A Good Day in Kakinada, India

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Monday, November 7, 2016 local time zone for Kakinada, India was the last interlude prior to the commencement of the annual lectureship put on by the Satya Vani Church of Christ. Tomorrow through Friday, brother Therman Hodge and I along with several Indian Christian men will speak day and night to several hundred attendees and overall throughout the week to about 4,000 persons – if this year’s attendance mirrors that of last year.

Today had its unplanned opportunities. Around 10 a.m. brother Therman and I tagged along to an engagement party. Dozens of family members of the prospective bride and groom gathered for the ceremony; at the actual wedding months from now, about 5,000 people will be expected to witness the nuptials and participate in the celebration. The ceremony involved the two families exchanging gifts of food, clothes and gold.

Brother Hodge and I each were allotted opportunities to speak for several minutes and offer a prayer on behalf of the affair. Most people present were Hindus, which afforded us the opportunity to offer some divinely inspired advice as well as to speak from experience and observation respecting matrimony.

Going to the church office from the engagement reception, I was pleased to observe the delivery of my wife’s and my book in Telegu, Noble Ladies: Ruth and Esther. This title is dedicated in memory of my dear late wife, and it was made possible by the generous memorial gifts provided by so many children of God.

Later in the day, Therman and I gathered around a brand new crib along with the extended Gootam family back at the Joshua Gootam home. Indians have a ceremony also for introducing a baby to its crib for the first time. I think that Indians must have a ceremony for nearly everything! The patriarch of the family led a prayer in Telegu. Baby Roselyn is the second child of brother Ricky and sister Sudeepa Gootam. Presently, father Joshua and mother Kabita share their dwelling with two of their sons and their wives. Ricky and Sudeepa have a fine young son, Justin, also; he is 8-years-old, and his sister Roselyn is 40-days-old. Robin Gootam and his wife Rachel also reside there; she is eight months pregnant.

In the afternoon, I shopped for a couple of baby gifts – one for the baby recently born and one for the baby about to be born. Of course, we didn’t forget Justin; I got him some animated movie themed flip-flops.

Our day concluded with the acquisition and distribution of plastic, woven sleeping mats for the children at the home in the church compound. Children sleep on the tile floor, and most of them do not have a mat on which to sleep. Brother Therman Hodge, representing the Union, MS Church of Christ and I, representing several congregations and Christian families, used some of the Lord’s money entrusted to us to buy these modest sleeping accommodations.

Hours of the day exhausted as well as somewhat exhausted ourselves, we returned to our respective borrowed bedrooms for the night. Tomorrow, if the world still turns by the grace of God and we do too, Therman and I look forward to days filled to the fullest for the balance of the week preceding the weekend to participate in the lectures. We only desire to glorify God and edify Christians and non-Christians with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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