Welcome to India
Monday, April 30, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
The blood bank
A heroic blood donor who is the same type as Hosanna was someone who works for our organization, Danny, who went through seven rounds of donating blood. Thank you, Danny!
Paige visited Hosanna on Saturday in the hospital and for the first time he was showing significant signs of improvement. It's been a long (and expensive) week for us at Covenant Children's Homes, but to see life in Hosanna where he otherwise would have been long dead is humbling and awe-inspiring.
Thank all of you for praying! There were so many people contending for Hosanna and he is so thankful. He said thank you so many times when we were together! Thank you, Jesus, for the miracle in this little one's life!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Two experiences we have wanted to have while we are in India were taken care of for my recent birthday, #39 for those of you interested in numbers.
1) Going to the Andhra Pradesh coastal resort area of Visakhapatnam, for obvious reasons simply known as “Vizag”.
2) Attend a cricket match, the national sport of India introduced by the British Raj, and beloved in India like Baseball, Football and Basketball combined.
With the generous help of my immediate family, we spent a few days in Vizag where there is also the Deccan Chargers, the local Andhra Pradesh team in the India Premier League (IPL) that has their season from April 4 – May 27 this year.
The following are my thoughts on cricket, a very easy game to understand:
- Every “bowl” or pitch is meant to bring in runs, even the bat is flat to always have some action.
- There is no “foul” territory.
- Hits worth four or even six runs are common and keep the game riveting – four is like a double in baseball and a six is like a home run.
- The fielders have similar demands to baseball defenders, but do not wear gloves.
- The game is played in a circular stadium.
- Common final scores are 200 – 180, and the game we saw was 142 – 138.
All this leads one to think that if an American entrepreneur took the game of baseball and took out all the so-called “boring” parts and essentially made “Arena Baseball,” like Arena Football to the NFL, it would be cricket.
A unique cultural and sporting experience – all thanks to my wife and family, the best birthday celebrants I know.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
It’s time for an every-so-often update and check-in from Covenant Children’s Homes and us here in India. We’ve commenced our second year here and what we are actually doing in our day-to-day and what motivates us is always a bit of a mystery to communicate from so far away. So if you will indulge us in a little bit of self-interviewing, here’s the latest view from our world and why we are here (and what our 2012 is all about):
What are you doing now?
Summer camp preparations, preparing to open 20 (!!) more homes serving 200 more children in May, building the financial and administrative foundation for this program to grow long after we are gone and otherwise just trying to keep up with all the tasks to be done when serving 200 and soon 400 children who need food, education, discipleship and a second chance at childhood.
What are your goals?
- 20 new homes opened by May 30.
- 200 children attending our summer camp in May.
- Quadrupling our indigenous staff in order to double our homes continually the next few years.
- Adequately training and equipping our home parents to achieve something great.
- Start a college fund for our children who will someday soon need to afford their University tuition, otherwise why are we doing all this?
What are your successes?
- 20 homes opened thus far.
- 200 children attending and passing English education, most likely the last one in their families to ever experience poverty.
- Recently raised funds for and purchased a new organization car to serve our transportation needs for many years to come
- Raised over $15,000 on Facebook alone in the April – March Indian fiscal calendar year last year for “extras” like school resources and needs and painting homes and medical needs for the children…
Why are you (still) motivated, now more than ever?
One year ago, we were just getting our feet wet. Now we’re in the deep end diving and exploring and holding on for dear life. When you invest so much in children, it’s a lifetime of witnessing the fruit of your work grow – we’ll be committed to these children’s progress LONG after we have come home…
What’s the best part of your day-to-day life?
Paige: Visiting villages and being swarmed by kids
Sean: Chicken curry with naan bread…and, I guess, when the CCH vision has been cast and the recipient truly “gets it,” joining our effort on many levels. That’s rewarding!
What happens with you and CCH in one year?
We come home with the hopes of settling more than we ever have, starting our own family and figuring out how we can continue our involvement and commitment here but from home.
What’s the strangest cultural experience lately?
Watching our top native worker here, “Chinna”, go through the arranged marriage process – his family brings a girl to him, they talk as a group for an evening, then he declines and the process starts over. It’s not totally arranged by the parents as we in the West have been led to believe. There does need to be some mutual consent from the bride and groom and from what we’ve seen, the man is 90% of the “mutual.”
1) Yellow or “lemon” rice, chapati flat bread, chicken curry, onions and carrots to be eaten as chips - it’s all part of a typical home-cooked meal in rural Southern India. Not sure what it looks like to you, but to us….mouth-wateringly scrumptious, even Paige would agree!
2) When not in the villages, we can actually get our hands on cinnamon rolls, croissants and pain au chocolat at a local Indian/French bakery! Who knew?!
3) In Hyderabad one time we toured a former Nizam palace from the late 1800s – here Paige sits down for just another meal at the family dining room table.