This week has felt extremely long, however being on the other side of it seems like it flew and I cant believe we have been here for 9 weeks and are leaving tomorrow late afternoon on a train south. We just started packing today and hopefully it wont take too long into the night. The train ride will take us 14 hrs south for our last destination in India. We would appreciate your prayers as we pack up and take our luggage and children on this journey. We know a little what to expect as we took this exact train when we got into India, but once again this is India and as we've learned anything could happen. :) We also are getting off about 20k from our destination and have to navigate as a team how we will get the rest of the way. Renting a bus is one of the options. So we could use some prayers for travel mercies as well. We also are unsure of our internet situation so if you we don't post in the next 2 weeks you know why. We are hoping to update at least once a week as usual, but we will have to see.
We had our last week in MGMH (Modern Gov. Maternity Hosp.) Its strange. Even though the week is over part of me mentally cant believe that we wont go back there. Its definitely bittersweet. I am thankful for my time there and thankful for all the things Ive learned. Feeling really blessed by the fact that we get the opportunities that few get.
before I move on to this weeks photos I wanted to post a pic of Chunky Charlie. He is the baby that was delivered in the septic ward last week.
On Monday Baby Amira was born. I had 2 beautiful baby girls born this week that were not received well by their mothers.
|Amira means princess in Arabic|
|Baby Sarah born on Thurs|
There is a cultural evil here that boys are the prized possession. Not that boys are truly thought so much better across the board, but with the lower cast girls are a burden. Families are forced to pay large dowries to arrange a marriage for their girls. It is actually illegal to have this practice but it is still followed. The parents of the girl are also expected to pay for an extravagant wedding. Most lower cast families do not have the kind of money it takes to pay for their daughter to have a decent husband. So, they become a burden to the family. The birth of a girl means a birth of a burden. That's the simple version of a very complicated dynamic. Cast and status and skin color also play a roll. I've heard stories that break your heart and the long and short of it is in general in the lower cast women are not treated or cherished the way God intended. Something that I have seen to be problematic from this is we were all created in God's image. Both male and female and males carry certain characteristics of God and women carry others. Together they both make up his full and complete image. God a lot of the time uses people to reveal himself. When you live in a culture that completely cuts out the value of the female they are not seeing the half of Gods image that is loving, nurturing and beauty. Unless women can be valued for the characteristics they offer than God's image will not be able to be fully revealed to them.
|one of the nursing assistants that we work with a lot.. so sweet!|
|one of our leaders Laura.|
|last day Bruce and the kids came to pick me up|
This Friday we went out to dinner with a couple who work in the clinic where Bruce has helped and our team has done healthcare teachings. Crazy small world. This couple are sent missionaries from a church in Oak Park, IL where we lived and they know our neighbors and old babysitter!
(Bruce) Our last field trip here. :( But I think we saved the best for last with Golconda Fort! Before this was a city (late 1500's) the kings and queens held their residence in this castle-like fort that included 1,000 common residents. The place was huge with lots and lots of climbing and stairs and sometimes I had to carry Abigail as well as Josiah. I also hired a very good guide named Ali to tell us all about the fort. He was nice and very knowledgeable but didn't smile much. Anyway, the kids loved it and as a bonus we went nearby to the kings' tombs and explored around there. Some very impressive mausoleums but they were obviously past their prime and falling apart. Still, a good last adventure!
|tomb of the kings|
|Josiah declaring "I am a king!!"|
|Thanksgiving feast we were blessed to attend|
|Abigail's favorite part of Thanksgiving.. American kids!!|
|kids hanging out (minus one of them)|
|Jen ... so much fun!|
|the group that slept over minus Brad and Bruce|
|Their oldest daughter.. Abigail's new buddy|
|kids showing off their socks that Grandma and Grandpa Wilkens sent in a care package|
|the crab with the yucky mustache|
|an awesome time out chair.. we want one!|
|yes our taxi driver is pushing another driver with his foot because he stalled. he pushed him while taking us to the hospital one day|