After nearly 2 weeks, 3 hotels, 2-2 day conferences, 1 women’s conference and 2 preaching invitations, we happily hopped a plane for Bangalore and then proceeded by car for 6 hours to our home base at Quiet Corner, India. After attending the conference in Vijayawada, a pastor was so excited that he planned a spontaneous outreach that very evening and 200 people attended. At the women’s conference, the pastor’s wife was in tears because she was so touched by the teaching.
On Saturday Tomas, Sal and I attended the marriage reception for our friend’s brother. Barb decided to stay back while the three of us drove to the wedding hall. Receptions in India in no way resemble receptions in the USA.
- In America, wedding plans are carefully laid out. The guest list includes only close relatives and friends. Attendees usually average 150-200. In India, hand delivered invitations are distributed near and far. The average attendance is 700-1,000.
- In America, guests seating is strategically planned and decided by the happy couple and their parents. In India, the guests are seated family style at long tables that line the wedding hall for what seems to be miles.
- In America, the dinner menu is sampled and approved by the engaged couple months before the big day arrives. In India, huge vessels of local favorites like biryani, curries and sauces ladled onto banana leaves are served family style to each guest.
- In America, the bride and groom roam freely from table to table to speak with their guests. In India, the couple stands on a decorated stage while groups of 3-10 people pose with them for a picture. Consider that there are 1,000 people standing in cue to take a picture with the newlyweds.
Sal preached Sunday at the QCI Bethel Bible Church just a half mile away. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a quiet afternoon to reflect on all that has taken place, study, read, pray and prepare for the coming weeks.
Day is done and it’s almost 10:00 PM. The jungle nights are filled with the distant sounds of barking dogs keeping wild animals away from the local farms. Just below my bedroom window is the sound of wild boar foraging for downed fruits from the trees. The night watchmen make their rounds patrolling for signs of elephants inside the compound.
O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions. Psalm 104:24
A new week begins. We’ve been here 6 weeks already. Barb and I will meet with the precious widows on Wednesday. Next Friday we’ll leave for another round of conferences beginning with Bangalore.