the area as well.
I spent the morning walking through Hyde park,something I have wanted to do since I landed in the UK.I remembered some bits from my visit earlier.I spent the morning with flowers,ducks,a squirrel,the water and the expanse of green, memorials gallore,psalm 25 in company of a statue of a woman aiming an arrow ,held up by four people with water flowing out all around her and below the chalice that held her is a torch made of cement.It made me think a bit.
I walked to my heart's content and then took an underground to tottenham court to attend the hillsong church in the Dominion theatre.
Brian Housten was visiting from Sydney.I reached when the worship had started and the dominion theatre was packed to the hilt.I somehow found a seat in the stall.
Brian's message was short,impactful and the prayer powerful.
He spoke about taking stewardship of the changes in our lives because whether we liked it or not,changes would definately come.
He talked about Peter who after he had betrayed Jesus thrice,comes out and weeps bitterly ,in other words his betrayel of Jesus overwhelms him,but Peter's life is a life of ongoing transformation.
Same with David,when he decides to fight Goliath he talks like his life as a shepherd was already a thing of the past and there are three things that helped him to move towards his God-given destiny.
1.He knew the source of change.He knew God.
2.He had a motivation for the change-Firstly he had a cause-He pertinantly asks ,'Is there not a cause?'secondly he had a reward in mind.The reward the king had placed for anyone who defeated Goliath.
3.He embraced the change.He spoke about his past like as though it was already behind him.
The one liner that stuck out for me was,'Our lives are as powerful as the cause attatched to it.' I was blessed.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Extended weekend with a bank holiday.

I remember during my Oddanchattram days,everyday I used to start my day with this song.'One day at a time.'we led a very sheltered life there,everyone extremely caring and looking after each other.The department where I am posted at,has a wonderful set of colleagues.We all have become good friends in a short time but one hardly gets much time because the rotas are made in such a way that we get as much exposure as possible and we keep moving around .How fascinating is it when we actually realise that all of us come from extremely different backgrounds.We are from India,Egypt,Iraq,Zimbabwe and England.In one of the early weeks ,one of the senior consultants gave us a good advice-'take time off to sit and eat lunch together so that you can get to know one another.'was what he said and that advise served us in good stead. Come September I have a hot month whereby I will be doing 12 hours of calls at a stretch and will have a lot of zero days as well.As disorienting as it may be, I am looking forward to it.
This weekend is an extended weekend with a bank holiday on Monday.
I struggled trying to make up my mind as to what I should do and finally zeroed down on spending the weekend in London just wandering around which I love actually.I booked myself into a place in Central London.However ,just yesterday,outside the buckingham palace there was a terrorist scare I think.
Will it change my plans?No,life has to go on.
I hope to catch 'Evita' in the theatres.Fascinating charecters etched in the history of a continent.
I have also started doing some courses that will help me be more mobile in the future.
One year of my life-precious handful of moments-may I be able to squeeze every ounce of it,equipped to give better,live better and love better.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Psalm 115,vs 5




The river Ganges is the most worshipped river in India and yet the havoc and the devastation the river causes every monsoon is unparalleled .Bhupen Hazarika , the assamese singer-writer  in this haunting song has this quetion for the river 'Why are you silent?'Who would understand this better than a person from a state which has faced the fury of the water un-paralleled and has lost lives,stock and livelihood unaccounted for year after year.
Another thing that struck me was a picture of a missionary of charity's sister amongst the suffering in the picture.





Oh the love of God.

In beautiful moments of worship with fellow beleivers in my church ,God suddenly brings to mind people and families I have known in my short journey of life and I plead before the almighty for them.This sunday while we were worshipping ,the family that the Lord brought to my mind was Dr Sam and Sarah David.In that moment of communion with God I cried out a prayer from deep within.How the Lord loves them.
The portion we studied was from Philipians chapter 3 vs 1-14.
Philippians 3:1-14New King James Version (NKJV)

All for Christ
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Pressing Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.




It was a simple illustration of the passage the pastor gave us.A child was called out to help with the sermon.Each point where Paul enumerates the reason he could boast ,the child had to put four wooden blocks one on top of the other till a tower of pride was formed and then Paul considers it all a loss , for the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus,His Lord.The pastor tumbled the tower with one stroke and it was all 'a garbage',as Paul puts it.
I had not stopped to think that Saul of Tarsus was from the tribe of Benjamin,the tribe of his namesake,the first King of Israel.He had actually been named after him.Look at God's humour,the lineage of Saul becomes the diehard servant of the lineage of David and gives his life for the former's glory.
The other verse that was stressed was 'lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me.'The pastor asked us if we knew what Christ had laid hold of us for?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Remembering the bizzare-this independance day!

