Taking in the Old and the New
Greetings to the members of the UCC and DOC.
I arrived in India Jan. 9 and made my way thru the maize of travel from Mumbai to my first stop, Christian Hospital Bissamcuttack, Orissa, India. This is my 7 th trip to India since 1999 as a short term volunteer missionary for Global Ministries. There is a risk that one might begin to take for granted the sights and experiences
Greetings to the members of the UCC and DOC!
I arrived in India Jan. 9 and made my way thru the maize of travel from Mumbai to my first stop, Christian Hospital Bissamcuttack, Orissa, India. This is my 7 th trip to India since 1999 as a short term volunteer missionary for Global Ministries. There is a risk that one might begin to take for granted the sights and experiences, as for me India has become comfortable and a spiritual home. So in addition to being in the moment, just experiencing India, I decided to try and look at Bissamcuttack and Mungeli with fresh eyes. India has changed in 15 years. I hope to love and appreciate the old and be open to the new.
One thing that was and is continually true is the extravagant hospitality I feel here at the mission. I was welcomed with open arms by all my old friends and with curious, friendly smiles by new friends. All are open and willing to share their lives, their work, and their faith with me. My first Sunday I was invited to the home of my host’s cook. She was excited to prepare lunch for us in her home in the village. As I watched her neighbor scrub and clean her clay outdoor oven, I was reminded of the scripture “I am the potter, you are the clay.” I had used this scripture for a program with student nurses previously, and with the children last visit, actually using local river clay to make pots. I have attached a picture of this gracious woman, working in the clay, appreciating the resources given to her. An experience that was connected to the past, the “old” but yet felt so new.
A new experience is the wonderful kitchen garden at the nurse’s hostel. I am told this is not new, but I had never noticed it before, snuggled behind a high hedge. Beautiful raised beds, lots of greens growing, small tomato plants. Sustainable, organic gardening. I have also attached a picture of the student nurse’s who have been working in the garden. Each morning after chapel, which is 7:30-8 am, the students coming off night duty tend to the garden. After stopping each morning to admire their work, they showed up at my door this morning with a big bundle of greens. “Madam, for you.” There it is again, that extravagant hospitality.