13 Feb

It’s all over

Our last day in Repalle has been an emotional one. We went to the nursing college devotions this morning and had a little farewell with the nurses who helped us in every clinic. We made strong bonds with these girls and it was so hard to say goodbye. They pleaded with us to remember them in prayer. They are such caring, faithful girls who rely on God to guide their future.

This afternoon we had a dedication service for the new IREF old people’s home. It was great to see a vision that was had a long time ago being realised. Jason and Jim helped cut the ribbon!

At 7pm, we will leave to catch the overnight train to Chennai then we have an overnight stay there before flying home!

Please pray for the nursing students: Divya, Karishima, Sudjata and Neelima (to name but a few!). Pray that they will pass exams, find jobs and that they will be married to good men.

Pray also for the old people who will be cared for in the new home. Pray for those who will care for them too.

Lastly, pray for us as we travel home. It’s a long journey! Pray for safety and health. We’ll see you when we get back and pray for patience for yourselves as we bore you with all our stories and photos.

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13 Feb

It's all over

Our last day in Repalle has been an emotional one. We went to the nursing college devotions this morning and had a little farewell with the nurses who helped us in every clinic. We made strong bonds with these girls and it was so hard to say goodbye. They pleaded with us to remember them in prayer. They are such caring, faithful girls who rely on God to guide their future.

This afternoon we had a dedication service for the new IREF old people’s home. It was great to see a vision that was had a long time ago being realised. Jason and Jim helped cut the ribbon!

At 7pm, we will leave to catch the overnight train to Chennai then we have an overnight stay there before flying home!

Please pray for the nursing students: Divya, Karishima, Sudjata and Neelima (to name but a few!). Pray that they will pass exams, find jobs and that they will be married to good men.

Pray also for the old people who will be cared for in the new home. Pray for those who will care for them too.

Lastly, pray for us as we travel home. It’s a long journey! Pray for safety and health. We’ll see you when we get back and pray for patience for yourselves as we bore you with all our stories and photos.

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12 Feb

Last full day

Message from Lynn Leitch

Today we had a lot of celebration for the birthday of our youngest team member, Johnny Shaw, who was 17. The nurses spent a lot of time decorating the place and he had 2 cakes as well as lots of versions of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. He will never forget this birthday in India!

We drove to another IREF church to dedicate the new building. Much like yesterday, the whole village turned out to celebrate and we were given a very ‘hearty welcome’. These churches truly are the centre of the villages and will reach out to the community in many ways.

Tonight we had a lovely, but sad, farewell and thanksgiving service in the orphanage campus. Everyone gathered and we were presented with gifts and got to say a few words to the children. It will be hard to leave them as we have made very strong bonds with them.

We have done some packing and are beginning to prepare for leaving tomorrow evening.

Please pray for the new church we visited today. Pray that the pastor will be equipped to be everything he needs to be for that congregation. Pray that men, women and children will find the truth there as well as have their many physical needs met.

Pray for the team as we pack and get ready to come home.

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11 Feb

The final clinic day

Message from Lynn Leitch

This morning Jason and I both spoke at the school assembly. We spoke about the importance of trusting God and told them that we pray for them in Scotland.

This afternoon, we attended the opening and dedication of a new IREF church in the nearby village Nallur South. It was a noisy, vibrant and very encouraging celebration. They made us lunch and the whole village ate together!! Jason even got to drive a tractor!

We returned to Repalle where we conducted our last evening clinic for children who were brought in from the Arambaka CDC as well as some of the older college boys. This was a busy but smooth clinic.

Please pray for the new Nallur South church and the pastor and his family. Pray that the people of that village will grow spiritually and that the church will have a good witness there.

Pray also for all those who have received treatment in the clinic over the last week and that they will be relieved and pain free.

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10 Feb

Another busy day

Message from Lynn Leitch

This morning we visited the blanket factory in Repalle. Dee explained that some of the people there are earning about a dollar a day!! It’s hard work in hot conditions. One lady had her baby with her, tied between 2 looms in a hammock, as she worked. They were so grateful for our visit and were happy to show us what they do. Of course, we all bought some blankets as this helps to keep them in work.

After this, Dee took us on a tour of the local hospital, a ‘private’ clinic (not what you imagine) and an eye clinic. If you saw these places, you would never complain about our NHS ever again! She wanted us to see that what the medical team does at IREF is so worthwhile because this would be the alternative!

