06 March, 2010

Our Final Day in Manali

Our last full day in Manali… Today was a good day. We did final shopping stuff, said some goodbyes to friends and continued “meeting” with the Campbells (there is a lot to pass over!).

Tonight we had a farewell dinner /welcome home dinner/ birthday dinner at Johnson’s restaurant. We also presented the CDHers with their internship roles, ISPs, and a small gift from us! It was a good night and great fellowship together. After dinner the Campbell’s finally hit their jet lag wall and went to bed early… So, we decided it would be nice to get a good night’s sleep as well (since this will be the last night in a bed until we reach our bed in the USA!!!)

4th of March

After sleeping in for the first time in a LONG time, we went to Johnson’s for the longest meeting (yet most fun) with the Campbell’s. We discussed all this CDH- the schedule, the plans / goals for the next few months here, Internships, roles as house facilitators, etc. In other words, we were “passing the torch”. It was such a sweet time of fellowship with them too. We are so blessed to have friends in the ministry that we LOVE working with.

After the meeting, oh, did we mentioned that it downpoured snow ALL day. It was gross and sloshy though. We were a bit nervous that it would stick and we’d miss our bus…anyway, after the meeting Grant and Justin did the market run for the day and got pretty wet in doing so. After that they ran by the bus stations to check on the status of the bus route due to snow. They found out that there had been a small avalanche type thing that blocked the road a ways down. Only small cars were making it through at that point. We were nervous that we may have to leave early in order to get to Delhi in time for our flight home…. They said to check back tomorrow though…

Once we got home we went back to “meeting” some more. We discussed with the Campbell’s our proposed projects for the CDHers and tweaked them a bit together. (most of this was done with no electricity by the way…). The CDHers were cooking together while we were doing this (with no electricity of course) and we sat down to a candlelight dinner… delicious cheesy pasta, steamed broccoli, hummus, salsa, and homemade tortilla chips (the only way to do it here- can’t buy them).

After dinner we had a dance party (courtesy of Grant Campbell). It was a great release after the long day of meeting.

Campbell's Arrival/ Kevin's B-Day!

The Campbell’s came today!!! Praise the Lord! We woke up at 6:45am to get breakfast prepared and walk to the bus station to pick them up. It was so nice to see them in person- FINALLY! We walked back to the house, gave them the grand tour, and then ate some French Toast together. This day was full of sweet reunions. The kids started back to school the day before, so many children stopped by to visit Grant uncle and Charlene maam. The CDHers were also able to build some good relationships with kids during this time of reuniting.

That evening we enjoyed some pancakes and eggs for Kevin’s birthday! He turned 23 today. I think he had a pretty good “Indian” birthday. Earlier in the day, Grant, Justin, and Kevin went to Manali sweets to buy some treats to hand out to friends. It is custom in India to give sweets to others on your birthday. So, since Kevin is now Indian, he had to take part in this great tradition!

1st and 2nd of March

These days were full of preparations for the Campbell’s to arrive. We have been so excited and eagerly anticipating 3 March to come!!! The Campbell’s arrival and Kevin’s birthday. We did some major cleaning and some final details to the house to have it as “perfect” as possible before they arrived. It was nice to enjoy time as a house together in preparing for their homecoming.

During this time we also had a Skype Bible Study with Matt where we reviewed the principals of community in Romans 12. It was a very fruitful time as a house and we began to really takes some steps forward in developing true Biblical community!

03 March, 2010


This morning we enjoyed another service with the local church. Most of the songs were familiar songs from a group called Aradhna. We first became familiar with this worship music at Urbana Missions Conference a few months ago, when Chris Hale, the lead singer, came and spoke and led us in Hindi worship songs.

Today is also Holi. A Harvest festival and a festival of colors. The believers here do not participate (although it looks really fun to be attacked by people with water guns full of paint!), so we are staying on campus for the next few days for the most part. Although it is mostly lighthearted fun and games, there are some people here who take advantage of the holiday and get drunk and begin throwing things at people other than paint- cow manure, acidic things, etc. So, we have been advised to take the high road and not participate!