Working in the UK especially in the gastro department in the past two weeks I order human albumin to be transfused to patients every day..it brings back sad memories of my time in Lakhnadon in Madhya Pradesh.Every now and then there would be a need for HAS in the hospital with variety of patients trickling in.The administrator in all earnestness would search frantically for it.I never got hold of any during my time there.Once one of the suppliers even offered to get me some in 'black'.
The other thing which appalled me to no end was getting blood for transfusion.We had patients coming in with a haemoglobin of 2mg% and each time arranging for transfusion was a mountain of a struggle.Blood transfusion was available in Jabalpur for anything from 1800Rs to Rs 4500 and there were middle men involved.There was a time when one of the patients needed blood so badly and did not have the money required so since Saneesh's (my colleague)blood group matched with the patient concerned he offered to visit the blood bank to donate the blood in Jabalpur .He just made it in time for his train home to Raipur after the donation.
Human lives in India is a big business.Investigations and lab kits would dissappear from the market overnight so as to promote equipments.I remember so many times ,when suppliers would point blank tell us such and such kits were not manufactured anymore so for one to do a particular test one would have to buy a new equipment.
The government had strict legislations for ultrasound on one hand and a doctor was sued for some pleural tap one had done blindly.This is also a country where quacks are rampant and most patients who land up at your hospital has been through multiple hands trying everything from potions to black magic before they land up ,sometimes stone cold in rigor mortis from conditions like snakebites which are completely treatable.Nobody pays for it.
My colleagues in Emmanuel Hospital Association and other mission organisations work under considerable challenges ,in these difficult areas against a tide which does not make things easier.Everyday is a new day with new challenges with an inner drive to reiterate the value of the human lives we come across,each one made in the image of almighty God,precious and beautiful..often marred but a step towards retoration to the image,God meant it to be.
Happy independance day to my country men!.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chewing the cud..

Incidents like the ones that is happening in Gorakhpur are disasters waiting to happen in a country like India where corruption is rampant,and accountability non-existant.
Ideally what public should demand is a transparent enquiry into the incident and a look into where the system failed.The right heads need to roll,politicians from the past record are often unable to tell.
The systems need to be put in place so that it does not happen again.
The incident should not be swept under the carpet ,whether it be the media houses championing the cause or film makers looking to make a film.The idea is to contribute in what way one can to make India better.
I am not sure,if life-saving devices like oxygen ,anti-snake venoms,insulin should be monopolised by the private sector.It does sound bizarre that a government medical college was dependant on a private supplier for its oxygen supply.Do I smell a rat here?
In the hospital where I worked in central India,oxygen used to be a major issue.The staff would often wonder why I was getting so worked up over it.One would often find empty cylinders sent back from the suppliers as filled and at times there would be leaks in the cylinder.
Many a times I have had to send in an extra personal with a meter to measure the pressure at the point of receiving the cylinders.
The same year by God's grace we centralised the oxygen and bought ten large cylinders for a five bedded ACU so the alarm would keep us alert but I still found myself having to check from time to time how the flow went.
I have had similar experiences with snakebite patients with ASV prices roof high and the government hospitals for some reason not even comitted to intubating and ventilating a patient ours used to be the only hospital in the area which used to manage snakebites,
We did struggle with the logisitcs especailly initially when we were financially constrained.The government needs to remove taxes on these essential life-saving items and make sure that no extra cost is incurred by the patients for these items.
In Jharkhand one used to see adivasis from remote corners pushed into the out-patient with snake-bites with envenomation ,with no money in their pockets.For institutions like ours where we had to buy every medication there used to be a healthy tension but no patient's treatment are compromised in any way.God provides.
The normal trend in these parts is that the poor quietly pay the fees whereas the rich muscle their way and try to weild out as much charity as possible thus making institutions with good intent struggle.However the poor who quietly pay the fee often do it at a considerable added baggage to their person.A sudden sickness could set them back in their lives by a couple of years because they give themselves as bonded labourers to the rich landowners for the money that has been advanced to them.
Thus the vicious cycle goes on..
Yes this is one face of India...I have known.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A song -inspired by the psalms.

I will praise You Father
Flourish in worship
like an olive tree
in the house of God.

I trust in God's unfailing love
forever and ever
I will hope in Your name
for Your name is good.

I will praise You Lord Jesus
will always love You
my life is Yours,
for what You have done.

For from the Son comes
the theme of my praise
in the great assembly
my heartfelt song ,sublime and pure.

I praise You Holy Spirit
always adore You
welcome You
for who You are.

For You sweet Counseller
keep my lamp burning
You make known to me
the path of life.

I glorify You
Holy trinity
my true home
forever more

for You fill me
with the joy of Your presence
with eternal purpose
at Your right hand.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Lord Jesus lead us.

What a gentle spirit the spirit of the Lord is.
Today we had a challenging message in the church.It was from Philipians 1 vs 12 to 14.'Now ,I want you to know brothers.....that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel....'
Paul's cry runs on through generations of martyrs unheard,unsung ,unknown but very dear to the heavens and our Lord.
Vs 27 is a beautiful direction Paul gives for the believers,'Whatever happens ,conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of gospel of Christ....'This is where most of us fail.As soon as circumstances start becoming to the contrary,our flesh takes over.
As the pastor said 'God over-rules our circumstances for the gospel to be preached and proclaimed'. We looked at great examples from the bible of the lives of people whose lives regardless of where it was, was over-ruled by God for His glory...Paul,Joseph,Daniel,and the list goes on.
We also saw a clipping on the life of Polycarpus,a martyr,the bishop of Turkey who it was said, was the last connection to apostle John.
Paul and Timothy were slaves of Christ.It was never about comfort,never about what they wanted but how God would be glorified.
We recited a prayer in the end.
Where we are to where you need us -Jesus Lead us....

