07 Feb

Support at IREF

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.





07 Feb

Arumbaka Orphanage

The volunteers ran a clinic for 87 children at the local Arumbaka Orphanage. There were many extractions required, although not everyone’s teeth were in a bad condition.

At the end of the day the equipment was packed up, ready for the last clinic tomorrow.









06 Feb

IREF update 5

Liz Callander

Dear All

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.

Best wishes







06 Feb

Life at IREF

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.









05 Feb

Sunday at IREF

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!










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


05 Feb

Church 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.






04 Feb

Believe and be baptised

The volunteers in India had the privilege of attending a Baptismal service today. Many recent converts took the step to publicly profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Please pray for them as they grow in their Christian lives.








04 Feb

Another day in Repalle

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.





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


03 Feb

Another night, another meeting

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.





02 Feb

Clinics continue

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.






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.


02 Feb

Gospel meetings

The first Gospel meeting since the group’s arrival was last night. Thousands of people attended and hundreds came forward for prayer. The evening consisted of three sermons.

The local police also popped along to one of the clinics to find out more.





01 Feb


Clinics are now underway. During session one, some 61 children were seen, with 67 extractions required.

The first group were from classes 1-3 (equivalent of P1-P3).

A couple of the boys let curiosity get the better of them and sneaked a peak…bet they wish they hadn’t!

Clinics will continue throughout the day.





31 Jan

Ready to roll

The clinic is now set up and ready for (pro-bono) business. Tuition has also been provided for non-medically trained personnel. Clinics will start shortly.

There was also a chance to visit the Church in Ullipalem. 10 years on from ground-breaking, the church is now full and a new Pastor is in place.