Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How Do You Cope When It's 115, Or Unthinkably, 127?

Just think how hot it would be if the forecast was "sunny" 
rather than "mostly sunny!"

Does this look like a dragon or a crocodile?  
Paige and I disagree - I say dragon, but it's just one way that Jaya can 
beat the heat of this record-setting-in-a-bad-way Indian summer.

Sean did have to go to the hospital for an infection caused by the heat, but he later walked out under his own power, not something everyone around here is able to do in this heat....

Staying indoors, drinking lots of water, ice and ice cream - 
the normal "go-to" ways to cope with the heat of summer.

In the past, I’ve mentioned the temperature, but this is getting ridiculous.  When the states we work in were mentioned by name in the New York Times and BBC News, I figured a blog was due.  

Click here for the news reports:

Yeah, it’s hot.  Temperatures have hovered at 113 for over a week now.  What’s more remarkable is my next sentence.  

We do okay in it.

As one who is comfortable in Seattle and thrilled with a Swedish winter, I never thought I'd ever see the day where these kinds of temperatures were my daily existence, but we're doing fine.

You’ve probably already surmised that in record heat that has killed so far over 1,300 people in the Indian states of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, Paige, Jaya, Rayne and I are doing fine simply because we have the means to help ourselves. We also live now in Hyderabad, which is a very dry climate like Phoenix.  Where we used to live just 300 kilometers away in Ongole near the coast (where we are conducting our CCH Summer Camp, by the way) temperatures with the humidity like Miami or Houston have reached 127.

One.  Twenty.  Seven.

How?  Why?  What?  


So far all of our campers, staff, pastor fathers, volunteers and all involved are doing well, despite that kind of unheard of heat.

It’s the day laborers, the rural poor, the elderly, those with no home and no relief from the intensity of the days that are dying.  There’s just so many, many people in India and a heat wave like this exposes the weaknesses of the way society has been set up – haves and have nots.

Very sad. 

If you think of our family in this Indian summertime heat, pray for the impoverished people of this region (Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, too).  Despite the fact that I (Sean) have had my now normal summertime hospital visits due to the heat, it’s so far nothing serious and on the big scale of things, we’re doing fine – air conditioning, endless amounts of ice and ice cream, seasonal mangos in our refrigerator, even an outside kiddie pool on our patio take care of all of our needs.

Thanks to all of those who financially support us for helping us be “fine” at a time like this!.

Mostly, just pray for India.  When it’s hot, and when it’s not.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

School Uniforms? Something Avoided by American Children is Coveted by Indian Children

You can see how distinguished the children hold themselves in their uniforms.

Deep down, these guys are saying "Hey, check me out!"

And it says so much.

Childhood education in the United States is mandatory, generally enforced and toleration-by-necessity is the attitude among most young kids who are asked to attend on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.  Their counterparts in India, however, know that a child attending school means, quite simply, their life will be better because of it.

And a school uniform in India is the outer expression of this reality of education.  

American children, when given the choice, would rather not have their attire mandated by their school. In India a school uniform means:

1. You have the money to afford it (i.e., you are not desperate).
2. Your future has possibility.
3. Your family loves you.
4. Your life may have a purpose.
5. You have dignity and a place in society.

All this from a simple school uniform? Yes, because in India education is a privilege with immediate and future benefits clear for all to see.

Join us in helping give hundreds of orphaned or abandoned children dignity and a place in society by sponsoring a school uniform for one child ($50) or a whole home of children ($250).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A High Temperature of What? A Low Temperature of What? CCH's Summer Camp is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Here's the annual, jaw-dropping weather report from the Rickshaw Writer during India's summer. 
Additionally, India's summer means CCH Summer Camp, which so many of you contributed to.  Camp is simply a chance for these children, who attend school six days-per-week and 10 months-per-year, to have a childhood without school pressure, without the demands and burdens of childhood in India, which can be really hard whether you have parents or not.

Super Heros is the theme, and a heroic life of overcoming their circumstances is the realistic possibility for these kids, thanks to so many of you.

Thank you to all of you who have helped give these kids a camp experience.  Art, fun, mangos, messages, friends, childhood, play, activities, cricket, groups, hope, dignity, love are all a part of CCH Summer Camp.  

Pictures below.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Kids are Really Growing Up. No, really!!!

CCH Leaders, older children in our homes, 
often spend time leading the younger ones

Here is the start of our first-ever CCH Youth Conference on May 4th this week.
How many of you are parents out there?  Whether you have children or not, you know the answer to my next question:  What happens to children?

They grow up.

Somewhere, somehow in the past six years since 9 Covenant Children’s Homes were opened, the children started growing up.

And now we’re trying to catch up!

CCH Leaders
The CCH Leaders is our program that helps create the leaders we dream of for India’s future.  Educated, professional and physically healthy is not enough.  We want leaders in India, and it’s hierarchical society down to the very lowest person in the lowest caste, to know what servant leadership is all about. 

  • Could one of our youthful CCH Leaders one day be a chief of police, excising corruption up and down the ranks?
  • Might one of our growing CCH Leaders one day be the influential pastor who once and for all begins to break the caste system within the Indian church?
  • May one of our potential-filled leaders one day be the artist that captures rural and urban poverty in such a way that the high caste are brokenhearted for the poor in their country? 
There’s only one way to find out, and that’s what we’re doing.

CCH Youth Conference
These young leaders are too old for our summer camp.  For all 12-year olds and older, about 150 of our 550 children, today on May 4th we began the first-ever CCH Youth Conference.  Three days are devoted to preparing these former-children, now young adults, for all their future holds.  The decisions, the challenges, the triumphs, the hopes, the disappointments, the listening for the call of God on their lives.

And having a lot of fun while doing it.  Pray that their hearts are molded from above in this potentially life-shaping week.

At CCH, we’re excited about our dreams becoming reality through our first set of CCH Leaders growing up and, soon, moving into their purpose and calling.

God can do a lot with orphans.  Thanks for being a part of our journey of discovery as to what He is doing with these former orphans.