Friday, August 4, 2017

New day,a new way.

Middle of this week I changed over to gastro.It is an entirely new way of functioning but so far seems to be a much healthier option.The two months in acute medicine I got thoroughly bushed.The last but oneday I was seeing patients till eight at night.Somehow I seem to have made it over the week to the weekend.I have two whole days to rest.Thank God for that.I find working hours a lot tougher this time through.The roaster also seems kind of crazy,much like the third world ,the concept of rest put to the edge and a lot of people seem to be on the edge.one often has to repeat requests slowly and twice before one realises that one has been a bit abrupt.It is all a learning process.
Meeting new people,adjusting to their idiosyncracies,getting to know them...interesting because in these times in the UK one finds people from all sorts of community and colour,getting to know them,making friends,it is interesting.From Monday ,most of the team in gastro is going to be new,so we are more or less on our own.It is a learning process and the patients are pouring in all the time.The system seems to be understaffed.
It is also a time to learn medicine especially in these specialist postings,there is so much to see and so much to take in.I thank God for the oppurtunity I seem to have got,strangely my acute medicine boss also seemed unaware of it when it happened.
By the time I get back from work I just barely have enough energy to eat a meal and go to sleep.
I look forward to the weekend and I look forward to the church.
There have been times when I have felt physically weak to the point I have almost collapsed but the Lord has carried me through.
Since last week I picked up an iron supplement from Tesco and am regularly having it.My haemoglobin has been hovering around 9 for sometime.That could be the cause of my tiredness.Hopefully it will pick up.I am trying to avoid getting myself investigated with scopes et al because it has never really gone below 9.I was a healthy 12 till I came down to Lakhnadon ,where I cannot say for sure if it was the blood donation,unhealthy eating or something sinister that did me in.
So now I am well into August.Another season slowly but surely getting on.We have started pulling our sweaters out,our textbooks out,there is so much to learn,so much to discover,so much ahead of us....With the Lord on my side ,everything is possible.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Just stop .

Making an informed choice during growing up years is a huge upward struggle.Most of the decisions one makes is almost in a state of panic ,atleast mine was.Till I was in my school,decisions were made for me.My idea of what was good and bad were very heavily coloured by our teacher's lenses.There was no questioning the order.
when one graduates from school to college,unless one comes across great souls that mentor you the peers take you along in a different journey.I thankfully escaped this phase I think because I studied in good old Bengal.
Our medical college days were spent in a haze of ghugnis,rickshaws,formalin,our straight-jacket teachers,and poetries,it was almost surreal,the entire period.
During my post-graduate days in Oddanchattram I learnt to think for myself.My teacher's advice just stop and think,reflect, took me in good stead and it is perhaps one of the many precious legacies I have carried with me and still blesses me.I have learnt just how precious and valuable the stops are and yet how necessary it is for us to move after that gap,perhaps in a renewed direction with a refined perspective and perhaps in rythem with God.
One of my friends in Satbarwa reinforced this lesson ,every now and then he would reiterate,'just think ,use your head'.
I still think as much with my heart as I do with my head but I no longer function in any kind of pressure by God's grace.
I learnt as much from some of my juniors as I do from the elderly.
My junior in Lakhnadon,during the entire first year of his bond did not spend a single pi of his salary.He had the money which had been lying around from his internship period in a city??He used that .Not that he is stingy ,he seems to be pretty relaxed about life but not the sort of person who would move around with the crowd like a zombie.How do you bring up chiildren who are comfortable being who they are.Children who think and logically make a right choice in life without breaking one's head.
When every thing in the world is out to seduce you mostly to benefit people who intentionally do it,how does one keep one's head above waters?
Millions of dollars are spent in selling ideas and comodities which fill in a few pockets while the mass just gobbles it all up without giving it a second thought.
It is I think a cultural thing sometimes,it is so much more easier to deal with people who do not ask too many questions and follow the book to the tee.
The world becomes so much poorer for it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Mourning with a friend.

