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

05 Feb

IREF update 4

Liz Callander

Dear all

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

Liz

04 Feb

IREF Update 3

Liz Callander

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

Liz

02 Feb

IREF update 2

Liz Callander

Dear All

Greetings from Repalle.

We arrived in Repalle on Tuesday morning at 7.30am following a unique train experience for most people. Let’s just say it’s not Scotrail though trains do tend to be on time.

We were met by children from IREF and welcomed with fireworks and garlands.

Following breakfast we headed to the school to set up the clinic and, no slacking allowed, saw classes 1 and 2 – 60 kids in total who were fairly healthy but with quite a few skin and dental problems.

No sooner had the clinic finish than we left for the 30 minute drive to Ullipalem. It was the 10th anniversary of ground breaking to build a church there.

The church, pastor and bible lady are supported by Airdrie Baptist Church and the child development centre is supported through sponsorship by people across the UK. It was good to be part of that service of celebration.

It was a very long couple of days with a lot of things achieved; we were glad of a good nights sleep.

There are 28 in the team (8 from the UK – all medical – and a doctor and 3 other nurses / health professionals from USA. There are also 4 Pastors and a few others who will be preaching and teaching children during meetings, as well as a painting group who are painting the boys dorm.

Wednesday saw us see 120 kids in the clinic, with a few issues that we’re trying to get advice on from medical staff in the USA courtesy of internet.

Tonight saw the start of the evangelistic meetings where around 3,000+ attended with more over the rest of the week. There were also several thousand insects!!! But hey that’s rural India for you…

Meetings started about 7pm, and we arrived around 8pm. Three sermons followed in English (then translated into Telegu) – these are not short sermons or meetings. Emmanuel made an appeal to see 300-400 people go forward. That was a real answer to prayer. Many people were prayed for and there was a real moving of God’s spirit in the meeting. We finished around 11pm.

Earlier in the day there had been visits from the police with a real concern that the pastors may not be allowed to preach on a tourist visa. Through a process things were sorted out but we are mindful of tightening procedures and Satan’s opposition in this country.

So far now on Thursday we have seen around 250 kids in the clinic and it is going well.

The plan is to finish seeing the children, then see evangelists, pastors and college students this week on Saturday.

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for health and strengh of the team -some are feeling a bit under par and most are still very tired.
  • Remember the pastors preaching tonight that they may speak with boldness and for all who will attend.
  • Pray for God’s protection in this situation that they will be covered by His grace and care.
  • Praise God for all that He is and will do here in this place.

Liz