Tonight we took the clinic out to a CDC in Penamudi. The kids were really cute but not so willing to have teeth out! Most of them had parents with them and the place was buzzing with the noise of chatting and crying!! The optician proved very popular once again. I think the entire village came to see him! The leaders there said we had ‘shown the love of Jesus’ by coming.

Pray for the workers in the factory. They said they heard the gospel messages throughout last week as they worked. Pray that they heard something that made them think. Pray also for the families in Penamudi. IREF are teaching the kids the word so pray that they respond and go home and tell their families. Pray that what we did tonight will have been of benefit to the people there.

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09 Feb

Sunday in Repalle

Message from Lynn Leitch

This morning we went to church about 10.30. The service actually started for the Indians at 9am but we were excused from the start. It finished at 1pm!! We’ve been very humbled by how long people (including 5 year old children) sit and listen to God’s word.

Everyone who was baptised yesterday received a Bible at the service and Jason helped present some of these, which was lovely. Jason and Jim also helped serve communion… a major operation!! We also met the Bible lady from Ullipallem, who had travelled to be at the service. We were able to tell her again about the bond between our fellowships.

After lunch, we tried to link up with you but, as you know, it wasn’t too successful! We were so disappointed! It was lovely, at least, to hear our kids say hello.

Tonight, the children and young people in the orphanage had a service of thanksgiving for this week’s meetings. Many of them shared what they had learned. One girl told how she is from a very high caste Hindu family but she became a Christian and was baptised. Her family are very unhappy but she says she is happier than she has ever been. Please pray for her future.

Tomorrow, we are taking the clinic to one of the new Child Development Centres where there are about 80-100 kids. We need to do this in the evening as they only attend the CDC after school. Pray for safe travel there and a smooth clinic. These children will have had little to no healthcare before!

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08 Feb

The end of the gospel meetings

Message from Lynn Leitch

Today, we witnessed 40 baptisms in the Krishna River! This was a little different from the ABC tank, with boats, buffalo and fishermen in the background!! The sun was just going down and crowds gathered to watch. What a public witness!

Tonight was the final night of the gospel meetings. Jason shared his testimony and there were 3 sermons as usual. Hundreds of people heard and responded to the message!

Tomorrow, we will attend the Repalle church… a 3-4 hour service! Hopefully, we will be able to speak to you in person during your morning service??

Please continue to pray for the people who have become Christians. This is not an easy decision in this culture. Pray that there will be support around them and that they will see growth in their lives.

Pray also for the children here… such beautiful kids who have the biggest smiles and welcoming hearts. We are loving spending time with them! Pray that they will see God’s love through us. We certainly see it in some of them.

Pray for 10th class (14 years old) as they are studying for a big exam on 27 March. They are constantly studying in the playground and ask for prayer as you pass them.

Pray for those who have received treatment and medication in the clinic. Pray that they will continue to get well and that our input will make a difference to them.

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07 Feb

Clinics coming to a close

Message from Lynn Leitch

Tonight is the last night of the gospel meetings! There are literally hundreds of people. There is a sea of colour as far as the eye can see. People sit on the ground for hours to listen to the preaching. Hundreds of people came forward last night in response to the message. An answer to prayer!

Our clinic was a little different today as we treated adults. Some of these were villagers who have travelled a long way to attend the meetings. When they realise there is a clinic, there is a rush to the door. This is difficult… both to control and to witness the vast need! We did what we could and will see more tomorrow morning! The optician was particularly popular and a bit of crowd control was necessary at his door!

Please pray for our morning clinic tomorrow. Pray that we will be able to offer help to at least some of the villagers who present there. Pray also for those who have come forward at the meetings as they will be baptised tomorrow afternoon. Keep praying for energy, unity and health within the team.

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06 Feb

Is it Thursday already?

Message from Lynn Leitch

We can’t quite believe how quickly the week is passing! We had another extremely busy day in the clinic and we finished seeing all the children. We even included a nail bar at the exit door of the clinic today and the girls absolutely loved having their nails painted!

Tomorrow we will treat the pastors, Bible ladies and IREF staff.

Last night’s gospel meeting attracted hundreds and many people heard the word of God. Many more are expected this evening and there will be an invitation to come to the front at the end for prayer.

