Saturday, January 31, 2009

chennai 09 - day 6

Reposted from the Grassroots India blog

Probably a shorter update today as is late and tomorrow is a full on day of church (Hugo preaching), kids club (everyone teaching) and church again (Sam preaching) followed by checking out of the hotel at midnight, airport at 2am and onto the plane home at 4am ( and at the same time)

Sam and Stuart out shooting early on, hacking around the city with David our host in a 3 wheeler clearly meant for 2. Many adventures including The Great Music Shop Banghra Gamble and the "You Can't Use a Camera That Big Here Without a Liscence, Squire" Jobsworth Swarm whilst visitng the supposed burial place of St Thomas the Doubting who, for the un-educated amongst you (and those like me whose church history is a bit ropey and had to ask Sam) brought Christianity to the tamils in the 1st century.

On the way back we passed a Don Bosco catholic school like one the ones Stuart has connections with in the UK and Kenya and managed to blag our way in, had 20 minutes with the principal and recieved a gold leaf invitation to their 50th anniversary dinner and gig later that night in the presence of the American ambassador. More on that story later...

Meanwhile the ladies had minced off to the local sari and shirt emporium where they delighted in buying Deborah, apparently the worlds most decisive shopper, a new sari and something similar for themselves. So look out for tomorrows photos...

Back to hotel and then to Kevin's church when Hugo and Phil joined us back from Hydrabad I am guessing they may tell their own story but it is both wonderful and complex and remarkable they are still in one piece in some ways. I am assured that next time they will take the train. And thank God for road traffic angels.

Stuart and Rachel went with Kevin in the the darker slums to film some of the residents talking about their lives. Filmed a 18 month semi clothed baby squatting alone by the side of the poo bridge next to a huge mess of adult waste. Unspeakable.

After extensive planning for tomorrow's church contributions Sam and Stuart had a slightly more comfortable ride back to the Don Bosco school to be greeted by 4000 boys and presumably 8000 parents pretty much talking animatedly whilst a bunch of robed dignitries sat enthroned on a distant huge stage talking about things into a monster PA. So chaotic but so Indian. Its a great school with the best results in the state and, to give them their due, the kids had been sitting there for 3 hours when we arrived.

Dinner for all afterwards with Kevin and Deborah at the hotel and a surfit of curries powerful enough to seriously impair an asian Henry VIII. (Apologies if that is one obscure reference too many...)

Pleaase pray that tomorrow the things we have seen and felt here and feel passionate about will be communicated to the people in God's way and that we might set some spiritual and physical balls rolling on the way to bringing more Kingdom rule to the Dalits


day 6 photos

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