Tonight we did sneak out for a while to visit Minu again for dinner… (to be continued)

*The continuation:

Sorry this is short, but the computer crashed while we were typing earlier- T.I.I. (this is India). This becomes a common phrase while you are here. For example, “the power is out again” – “T.I.I” or “there are donkeys and dogs at the dumpster eating our trash everyday” – “T.I.I” or I just typed a REALLY long blog post and for no reason the computer shut down” – “T.I.I”

Dinner at Minu’s house was great! We got to sing songs, pray for the family, and enjoy delicious food and fellowship. We talked a lot about movies and RATS of course!

After Minu’s we came home to discuss Bruchko. During our book discussion, Casey screamed and we all looked to see a dirty stinkin rat climbing up our kitchen wall (through our dish rack). The girls left the room quickly, and Jess went to hide under the blankets in the only sealed room in our house- our bedroom. Kevin and Justin began the war of wars, which included the rat running under Kevin’s legs, Justin throwing shoes at the rat, Kevin using a crow bar and Justin using an umbrella, and NO LUCK in killing the rat. Needless to say, Kevin slept in the sealed room- our bedroom. It was a peaceful slumber party.

27th of February

Lazy Saturdays are still some of the best days in India. Something that the Lord has been teaching us a lot is to rest and that this is a discipline so many American Christians seem to neglect (including us!). We are learning that in resting, we are more capable to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and work even harder the other days!

After sleeping in (with no sounds of rats since we boarded up as many holes as we could!), we woke up to the sound of sizzling French toast made by Kevin and Ashley! Later in the afternoon, the two of us took a walk in the upper forest to Hadimba Temple. This temple is very eerie. The Hindu people in this area also practice some animistic things, so this temple is a place where they still make blood sacrifices. It is sad to see the hopelessness of these people that are worshiping gods that do not exist. We pray for their salvation and that Christ would be made known to them!

After the hike, we came home to see our friend Thomas teaching Kevin the Hindi alphabet and the girls cooking Spinach Quiche and making Key Lime pie. We are so excited to see the CDHers getting into their element here in India. They are making friends with people in the community and really starting to get the program! We pray that they will continue to be open, vulnerable, and disciplined throughout the program and beyond.

26th of February

Happy Birthday to Curtis Brock- Justin’s dad. Today was a very good day! We finally got more wood for our Tandoor oven. This is the best way to heat our house, so we were very grateful that the carpenter came to cut our wood! While the carpenter was here, Kevin had him make a shelf for his room! Kevin’s room is finally looking like a room!

Book Reports were due today as well. Ashley read Mark of a Christian, Kevin read In the Name of Jesus, Casey read The Hiding Place, and Laura read Life Together. One of our favorite aspects of this program is the “CDH Library.” The CDH-India library includes these four books as well as Walking from East to West, The Cost of Discipleship, Truly the Community, Soul Survivor, A Long Obedience, The Pursuit of God, and A Severe Mercy. Praising God that each participant took something meaningful from the book they read and are looking forward to upcoming books. You can pray for them as they feel a bit overwhelmed at times with all the books, projects, service, etc that goes on with this intensive discipleship program.

This evening we enjoyed a nice end of week meal at Mayur, a local Indian Restaurant. I say Indian Restaurant, because it most resembles the Indian restaurants at home (looks, taste, service, etc.). The only difference is the price. At home a meal would cost around $12 or $15 bucks per plate. Here, about $3. Pretty nice… We came home to light of the fire and watch a few episodes of The Office, season 4. A taste of America!

Language Lessons

Another fruitful day in Manali. The CDHers went back to their internships after a day off in Neha’s village. Laura and Ashley finished up the painting while Kevin worked on the school play and wondered why the power goes out so often!

Later in the afternoon, we set off to Minu’s house. Minu is a dear friend of Grant and Charlene’s and she agreed to teach us some Hindi lessons. Our Australian friend Phillipa joined us as well. Phillipa is a practicing doctor at home and decided to come to Rural India to serve patients here for the year.

We learned some basic phrases, but not so easy! We learned how to say:

What is your name?

My name is ________.

How are you?

I’m fine.

Where are you from?

I am from __________.

It was fun to go around the room and try to pronounce things correctly! Minu is a gracious teacher and was patient with us as we learned the basic phrases. We are going back to her house on Sunday for a meal and fellowship with her! I’m sure she’ll quiz us, so we’ll be sure to practice a lot!

After language lessons, we came home to a Mexican Fiesta! Kevin and Casey prepare corn and black bean quesadillas with fresh salsa! It was delicious! Reminded us of our favorite Mexican restaurant at home- El Acapulco.