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

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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15 Oct

IREF trip 2014

As many will know, a UK team travels to IREF every two years in order to provide a range of medical services to the children who stay there. The next trip is scheduled for 1-15 February 2014.

There are ten people committed to the trip this time, including nurses, dentists, a doctor, an optician and a number of others. They really need your help in raising a fundraising target of £20,000.

If you would like to support this fundraising effort, please visit the IREF 2014 JustGiving page.

Catch up with what happened during the last trip in 2012.

11 Feb

Home sweet home

Liz Callander

Dear All

One last email to say the UK arrived home safely this morning following the long haul having left Repalle on Thursday night. Overall the journey was fine and the team are well.

Thank you all for your interest, support and especially your prayers over the last few weeks – it has been so appreciated by the team.

Please continue to remember us over the next few days as we adjust to being home, spending time with family and friends and going back to work. Just daily routine but a world away from India.

Please pray for USA team who will get home after a 16 hour flight and some then face a 3-4 hour drive.

Pray for all at IREF too as they pick up daily routine again. Also from Monday they are being audited by Word and Deed which also includes Child Protection aspects.

This is a key issue as 30% of IREF’s overall child funding comes from the organisation and the Child Protection aspect is a first so really significant.
We have been able to offer them some direction but there is a huge amount of work involved.

Above all, thanks be to God for all His goodness and blessings to His people.

On behalf of all the India 2012 and IREF UK Trustees – thank you again for all your support.

If you want more information on IREF, or sponsorship, giving or would like to receive the IREF(UK) newsletter please visit the IREF(UK) website.

In His service

Liz

11 Feb

IREF update 7

Liz Callander

Dear All

Last report from India

Thursday morning we were reminded at devotions of Christ’s love for the poor. While we are surrounded here on a level few reading this will experience, we have done the job we set out to do, we have touched individual people and for them have made a difference.

We can all reach out in our own way
to the people we come in contact with and practice God’s love.

The medical team headed back to the Nursing School to collectively thank them for their support and give some gifts to the nursing students. For some it was an emotional time as we said goodbye to them.

A quick trip to the school to catch up on developments there and take some photos then we went sightseeing to the local blanket factory. Not quite mechanised yet but blankets are good quality. 14 years later the ones I bought then are still as bright and good as the ones we saw today. Good business done.

An IREF farewell is no small feat as 2,000 children and college students met in the college courtyard to say goodbye.

It was also Dee and Emmanuel’s wedding anniversary so became a double celebration – much to the amusement of all.

It’s always an emotional time saying farewell but none moreso than when it’s to several hundred children and friends that we have come to know over several years.

Let’s just say, the bus journey to Guntur where we were boarding the train was somewhat harrowing but we got the train as planned and arrived in Chennai at 7am this morning.

Off to do last minute shopping and then relax before we leave.

UK team leave for airport at 6pm local time and fly at 9.20am for Dubai where we have a 6 hour stop over to arrive in UK around 12 noon.

US team leave around 1am on Sat morning.

Indian folk who have been with us will return to Repalle on Saturday too.

Please pray for safety in travel for all as we look forward to home.

Praise God for all he has done over these last weeks.

Remember Dee and Emmanuel and the IREF family.

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement.

Liz

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09 Feb

Ready to roll

The final day in Repalle has arrived for the group of volunteers. Bags are packed and they are ready for the return journey.

Those at IREF organised a farewell for the group.

Please pray for safety in travel as they return to the UK and USA.

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09 Feb

IREF update 6

Liz Callander

Dear All

It’s Wednesday night as I write this and hard to believe Thursday is our last day in Repalle.

Life here is so unpredictable at every level that sometimes we from the west find it so hard to take on board. It’s often frustrating but at the end of the day we just have to accept today was one of those days.

It started off well enough with:

7.45 prayers
8.00 breakfast
9.00 Devotions either at nursing school or junior school – for me it was nursing school, with two of the final year students reading bible and praying both in English and Telegu.

The students have been such an asset to have around,soaking up the experience we were able to give them in assessment, physical examination, doing dressings, helping with pharmacy as well as with the dental team. Some also acted as translators for us that meant teachers weren’t being pulled from classes and we had the added advantage of people with clinical awareness and understanding.

After devotions a few of us spoke to the nursing students both about their course, future experience and christian life.

We were then shown around the college and while they had some useful equipment and supplies, I was really impressed at their resourcefulness and initiative in making aids to help studies.

10.30 We were off to a ground breaking cermony for a new Child Development Centre at Pesarlanka. CDCs, as they are known, have been a development over the last 10 years. Sited in a village, often either in or close to a church, the children stay at home, attend their local school and after school go to the CDC where they are given a meal, have help with their homework and hear about the bible.

A number of CDCs have been established over the years with many of the children sponsored or donations supporting running costs.

It was a blazing hot day and we knew about it standing in the field dedicating and breaking the ground for the building.

From there it was off to revisit a couple of churches in the nearby vicinity and that meant speeches, readings and prayers, as well as many photos and the offer of a lunch we couldn’t eat, before heading back via another two churches to Repalle.

14.30 lunch – I won’t tell you how pleased we were to be back!!!!

15.00 saw us clearing up the clinic, cleaning instuments, going through drugs and supplies that could either be used in the infirmary, by the nursjng college, given out to adults by Dee over the coming weeks or packed up for our use in 2 years time.

17.30 and we were finished in the clinic just in time to get back on the bus to go to Pedalanka church for a re-dedication of their larger church which had just been rebuilt. It’s so encouraging to see how God is moving in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Driving on through the banana plantations we headed for Nalluripallum to open a new church there. There are two churches in the village; one for higher caste and the other for lower caste Indians. Perhaps one thing that is hard for us to understand.

19.00 By now hoping we were heading back it was onto the CDC passing the other church enroute. Nalluripalem CDC has over 100 children daily and along with a number of others there was well over 200 people around for our visit. Following prayer this time we did head back to Repalle for a late dinner of barbecued chicken and wonder of wonders, corn on the cob….mmmm!!!

21.00 and at last we really have time to chill and relax or maybe start packing or speak to the kids, get henna tatoos on hand or start to dream of the journey home or maybe not.

Please pray for the ongoing work of IREF, especially following the crusades last week that God will continue to work His purpose out.

Pray for ongoing links between the IREF Boards in USA / UK and India and will strengthen in days to come.

Praise God for improving health for Dee who joined us for the first time in 5 days and other team members.

Best wishes

Liz

09 Feb

Final day

The IREF trip 2012 is very nearly at an end, today being the last day in Repalle before the return to the UK / USA for the volunteers.

They started the day taking part in the morning devotions of the nursing students.

Later in the day they paid a visit to the Repalle Blanket Factory and the local store.

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08 Feb

Revisiting Pedalanka

As well as attending a Ground Breaking Ceremony, the team also visited a Church that had been opened 6 years earlier during one of their trips at Pedalanka.

The team managed to resist buying one of the multi-coloured birds for sale by the side of the road after the visit.

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