It’s a love thing…..!
It’s a while since I managed to blog, so I barely know how to begin! So much has happened over the past few days and it has been a humbling experience, which has made me go through every emotion! Myself, Isaac, (Y)emma, Rachel, Barney and Ross have done some sessions in one of the slums, which we were told was rather well know for the control that gansters have over it and the violence that ensues!!! So we were met at the entrance and escorted into the school, a little nervous and I have to say feeling rather ‘challenged’ (ha ha this charity is aptly named!!!), as the leader of the gansters house was pointed out to us, right next to the school! Apparently sometimes, if a teacher tells a pupil off, they will report it to the gansters, who will then go into school to intimidate the staff. Because of the violence, this slum is regularly in the news and is notorious, so, we were told, people don’t come into this place. Yet here we were….at this moment, I leant over to Isaac and whispered that it felt rather ‘Jackie Pullingeresque!’ So over the two days we led 4 programmes – 2 in the high school (known locally as the rowdy school), one on healthy eating and one on hygiene…it was great fun, and we certainly felt like we had ‘started’ something. The 2nd day was certainly easier, the headteacher was more welcoming and even asked us if we would come back again next year!! after these we also did 2 programmes with children in the Church..great fun, singing, games and teaching.
Then at the boys town Kottivakkum, Prince helped us to transform the hall and we watched a Tamil film with the boys (with English subtitles) This certainly is an experience I can recommend to anyone reading this…especially those of you with British reserve…no such thing with our Kottivakkum boys, film watching India style…cheering and whistling aplenty!!! We had a professional candy floss and popcorn stall that the boys could go to and have for free. It was a really enjoyable evening, all brought to an end with a shared meal of Biryani, which was exceptionally good!
Today started early for some of us, as Isaac, Kate, (Y)Emma, Rachel and me were met at 7am and taken to the church in the slums where we had done the after school funstation. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but we had an awesome time. It was brilliant worship, all in Tamil, but that made no difference, as we met with Jesus and the Holy Spirit united us in worship…truly amazing and humbling. It always blows me away that no matter where I am in the world, I can join together with believers and worship with ‘family’ It was emotional, and as I am writing this I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. A profound experience that is difficult to encapsulate. We were asked to speak, so Rachel and I gave some words of encouragement/Testimony and Isaac preached, we all sang ‘Our God is an awesome God’, and some of the children we had worked with got up and sang the ‘LIFE’ song with us…just brilliant. The conregation prayed for us and the Chennai Challenge Team, then we were asked to pray for people. We really enjoyed it, it was quite overwhelming, thought I was really going to cry part way through!!! Then we went to the Pastors family for breakfast…burmese black rice, which really tasted like porridge with coconut and sugar on it and wonderful naan and coffee.
This afternoon we are doing a programme with the boys at Kottivakkum. We just love these boys so much…it will be hard to leave here…so, please continue to pray for us all, but especially the people here in Chennai,