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|Destination India: February 2016||Volume 9, Issue 1|
Dear Friends of Omie’s Home,
As I write this latest newsletter, it is cold outside and the wind is blowing…stark contrast to a week and a half ago in India where it was hot and only getting hotter.
On February 4th I and two friends, Craig Stratton and Melody Mathie left for India and we returned on February 18th….what an adventure. We arrived at 6:00am on Saturday and after getting some well needed rest after 24 hours of travel, we headed for Omie’s Home. It is always a special treat to see our children after being gone for a year or so. As usual, we try to keep the visit a secret but somehow it always gets discovered. Traditionally we provide a special snack of stuffed puff pastry…this time they were stuffed with egg…yum…it was so good. We also had ice cream….everyone enjoyed these special treats.
Church on Sunday was lively and it was a blessing to hear God’s Word in Telugu (with Rani helping us follow). The music is wonderful with a CD available of some of the praise and worship songs. It was nice seeing some of our friends in the congregation once again.
Once again we were blessed by a visit from Pastor Jacob, his wife Swapna and son’s Sharon Raj and Daniel Raj. They are serving the Lord in a very difficult place. Please keep them in prayer. We heard a message from Jacob, a beautiful song from Swapna and Sharon Raj shared his song of More Love, More Power with us.
One of the primary reasons for going to India this time was to check out the new land purchased. What a surprise it was to see all the changes in Yapral…yes, they were rebuilding the main street and the government is putting in roads in front of our house and in back of the house. This will give access to our new compound in the future. Of course there is a lot of work to do but God blessed us with the means to obtain this land and look to the future. We were also able to visit the little house that our older boys are staying in at night. It is in a neighborhood not too far from our main house.
Last year we were able to send funds to build a “bathroom” for the ladies at the Karunapuram leper colony. It was to our surprise that they were not using the “facility” because it had not been dedicated. We were able to travel three hours from our home, just outside the city of Warangal, for the ceremony. While there, the men came and asked if we could do the same for them. We assured them that we could. They then showed us why they could not walk into the forest or fields any longer. The wounds on their feet were alarming. Even our Indian companions admitted they had not seen such sadness.
We hope to work with a doctor who specializes in leprosy to help with medical care and supplies for these precious men and women.
We also took rice, grain and oil to each of the families in the colony. It was a pleasure meeting old friends like Malaiah who I gave a scarf turned into turban last year. I could not resist giving him a new “turban.” Everyone will get a scarf when we return to the colony in November.
We each had the opportunity to speak at church, at the Shekinah Glory Bible College, at a women’s praise and prayer time and at a meeting with pastors from all over the region. It is always a blessing to share because we learn so much about what God is doing in our own lives as well as with those we share with. No matter how many times I travel to India, the Lord always shows me something new. Our lives are never the same after these missions….To God be the glory!
The time with our children is always too short. Even the older ones enjoyed coloring, and playing with model airplanes…thanks to Melody’s Dad, Al….We also played a silly game where one chooses a prize but someone can “steal” it from them….There was a green stuffed frog and a stuffed brown bunny that smelled like chocolate that everyone wanted…they were the most “stolen” items in the game. We all had fun. They surprised Craig with a birthday cake during our special Valentine’s Day dinner. The girls enjoyed getting pretty ribbons in their hair…Thanks Melody.
We took a tour of the Hindu temple near our hotel and then were invited to a Hindu wedding. It was interesting learning about the different rituals taking place at the temple and the wedding ceremony lasted four hours…then a lunch…then more festivities for three days. The groom rides a white horse accompanied by a band and friends to the wedding.
Just as your children grow up, so have the children at Omie’s Home. Our older boys are stepping out not only as junior college students, learning a life skill, but one or two have started working. One of our boys is helping his uncle and brother who live in the village area by working at the local “petrol” or gas station…great job Kanaka Raju! He also helps at the home.
We have always stressed that Omie’s Home is a “home” and no matter where our children go in life, they can always feel welcome to “come home.” We were thrilled to learn that one of our boys Bobby, who was taken from our home when he was thirteen, by his relatives who wanted him to work and contribute to the family, never forgot this. We were heartbroken when he was taken several hundred kilometers from Omie’s Home several years ago. It was unlikely that we would see him again. To our wonderful delight, Bobby, now in his twenties, has returned to the home twice. He has gone on to become an engineer and is a believer in Jesus Christ! Each time he has “come home” he has brought fruit for the children. What a blessing and an example to our other children.
Please watch for our upcoming praise and worship concert with Mile 2 and as always if you are interested in ministering with us in November, contact me as soon as possible for more details.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for additional information.
Thank you for supporting this vital ministry and God bless you all.
Under His Wings,
Rajkumar (Dot Marketto.)
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