In my last blog I told you about a special day in PNG. Today I want to tell you that before I arrived in PNG (on the 17th) I had a week with my Heidi in Delhi, India. It was impossible for me to travel around the world and not stop and see her.
After a very long trip from Hannover, Germany and Zurich Switzerland, (seven hours) it was a welcomed treat to see her in Delhi airport waiting for me. She found a taxi quickly and we were soon at her apartment. By paying the taxi driver a few rupees she persuaded him to carry my suitcase up the three flights of stairs. She lives on the 2nd floor but what we would call first floor is the ground floor, our 2nd floor is 1st floor. That is just the start of many cultural differences to be learned
We sat up talking and talking until I happened to look up at the clock and see it was 3:30 a.m., 10:00 as when I left Switzerland. No wonder Heidi looked tired! We went to bed and I slept until noon the next day.
We talked all afternoon and evening. There is no central heat and the marble floors are cold as ice so we kept the space heater going and wrapped ourselves in blankets. It was actually warmer on the verandah but too noisy to stay more than a few minutes.
It was there that I learned that my sister, Carmilla had been taken back to the hospital the same night I left Newark, NJ to fly to Germany. She was in ICU and on dialysis. If I had known this before I left I probably would have changed my flights but I didn’t have any idea of what was happening since I had just talked with her on the phone the day before I left and she was out of the hospital and recuperating at home.
On Saturday for breakfast we enjoyed some of the stollen that my sister-in-law had sent with me for Heidi, along with scrambled eggs. Then we went out to the corner and hailed an auto. An auto is a motorbike remade with a green cab over it. There are thousands of them on the streets. You wager with the driver and pay when you get out. They easily maneuver around potholes, cars, motorcycles, cows or goats—whatever happens to be on the streets. We went to Lodi Park for a quiet walk, then to a clothing store to buy a top for me that would be appropriate for church tomorrow. I bought a burgundy colored one that is long enough to cover my hips and thus is appropriate apparel.
I have brought my hearing aids with me on this trip and I did wear them in Germany but not in India. The barking of dogs and constant tooting of horns is awful.
We spent another quiet evening at home watching the movie “Courageous.” What a powerful message and I plan to buy the DVD when I get home.
I attended church with Heidi the next morning. I was cold the whole time though it was packed. The whole service was in Hindi with songs of a very different style. I don’t get the impression that Indians are known for their singing ability but they were praising the Lord. Heidi sitting behind me had the most beautiful voice and she translated parts of the sermon for me. I followed the Scripture in my own Bible. One of the young men playing guitar in the worship band was once a child from the slums who had come to Heidi’s school. She had taught him guitar.
Another young person had an “episode” in the middle of the church service and the pastor stopped and prayed for him. In the p.m. Heidi received an e-mail from the pastor saying that he had wanted to invite her and me to their house for chai in the afternoon but because of needing to spend time and pray for this boy, he couldn’t have us over. I wasn’t sure if it was determined he was demon possessed or what but I thought it was very kind of the pastor. He is supervisor of five other churches.
At the end of the service so many people came up and greeted Heidi. She is loved. One lady turned to me and said, “Thank you for letting Heidi come to India.”
In the evening Heidi and I went back to church for her TLG group. Nineteen handsome young men came. I loved their singing. All the songs had motions. Then they played Upset the Fruit Basket. Finally Heidi led a Bible study. They don’t have Bible but used ones from the church. There was good interaction. I was impressed with Heidi being able to lead the Bible study in Hindi, pray in Hindi and the great joy on her face and theirs.
No other country can rival the need of India’s children in crisis–70 million child laborers, 10 million slaves, 13 million homeless, 2 million street children, wide spread child abuse, female infanticide, 575,000 child prostitutes, massive trade of girls sold into prostitution (including temple prostitution).
While I was visiting Heidi in India, she made the decision to say, “YES” to her boyfriend, Anthony. I was very happy to be there and share in her joy. We all love Anthony and are grateful that God gave her the reassurance that this was his will for her. There will be more news from these two as they move ahead in God’s plan for them.