Saturday 13 February 2010

India: resilience and hope

It was surreal this evening to step from village India into a fine hotel in Hyderabad, after being on the road. We feel like we have just come ashore from a long journey, contrasts enhanced by the intensity of our programme of visits and meetings with educators, clergy and children. We have met some amazing, courageous people, and our group is beginning to see a new way forward for our link with schools in Nandyal.

There were moments it was hard not to choke up — blessing children at the children's centre in Kurnool was one. They are so vibrant, and funny and responsive. Yet the way of the world will strip them of hope unless someone finds a way to support them to achieve their hopes and dreams. Unless we know better and are prepared to work to make it so. The four of us (two teachers, two clergy) have been banging away scoping schemes for early years village education to prepare village children for English medium work later. We hope to be able to come up with something really usable by the end of the year, if we can find someone with the Telugu language and teaching skills to make these ideas fly.

Another particularly moving moment came when we visited Pastorate 7 in Kurnool, where the floods were worst, and spent time with people in a new Church that is rising up, which will include a children's centre underneath the sanctuary. I wish Lucy had been with me, because when we last visited she was such a natural at drawing out these children. After all the speeches and formal part people just came to be blessed and prayed with. I came away feeling there is so much to be hopeful for, as this community regenerates after the floods. I wasn’t going to write anything, but we're all full of India — all I wanted to post, as we prepare to fly home tomorrow, are some preliminary pictures from this visit...
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1 comment:

Kathryn said...

in the unlikely event that you come across the Revd Dharma Das, who was pastor of a CSI church in Kurnool when I met him in 2006 (at a diocesan conference at Kanyakumari) please pass on my love and blessings...I'm SO glad that your diocese has that link. In Gloucester we are linked with Karnataka Central, which is splendid, but meant that there was no way of finding out what was actually happening when the floods struck Kurnool...Dharma had been in email contact, but not since 2008 now.
It's really good to hear of your visit.

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