With clinics complete, the volunteers are free to partake in a range of other activities in and around the IREF compound in Repalle.
This morning, Jim Leitch was able to return to his teaching routes by taking morning assembly. The group were also able to visit different classes to see how the children were getting on.
IREF is a charity and, as such, relies on financial support from those giving from around the world. One way of supporting is through Child Sponsorship (more information can be found on the IREF(UK) website.
Today the team met a young girl who is sponsored by our Pastor and his family.
The volunteers have also been supported by the student nurses on site at IREF. They would not have been able to achieve all they have without these vital assistants.
Looking forward to a day off we found ourselves driving for two hours across Andhra Pradesh to a little town called China Parapa for a church dedication.
Around 150 people gathered as we walked around the church 3 times -that’s traditional, then Emmanuel prayed and, along with some pastors, one of the USA group and Gordon for UK cut the ribbon across the church door and we all entered.
Prayer, singing, speech giving thanks to God and seeking His blessing on the church and people. Then it was across the road to sit under an awning for a service of dedication and the opportunity for us to bring greetings to the church. Sitting quietly, minding your own business and suddenly your name gets called out and it’s get up and speak – not enough volunteers…hey ho!
Church dedication is a big thing – its an opportunity to witness to the town, we’re there so there is an element of curiosity for all. With the band present, loud speakers, and all the singing you couldn’t fail to know something was happening.
A tasty meal of rice, barbecue chicken, fresh shrimp, along with a few other elements we didn’t take, then the congregation were fed.
We headed a short distance through town walking the half mile to the ocean – the sights of town were so different to what we would ever see in the west.
The beach was really white and sandy. Very much a fishing area going by the boats moored out in the bay.
The water was clear and warm with air temperature of around 28C. We had a paddle, were joined by some local church people, had our photos taken and instantly printed on the Lexmark photo printer the man carried – all for a few rupees.
We laughed as a young water buffalo joined us gambolling across the sand and straight into the sea. He lay down oblivious to us all and took delight in the water washing over him. It’s important for water buffalo to be washed or taken to the river each day – so it is a common sight – that was a first for us seeing them in the sea at the beach.
Then we headed back to Repalle.
Please pray or the church that God will indeed bless the start of their new ministry.
Pray for the team some have been unwell in last 24 hours with gastric symptoms, some of the Scots included Jason, Jim and to a lesser extent Shieleen – it’s not serious just a bit of an upset but they are feeling better as day has gone on.
Tuesday sees us heading for Arumbaka one of the outside schools – never easy but always good to do.
Monday arrives and so begins the Volunteer’s second week at the IREF compound in Repalle.
The compound incorporates numerous buildings, including a School and Junior College, a dining hall and dorms for the students who attend. There is also an area set aside for the washing of dishes and such like.
The optician clinic was again busy, with 60 people passing through today. Evening devotions are about to get underway.
Sunday started with a trip to Church…a 4.5hr trip to church! Afterwards, the congregation of 3000 posed outside for a photograph…stopping the traffic in the process.
Following this, the volunteers got to tour the Degree College at IREF with the College Principal, Ratna Prasad. They met Physics students who were preparing for an exam tomorrow.
Evening devotions were led by our very own Jim Leitch…a captive audience of a mere 1000 people!
It certainly was quite a Saturday.
The clinic saw over 180 people with adults fighting to get in to both the clinic and to see the optician who saw over 120 people!
50-60 people were baptised in the River Krishna and it was a good chance to see village life by and on the river.
Saturday night was the final crusade with the field packed with thousands of people. We had some noisy competition from the local Hindu temple, but nothing significant. Several hundred people came forward with the appeal. It is always hard to tell how many go forward making a new decision to follow Christ as some do want prayer and others for reasons unknown.
Regardless of all, Christ was present and working his purpose out. The meeting finished at midnight.
Sunday, they say, is day of rest
Following a long 30 minute lie in – bliss – we headed for church at 9.30 having got looks of disapproval from the girls if we had decided not to wear a sari. Those who did were subjected to at least 30 minutes of dressing and sari adjustments before being allowed out of the door.
There is only one service at Repalle; today it started at 9.30 and eventually we were out at 2pm – honestly.
We had music, singing, testimonies and more testimonies, communion, sermon all various in frequency and length.
The usual group photo followed with all 3,000 at church posing for the photo. Traffic was stopped in the road so that we got a clear shot of all.
A Sunday nap was in order for some. We had a telephone link up with Airdrie Baptist Church during their morning service but couldn’t Skype as we had hoped as links were poor.
We then had a wander round the boys and girls dorms and it was good to see there has been significant reduction in overcrowding with the building of the new girls’ dorms. Younger girls now have 20 to a room instead of 40 and older girls 10.
Paint crew have made a huge difference to the boys dorms which were a bit in need…serious need.
Practical exams are on for some of the students on Monday who have asked for prayer for that.
Dee has been very unwell and although now a little improved is still very much in need of prayer.
15 more were baptised today so please remember them.
All the villagers have returned home – please pray that what they have heard and learned this week will stay with them and that they will be enabled to share with their friends and family.
Just a Sunday in Repalle for the team but one so different from home.
All feeling much better and off to Church dedication on Monday. It’s 3 hours away…hey ho!
Greetings from all in Repalle
This morning the group of volunteers attended the Church in Repalle that has close links with Airdrie Baptist.
With a 9am start, the congregation was still in full voice singing at 11am.
The volunteers will be called during the morning service at Airdrie Baptist; come along and hear from them at 11am.
Another day in Repalle and almost all the children have been for their check ups. Jim Leitch continues to keep himself busy making sure the clinic and utensils are fit for purpose.
Elsewhere there was a sizeable queue for the opticians, while there was also a chance to use the on-site laundry service.
It’s hard to believe its Saturday in Repalle and the end of the first week.
The meeting last night saw the field so full people were standing on the road and around 600 went forward.
The bugs were equally prevalent – you just can’t imagine it!!!
Today we see the adults college students and villagers – very challenging….especially as we are so limited to what we can do.
Please pray for health of the team and children. There has been a viral bug going around and several children and Dee have been affected by it. High fever symptoms.
The team are ok in that respect but a few have had upset stomachs – Airdrie group are well.
Baptisms later today and then the final crusade meeting. Photos to follow.
Praise God for his protection and blessing.
In His name
Open meetings will be happening each night during the IREF 2012 trip. Once again, many thousands of people came to hear the Word of God preached.
There was a call at the end of the meeting, to which many responded.
Please pray for those who went forward to commit their lives to Christ, and for those who remained where they were but heard the Gospel.
Clinics have continued today in earnest. As well as medical and dental check ups, there is also an on-site eye clinic. One of IREF’s evangelists snagged himself a new pair of specs which will certainly help him and his work in India.
Elsewhere, the girls of Class 7 got to sample the delights of the Post-Op recovery area, with 45 having been assessed.
There was also the opportunity for Nursing students to put their studies into practice as they ably assisted in taking height and weight measurements.
All in all, a busy couple of days.