Today we travelled to do a clinic in a village called Utagundam. This is a village we have never been to before and there is no Christian witness there. It is an extremely poor village where people live in mud huts. Read More
An early 7.30am start this morning at the Krishna River for the baptisms of young people who have become Christians at this week’s conference. It was lovely to see them take this step of commitment on a warm, misty morning as the sun came up. Read More
We had the final clinic in Repalle this morning. We have seen 641 people in total and 207 teeth have been extracted! We will go out to villages next week and do clinics there.
Today has been a very special and very busy day at IREF as the degree college is 25 years old. There was a big silver jubilee celebration with dancers, singers, food and many former students coming back to share what they are doing now and receive awards (some of them remembered Jason taking their teeth out when they were very young!). Read More
Today we saw young people and adults in the medical clinic. All the younger children have now been seen.
It was another busy day with most adults queuing up to see Stewart, our optician. Glasses are very sought after and make a massive difference to people’s lives. Read More
Today’s clinic was busy, but particularly special, as we treated all the Ullipallem CDC kids and some adults from that village. We were able to remind them of the link with our own church and that we pray for them. Read More
The first night of the youth conference is underway. Hundreds of young people will participate in small group teaching and big evening meetings. The theme is ‘walking with God’. Read More
We have arrived safely in Repalle!! The young people were all lined up and welcomed us with rose petals, fireworks and garlands. So lovely to see their excitement!
We are hoping for a good sleep tonight before we start in the clinic in the morning. Read More
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.