My friend Primula put up a message in our whatssapp group.It was a one liner.'My father just passed away.'
This was the ex-chief minister of Sikkim she was talking about.Felt very sad.
Primula was my friend from my school days.We all studied in Tashi Namgyal Academy ,the only public school in Sikkim which was originally meant for the royal children and later went on to become an autonomous body.
We were borders away from home in the capital ,Gangtok.
Primula was the chief minister's daughter but was the most humble of the lot.She was very caring and concerned about all her friends especially the hostellers.Every now and then huge packet of tucks would come our way and she never forgot our birthdays.I still have a small saving safe marked with orange pen ,a gift from her.Every year on her birthday we were invited to the chief minister's residence to celebrate it with her family.It was a happy affair with the CM himself making it a point to meet us and her mother ,the smart parliamentarian would entertain us.I don't ever remember buying a gift for her.
With time life took us through various routes ,I have been out most of my adult life but I sort of kept in touch one way or the other.We were connected through social media.I have not met Primula after we left school.I continue to carry warm memories of her.The social media has a way of exhibitting our lives sometimes unknowingly.I sort of knew what was happening with her life.
This winter while sauntering with my uncle to the dispensary for parliamentareans I ran into Mr Bhandari and his second daughter who was a junior from school.I greeted him ,he talked to my uncle,a colleague from the political milieu of India.
One thing that struck me about him was his sheer persona.He was shining all through.He in no way looked sick.
On returning back that day I sent a message to Primula saying that I had met her father and she was down south in tirupatti then and sounded surprised.
I suspect it is a great loss for my friend ,losing a father who towered over Sikkim politics for close to two decades,a man who had absolute sway over what happened in Sikkim then.To me ,he is a friend's father,a chief minister who was meticulous to the point when we were invited for dinner to his place after our class ten results were out,we found that he had pinned our board exams mark on the board behind his desk at Mintokgang and had marked out few of our performances and called us out for it.For a child then,it did not seem out of place for one did feel like one had achieved much with that result but as an adult when I look back I feel much humbled.I mourn with my friend for her father.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A saturday in Arsenal.

Last sunday when I was at the Dominion theatre attending a hillsong London church they mentioned the Just one conference at Arsenal.There was an invite to join the one thousand choir as part of the hillsong team.I booked myself in for the conference because I was off work on saturday besides Matt Reddmann whose worship songs have been such a blessing was supposed to be leading the worship.It was organised and compered by John J and his family.I for one had never heard of John J but the week before the conference I sat and listened to a lot of his messages on the youtube.
It was a joy to see so many people heading towards the stadium.Arsenal stadium was a grand affair,immediately thought of my brother who is very keen on watching a live match in the stadium when he comes over.I believe there was a crowd of twenty three thousand people.It was a happy saturday with people of every kind everywhere around.
The worship was led by Matt Reddman,hillsong,London community gospel choir,Noel Robinson.I,for one prayed ,Lord where are you in the grandeur of the man-made gigantic structures.As Matt led in worship one could see an aeroplane fly above in the skies.A host of pigeons floated around all the time which was amazing.
There were interviews with a footballer,a member of parliament from the House of the Lords,the ex-bishop of Iraq who seems to have multiple sclerosis but was the person who brought John J to the Lord,and a lady who had broken some world record but now was working against human trafficking.
The message was given by John J,beautifully clear ,it was a message of salvation and call to hope.How I wished I had invited my non-beleiver friends along.At the end he gave out three kinds of call.A call to receive Jesus into one's life,a call to let Jesus have the driver's seat in our lives(We mess up because we don't surrender the steering wheel to Him),and the third call was to explore by joining alpha course or a seven course series on Life explored found at life.explo.red
What amazed me was people got up and out of their seats in droves...collected the packets of materials and prayed the prayer of salvation,intent and request with John J.As people started moving Matt Redmann sang 'Amazing grace-my chains are gone'.
I had been a little wary and was questioning the glitter of it all but was strangely humbled.
In my lifespan ,I had never seen so many people respond to an alter call .The message was simple,to the point and clear.
The conference ended with 'one thousand reasons'.John J said that when he died ,he had told Matt Redmann that he would like him to lead the choir and the song he would like sung at his funeral was 'one thousand reason'.
Another thing that really touched a chord somewhere was when he shared about the time when the thought of organising the conference came to him.He roped in a friend...to take the lead in doing this,his words were,'he is busy playing golf so I asked him why do you want to waste your time,why don't we do this and he took it on from there'.

A gift of tears.

I was surprised other day with brokenness in one of my patients which crossed the lines of my belief and faith.My first instinctive response was immediate slamming of the door silently in my mind,and then suddenly a flood of compassion came over me ,such compassion ..that broke my heart.I understood little the heart of God..and the heart of Jesus...thank God for the Lord's grace on judgemental smugs like me.
Every day the outpatient is a treasure box ..refugees come for a better life..sick in a foreign land,mothers with disabled children-carers,overworked, bankrupt emotionally ,wives of husbands working abroad,frightened to be alone to face the struggles,divorced women from conservative backgrounds making do somehow,homosexuals frightened of what tomorrow might bring..the list is endless.
The compassion that God gifts us is perhaps the most precious gift God can give us ,a heart that breaks and weeps with the broken world around.
If I don't have that I might as well be dead.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Ups and downs.