Please pray for tomorrow’s clinic, as adults can sometimes be more challenging to treat than children. Pray also for the team, that we are not overwhelmed by the enormous need we witness. Pray that we will be able to help some individuals and ease their pain.

Continue to pray for the preachers, who are preaching during the day and at the evening meetings. Pray that God will speak through them and bring people to Himself. Pray that the people who respond will be connected to a local church where they can be nurtured and discipled.

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05 Feb

Another busy day

Message from Lynn Leitch

We had a very busy day in the clinic, seeing 120 children and taking out 75 teeth as well as treating scabies, infected eyes and various other ailments. It’s difficult to see kids in pain but a real blessing to see them a few hours after treatment, in the playground, telling you how much better they feel!

Tonight is the first night of the gospel meetings and hundreds have gathered to hear the message. It’s humbling to see people seated on the ground, for hours, eager to hear God’s word!

Please pray for continued energy for the clinic team as the week goes on. Pray especially for the people who will become Christians this week. This will be difficult for many who are from a Hindu background. Pray also for the pastors as they prepare and preach every afternoon and evening for the next 3 days. Pray that God would use them in a powerful way and that the local police will not be offended by their presence.

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04 Feb

First day in Repalle

Message from Lynn Leitch

We survived the overnight train journey and managed to get all our luggage off with the help of many college boys sent from Repalle.

The ‘hearty welcome’ from the children made the long journey seem so worthwhile. We were greeted with garlands and flower petals from a long line of excited kids who were all eager to find out our names and tell us theirs.

After breakfast we set up the clinic then had lunch before carrying out the first clinic with first and second class. Everything ran smoothly, despite a few tears over pulled teeth!

Tomorrow we will carry out a full day’s clinic then the gospel meetings will begin in the evening. Please pray for the busy clinics as some children become very anxious and the workers try to calm them and show compassion whilst administering healthcare.

Pray also for the 4 pastors who will preach at the gospel meetings and that God will prepare the hearts of the many thousands of people who will hear the message.

04 Feb

Repalle

After three days in transit, braving the wilds of Glasgow, the bustle of Chennai and the cramped conditions of the Indian public transport system, the intrepid travellers have made it to Repalle.

The team were welcomed in the usual way, adorned with colourful garlands and greeted by many of the children housed at IREF.

Preparation will now begin for the clinics which will start in the next couple of days.

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03 Feb

The American team arrive

Message from Lynn Leitch

We have now met up with the American team (11 of them). We had some time together after breakfast introducing ourselves and Craig Darling led some devotions. After lunch we are planning to go on a trip up St Thomas Mount before having dinner and heading to the station for the overnight train to Repalle.

Please pray for the train journey… particularly because we are having to take all our suitcases on the train ( they are usually taken by truck separately) so there will be a lot of logistics in terms of trying to find space on a very cramped train for an enormous amount of luggage and in terms of trying to get it all off the train in a 60 second stop!

We are very much looking forward to getting to Repalle now though!

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02 Feb

Out and about in Chennai

Message from Lynn Leitch

We have settled in well in Chennai. We are so grateful to God that all our luggage made it without any questions.

After a brief snooze, we had lunch then took a late afternoon walk along the beach. I’ve never seen quite so many people (and horses and monkeys!) on a beach before.

Going to have dinner then a well needed early night. Looking forward to meeting the American team tomorrow.

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02 Feb

The group arrives

The intrepid travellers have now made it to Chennai safe and sound… along with all their luggage!

Praise God for his faithfulness and remember the team as they relax in Chennai and adjust to being back in India.

Also pray for the IREF friends who will be in Chennai to meet and accompany the team to Repalle.

Pray for the US team as they fly to Chennai today.

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01 Feb

And…they’re off

The group travelling to IREF are now on their way, having left Glasgow Airport this morning.

The first leg of the journey will include a stop in Dubai.

Please pray for safety in travel for the group that includes Jim, Jason and Lynn Leitch of Airdrie Baptist Church.

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01 Feb

And…they're off

The group travelling to IREF are now on their way, having left Glasgow Airport this morning.

The first leg of the journey will include a stop in Dubai.

Please pray for safety in travel for the group that includes Jim, Jason and Lynn Leitch of Airdrie Baptist Church.

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