On Tuesday we had the privilege of going to one of the orphanages as a family. That was lots of fun and so awkward at the same time! We were seated at the front and asked to give them a short lecture on studying hard and loving God and then a prayer for them, that was unexpected! Our children were very shy at first seated in front of a dozen staff and teachers and about 60 boys and girls, but once we were able to sit with them on the floor and talk with them the ice quickly melted away and the children were so warm and wanted to touch all of us. Most of them didn’t know much English, but they knew the word “selfie”. Which was rather hilarious because they didn’t even use it correctly, but used it to say they wanted a picture with us.
We split boys and girls and played lots of duck-duck-goose and then we were dragged excitedly through all the classrooms and into their bedrooms. The classrooms had no chairs or tables, the students sit Indian style on the floor and the teacher stands. The bedrooms were two separate rooms (these were the only rooms that had four walls and were not open to the outside), one for boys one for girls and they all (with the exception of a few beds) slept on bunk beds that had no mattresses or pillows, but only a piece of plywood and metal frames. The bunk beds were all pushed up against each other in two separate rows. It was quite the experience for our children to see.
Adoniram has been the favorite everywhere we go, even in the North. His blond hair, blue eyes, fair skin and his age draw a lot of attention. He is touched so much and his cheeks are pinched so often that he actually started doing it back to people when they do it to him, which they are positively delighted with, haha.
Jeremi and I have started our classes. Jeremi is training senior level programmers and then also the high school students who want to learn more about software. He needs prayer in this area, today was a bit of a frustrating day for him. Internet is slow and the technical problems were unending. He works with people from 10 am to 7 pm. He would appreciate prayer for smoother days to follow!
The women that I work with have been very welcoming and we are enjoying each other a lot. Today they were so excited to dress Adah and me up in Saris and fix our hair and take so many pictures. At one point I had four women dressing me! I realized yesterday morning that I have never seen any Indian women in India wear their hair down, so I asked the ladies about this yesterday and they said that it is a sign of respect and they can not wear it down. I put mine up the first chance I had:)
We have spent a lot of time talking about the challenges they face in culture bound by the caste system and that views women as the lowest and on top of that Christians are viewed as lower than the lowest and they face a lot of persecution. I have learned so much about their culture! I feel, again, very unable and inept to speak to these women from my comfortable life that has immense freedom, so I have spent a lot of time asking questions and listening. They told me today that they have never had someone do that and that they enjoy it very much. Praise God! Perhaps that is what they need the most. Praise the Lord for how He uses my weakness! Pray for these women in so many ways; the married ones have godly husbands who truly seek to treat them differently, but the challenges are very high in the culture that they are surrounded by and it is difficult. Please pray for them to have grace to walk humbly in a very challenging culture.