I have had an absolutely sleepy saturday today.I was drowsy throughout,I literally had to pick myself up and walk down to TESCOs the long way to buy some food but mostly to give myself some exercise.I am waiting for my laundry so I thought I would let some thoughts at the back of my mind just seep out.There is chill in the air outside and I have hayfever.I can go the whole year round with it in this country and my patients tell me this is common.
Today early in the morning my cousin sent me a single line message ,'S is nomore'.I felt sad.Now how do I know S?One day out of the blue I got a desperate phone call from my cousin.A friend of hers from school who had been instrumental in supporting her baby steps into Australia had suddenly out of the blue been diagnosed to have GB ca.She was young ,may be in her late thirties,looked younger,sensible ,hard working .She wanted to know the prognosis.Looking at the staging and the extent of the disease it did not look good.SO the parents decided to bring her back to India.When she was in Delhi,I went with my cousin to see her.To me she looked extremely chalky, but my cousin insisted that it was her usual colour.She looked tired,thoughtful and talked quite a bit.Her mother ordered KFC from the mall in Vasant Kunj where they were renting a house.I felt mighty awkward to eat anything in that sombre environment although it was well past lunch time.
My cousin had shared the gospel with her but she hardly responded.Her mother had reached a stage where she would request prayer for her but would simultanaeouly be knocking all the other doors.
I took my cousin through the process of how a patient with gall bladder ca with liver mets would ultimately progress.
She called me up again to let me know that she was going through hepatic encephalopathy.She was having hallucinations and could not sleep at night.One such time she asked her mother who she was?When her mother reminded her that she was her mother ,I believe she reiterated ,no-you are lying,I am alone I have nobody.I am a doctor.I have learnt in life to pull myself back from emotional situations to save myself.Like my sister-in-law said ,In Sikkim,peopele are tough.We cannot afford to dwell on our losses so we move on ,sometimes all of it looks vey cold.
In the midst of it all my mother lets me know that the flowers I had planted by the supposed pool at home had sprouted one of which had started blooming and the other had grown shoots which would flower on for a very long time.My sister in Australia had brought a whole lot of flower seeds.One afternoon I planted a few of them in a corner of a plain space and forgot to mark it.Next few days I found our hand walking all over the place while doing his chores.I had given up hope that anything would sprout but it has .Life has sprung overcoming the hopelessness of the situation and it was my mother who spotted it and urged my brother to photograph it and send it to me.Praise God for my mother.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Countries in exile?

Decided to walk into the baptist church today.A beautiful time of worship and the reading and the preaching was from the book of Daniel.These are confusing times indeed.It was a poignant service.The pastor ended the sermon with a statement which touched my heart .He said,'As a nation ,we are entering into exile.'
In the old testament it was the unfaithfulness of God's people that led them into slavery and exile.As they sat by the rivers of Babylon ,they wept when they remembered Zion.God raised up Nehemiahs and Ezras along the way and there were people like Daniel and his friends who were not sold out to the ways of power.They lived lives seperated for God even when under subjugation.Such was the power of God amidst them that even through the fire God was amidst them ,lions mouth were shut before them.
The Lord will raise up Daniels ,Ezras and Nehemiahs even as we see a trend of Babylon taking precedence in the way the world as a whole seems to be moving.
The call of the spirit during these times seems to be to servanthood and humility in Christ because as Mary prays-'...He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts,He has brought down rulers from their thrones,but has lifted up the humble.....'
All said and done God alone is in control.
'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.....'
The question is what is our understanding of Kingdom of God?
My sincere prayer is that our understanding will allign with the way Christ envisioned and lived it.
To Christ alone be all the honour and glory and grace.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Encounters

So far it has been a good induction.Much more systematic than the earlier one.Though I am on the ward rota ,they have been kind enough to let me get used to the system but from the second day onwards I am slowly getting the hang of the software which looked formidable the first day.
While I was seeing a patient in ambulatory care the first day a few students entered the unit.I was too engrossed in getting to know the system so did not bother with them.On the second day I got talking to one of them who had an Indian face.She told me her ancestors were from Maharastra.Both her parents were doctors in London and she was studying medicine in Kings college. She was from a Hindu background but had accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was the only believer in the family.
She told me very assertively it is the only true thing isn't it?Then she told me ,'I pray everyday and read the bible ,do you?I was taken aback by her directness but my eyes were moist .What an amazing encounter!
I look forward to many more encounters like this. ..

Monday, May 29, 2017

Just writing.

It is little over a week since I have been to England.I am yet to join work .I am waiting for my I'd check by the home office after which I join work.I have checked into my accommodation and am spending my time studying ,revising my medicine protocols,talking to folks at home,walking miles together and enjoying the good food.
In the meantime Annie's results were out and she has scored well enough somewhere in the late eighties with 92 in English and a 96 in psychiatry.
I actually was not sure what I could make of the results and asked everyone around if she seemed happy with the result.That is what comes from living life in your own terms I guess.Good grades are important for a kid but being a good human being takes you further along, by the way.
A high scoring person may get the best deals in life but a good person will make sure that that the deal one gets is done in the best possible way because all our lives are intertwined.Someone has to pay the price for a job not well done.
My parents in their eighties apart from their regular work tend their garden,kitchen and flower. You have to see them at their work meticulously making sure that every stone is in place.
We marvel and enjoy the fruits of their labour. ..flowers,fresh organic vegetables, birds,bees,etc.
Here they are in the photograph separating the good baby potatoes from the bad one even as they enjoy a good weather at home.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Swimming with Anahita ,the fish princess.

