Last Sunday, February 13, while Harry was down sick and our host was out of town with a sick grandson, I preached that morning in Madhurapudi, the village Sudarsana was born and raised before being put in a government hostel. I didn’t know he was raised in a government hostel until this day and many things became clear to me with this knowledge. Only someone who has walked the same path as the children can have the same unspoken communication and rapport that he has with them. It’s common here for parents or grandparents to take their children to homes because they can’t feed them or provide basic necessities. Every child at the home has a story, but you wouldn’t know it by the smiles on their little faces. I’ve come to know several of the young men and women who were raised at the home and now work to help the next generation with Sudarsana and Elizabeth. It’s nice to see one generation giving back some of what they received to the next generation.
|Kids always sit up front.|
|I really look like I know what I'm doing! It didn't last long...|
The village of Madhurapudi had gone all out to welcome me with decorations and a sign. They were singing when we arrived and were really “raising the roof!” There were three responses to the gospel, but I wasn’t able to stay for the baptism. They have one place they can baptize in a garden nearby. The guard there on Sunday is a member of the church and lets them in to immerse. Unfortunately, they were under a power outage Sunday afternoon and unable to have access until evening and I was to preach a meeting in another village that night. I was told that two were baptized into Christ and the third was baptized after some more study with the preacher so she could be certain her baptism was for the right reason.
After the meeting we ate in one of the brother’s home, as is their custom. They set up a table in their bedroom to feed us because it was the biggest room in the house (I think they only had three rooms. They were a charming young couple with two boys running around the yard. After diinner we sat on his porch to talk. There is a wonderful sense of “we’re not in a hurry and neither should you” about this village that reminds me of visiting my relatives in Hickman County Tennessee, “the country,” when I was a lad. We would all sit on their front porch for hours and wave at the very few cars that passed by on that old red dirt road. It was as if time stood still while we gathered our thoughts and rested a bit.
|Home where we ate.|
|Our host and his youngest son.|
|Our hosts wife and good cook!|
|View from the back porch. See the cow?|
|Typical cooking hut.|
The people of this village mainly find work in the agricultural sector around the village. They are poor in material things, small huts and dirt walkways, but they are wealthy in spirit, character and love for the Lord.