Went swimming for two consequtive afternoons with my niece. Learnt three new techniques.Hopefully I will be able to follow it through before I leave for UK.
My niece is going through her interviews for her colleges.She has appeared for two interviews and got through both.Our admissions were strictly based on board results.Interesting times this.
Meanwhile the heat in Delhi is terrifying.The day after I had to go for my paper submission I caught the heat.What would you expect flying in from 9 degree with sweaters and blankets to 43 degrees .I did not loiter in the heat outside nevertheless was bedridden on lots of fluid and pampering from my sister.
I took all of thirty six hours to recover.In the meantime I could have brief chats with Sheba,enroute to Lalitpur, Muani,Divya.....
I am also enjoying the crispness of the language in 'Times'magazine and going through droves of it in these uncertain times.
The world seems so fragile in every which ways. The rhetorics across the border is getting shriller by day,Kim Jon Un seems to be on a trip of its own.Listening to CNN one would think Democrats were saints or superhuman never having any negative news about them and yet always on a high horse with opinions about everything, actually just one thing.I had never followed American politics this closely before so it has been a revelation indeed.
Somethings in the world are getting so predictable that you don't need extra senses to predict who will get the mtv movie awards in different categories. I remember walking with Joy in the corridors of Oxford university centre for South Asian studies. Looking at the topics being researched where thousands of dollars were being spent as fellowships. To a missionary doctor only too familiar with the deprivation that exists in our world, it seemed like a total waste of money.I asked Joy,'What is the use of all this research?How does it make the world a better place?She found it highly amusing and said,"It's about ideas and selling them."For me it was difficult to digest.But world's best institution runs for that very cause so there must be some meaning to those rhetorics in the leather bound books.Of course, to prove and study that christian missionaries were a part of a greater agenda of the Crown to colonise India and the world ....will make
for a great legacy we will leave behind for the future generation.That may be the only idea they will buy???

Monday, May 1, 2017

Jenny,the sunflower and the miracle of life ..

Three days in a row, a helicopter through rain and sun is scouring the banks of Teesta for something.My mother thinks that they must be searching for some clue about something that the rain might have washed in from the hills above.She sadly concluded that it might be personals.It has been raining like the monsoons in between the sun and even bouts of hail.
Last saturday we had planted a host of sun-flowers and the sprouts had come out beautifully .We were at uncle's for lunch when it started raining cats and dogs.Monda's Jenny, a healthy egg-laying chicken ,which is living on her roof-top ,a butt of a lot of jokes, was frightened to the core.Even as the rains started getting out of control ,Monda was on the rooftop equally out of sorts ,lamenting about her country chicken ,Jenny settled itself on a ledge on the other side of the roof.She had to call Diki to rescue her chicken even as we ran heltor-skeltor ,which she did masterfully.
The chicken which apparently was a present from one of the cousins ,was meant to be on the plate in one of the meals but Monda decided to christian it Jenny and much to uncle's discomfort she is steadily becoming one of the family.
We remembered the sun-flower seedlings while it rained river and hail so the first thing I checked when I reached home were the saplings.
They had braved the rain and were proudly bobbing it's head in the mild breeze.
The next morning my mother reiterated that it was the plum tree under which it lay which had faced the storm and sheltered the sun-flower seedlings which in no way could have survived the storm.Another week and the saplings should be ready to be replanted onto the ground,amazing lessons of life and beautiful too.
Everyday I learn so much about the birds and bees.When I sit out in the verandah with my parents,my mother spots birds of different species and talks about the various birds ,plants and flowers in her garden.The day before,just within five minutes she brought my attention to three different species of birds on a tree nearby,all of which looked exotic.
Nature, much like the Holy spirit ,has its healing presence which needs a lot of care and mindful presence to actually enjoy its companionship.Much like a miracle that takes your heart by surprise ,I like a child understand now the preciousness of all these and greedily soak in it while I can.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A sneak review.

I don't write too often because for one I do not own a functional laptop.I have to sneak into my brothers whenever he takes a break from heavy geology work he seems to be neck deep in, all the time.That is his speciality by the way.Everything is in place for now.I am done with most of the paperworks and another fortnight or so should see me in England if it is the Lord's will.In the meantime I am preparing to travel to Delhi for my paper submission,etc.My friend Anu has been literally hauling me on her shoulders helping me every step of the way.She was my room-mate in college some twenty years ago.We have remained friends.
People often wonder aloud why I do what I do?
My cousin always says that I am someone who is basically a 'Head ' girl!I do function with my heart as well but not to make overtly stupid decisions.
I know when to walk away ,when to walk towards ,when to say 'enough!' on most occassions.
My mother has full faith in the goodness of all of her children and sensibility of some.She says so.
That does not mean I am successful all the time but If I see wisdom in something I am willing to stick it out.
I like to surround myself with progressive people but my heart goes out to genuine people.Destructive toxic people I am allergic to.I might for the sake of affection tolerate them for a while but I make things clear and I do not struggle distancing myself from them too hard.I am only too aware that I am also not immune to getting toxic myself.I have often hated myself while I have raved and ranted to my friends,My friends have lovingly listened to me and have gently guided me that is why we have remained friends and I pray we will remain so for the rest of our lives.
Unlike most of India,I am I think programmed to work unselfishly.I get great joy in making life easier and helping other people better their lives.I try not to miss oppurtunities in doing that.My colleagues often point out that I give my heart and soul for whatever I put my mind to.You will see me almost collapsing on my legs at the end of a hard day in the ACU.I would like to think that when I put my head on the pillow my patients are well taken care of.
I enjoy quiet as much as anyone else but I relish some type of art too.Instrumental music,classical,sufi,gospel.I have been trying to listen to the current western charters but I dont seem to like them too much.Bruce Springsteen surprised me with some of his recent lyrics.I enjoy some movies...,most form of art has to touch a chord somewhere....sometimes it is so with people and situation too.
Now What the heck have I written?..This is what happens when you have an open laptop in front of you and some time in hand in between cranial nerve examination.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Life is what happens to you....when you're busy making other plans.


The last but three months have been educative to say the least,Apart from doing the rounds of four major cities sans Mumbai for my paperworks,I also had an oppurtunity to see a huge part of Sikkim.WHat was surprising was the joy of seeing the seasons unfold at home in Mangan.I have never been around home for an extended period ,three months in breaks.This year I saw the oranges come and go,mulberries in season,bananas,brocoli,raddishes,peas,potatoes,asperagus,herbs of all kinds.ginger.garlic..and the seasonal fruits and vegetables ....Now the grapes are flowering and so are the peaches and plums of different variety and colour.I have been able to sit back and enjoy it with my parents whose daily rythemn seem so much entwined with nature,flowers,birds and bees.My dad at eighty six and my mom at eighty one have a full life.....I pray I might be so at that age.
I had the privellage to spend time with my siblings...all of them at different times and in different circumstance.Considering we are spread out all over the world it is a privellage indeed.
I also saw a local movie Dokbu with my brother and my cousin,an allegory to the rampant rape of nature in my home place.
The last but one week I had the privellage to go on a movie date with my aunts aged 72 and 74years.They are so full of life and I have so much to learn from them.
John Lennon sings'Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans,"He could not have put it better.I was not supposed to be home but it has been a precious three months indeed.I thank God for every bit of it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A fortnight of detour!

It has been the strangest month to say the least.I should have been in the UK but I found myself in the odd position of having done the wrong ielts and therefore my stint was postponed.
It was a prayer answered for my aunt who had an appointment with Kenny for her spine.She had a disc prolapse in C3 and C4 and was somehow convinced she would be healed in CMC although she could have got the surgery done in the best of institutions in Delhi free of cost,thanks to uncle's CGHS facilities.Churches were praying for her.
Kenny was a little apprehensive about the surgery slot because he was travelling and the slots were filled up till May."Incase" ,he said there is too much of delay he could make arrangements in baptist ,bangalore with a friend of his.It was a joy to meet Kenny as usual and just when  the greetings were over Kenny got a phone call. Someone had just then cancelled a surgery. My aunt got the slot right away.Kenny kindly arranged for admissions the same day so there was no usual strife of running around.My cousin and family saw the hand of God at every step.The Lord was faithful as usual.The surgery went smoothly by the grace of God.My aunt entered the premises of CMC on a wheelchair and left it walking with such gratitude to God and God's people in her heart.My cousin has started a chain whereby she has decided to help another church person with chronic kidney disease to come over to CMC for treatment.
What better way could a fortnight of my life be spent.The Lord had his own share of blessings and surprises along the way.I met up with Dr Sam David,ran into Arpit Mathew in his office and met Sarah aka.The Elim AG church in Vellore was a big blessing.
Kenny as usual was extremely kind and thoughtful.Alex and Roshni were there to fall back on .
We felt ministered unto in CMC .All of us go back with a lot of gratitude in our hearts...and I move on one step at a time...assured that 'My time is in His hands'and the Lord will lead me on.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Just an update.

Sauntering around Delhi waiting for a paper to be delivered by the indian postal service,I needed a book to read.My sister and my neice suggested reading ,'Boy in striped pajamas' by John Boyne.The book is caricatured around Auswitz during the holocaust of the second world war.A deeply disturbing book,written in a childlike language but speaks a grown up  language.It is a deeply disturbing book to say the least.When one steps back and looks at the book from a distance it gives one a voyeur's look into human lives .That is what it was actually like!
In the final leg of my visa application I realised I needed a TB screen for pulmonary tuberculosis.I had done one in my hospital before I left but I realised I needed to do it in an allocated hospital.I got my appointment booked from the airport and sardarjee cab driver  dropped me to the hospital at nine in the morning.The doctor I had an appointment with in her small talks mentioned  that her entire family was in Ashford ,she was prompt,up to the point and went out of her way to finish my work which took just over a fifteen minutes.All I needed was a chest X-ray .
I have a different story about the indian postal system though.Speed post from Lakhnadon to Dwarka in New Delhi took nineteen days to reach.It had my sister and brother-in-law doing the rounds of the post-office for three consequtive days before it was actually delivered.
Finally I have all the papers I need.
The journey to VFS the other day was quite a revelation.I took the airport metro from sector twentyone which delivered me to Shivajee metro station which was the address of the centre.The floor near the metro had a queue  for chinese visa.I asked my way around and I was directed towards  the escalater to the floor above.The VFS global visa has all types of facility mushroomed around it.There was a help unit which cleared all your doubts which included charging for things one could do oneself on the net.To the right is a lounge of sorts which deals with international telephones.nets.driver licence.etc and there are ready coffee shops,eateries catering to international tastes,etc.Smart marketting stratefy,was what I thought.
My neice has submitted a project on 'Bees' for her zoology .It makes an interesting reading.The last time I was in a CMF in London the same topic was the table talk.I remembered a junior colleague of mine who's father is a bee engineer.Interesting carreer to have was what I thought. He tells me he did his graduation in Agriculture and then specialised in apiculture.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

God of glory!

I make my onward journey today,unusual journey to say the least.The church at home has been such an encouragement.Yesterday the word was from Deutronomy 11 vs 8-12.Today I started my  journey in faith with an open agenda.I got the word yesterday,I started walking today,truly a walk of prayer and the closed doors just started opening one by one and the glory goes to the Lord who has called me and will lead me safely home through His everlasting purposes.
Amen.



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Morning in Mangan

 Morning sounds of the dripping tap ,garden hose watering the green ,the birds chatting away ,singing sweetly unconcerned what day and what time.The milkman's can creaking in tandem with the boots as he makes his way from the cowshed to the kitchen where he empties the can into different cannisters,some for the supply and some for home.The thick layer of cream on the milk ,for butter,, cheese, curd and buttermilk,Hen-len and her siblings had gone on a self proclaimed holiday for sometime has started laying eggs again.Egg fried-rice in pure ghee with a tall glass of thick milk brings back childhood memories of house helps hastily making snack for me when I made a detour home from school at odd hours as a child.
Hero enjoying his new kennel hastily built by 'friday',looks like a beach-shack in Goa.Does not miss a thing.What a blessing dogs have been to the family.I am not much of a cat person.
The old structure,built in ethnic style which has stood the ground for twenty years and has served as a kitchen for the servants,storeroom and rooms for the drivers and maids has been razed to the ground.The complex now looks so much prettier with a ground in the front for the sun,peanuts,barbeques and oranges in the sun.
Emptying the old structure was like going on a treasure hunt.Things forgotten,things long lost,old heirlooms but most precious of all was me and my older siblings mugs which emerged from one of the cupboards.The mugs had had the privellage of only holding milk because tea was 'no,no' for the children.Mangar Baje,our evergreen  .housekeeper poured milk into the mugs every night and morning 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Little moments,big implications!

It is little more than a fortnight since I have come home.I was actually to be home less than a fortnight but my IELTES result which is essential for my visa was postponed on two occassions so I am home longer than I anticipated.This time it has been postponed for a week more, so I get to meet my older sister who is here at the end of the month.I consider this the most precious days of my life.
Farmlife is a different ballgame alltogether.There is always work to be done and fruitful work for that matter.I find the whole thing very restful.
Yesterday I spent the early morning picking a huge bunch of mustard leaves ,the green fresh ones and sent half of it to the bible camp for the youth that is going on in the church and seperated the yellow ones to dry them .I am learning to make 'gundruk' a traditional nepali dried mustard leaf.My father gets mighty impressed to see me show interest in the farm work.I also picked up the first brocoli of the season to be sent to the church.Later in the day,I took down the large quantities of garlic that has been left to dry ,I seperated it from the stem,unshelled and cleaned a lot of them and dipped them in vinegar.
I also enjoy the three wards of my sister aged between seven to nine,who have just come back from their vacation at their homes.It is a joy to watch them as they develop into different personalities,their equation with each other;One of them is here just for the vacation,
My cousin Monda who is full of life, always has something up her sleeve.The other day ,we went boating in the newly formed Mantam lake which is beautiful to say the least.I hope it survives the monsoon though.I saw some youngsters building a raft with bamboos and drums to ferry a pick up across the river.It reminded me of Burma and south America.We sang our way back with the audio,,,,hillsong,vineyard and so on.
I also spent some time in the evening doing some research on an appointment for an aunt of mine who might need a neck surgery.Our dear Kenny David has asked her to be brought to Vellore for a look over and surgery if required.
These are interesting times and I would not change it for anything else.
I thank the Lord for the grace of these precious times.