It was sad news to receive just after arriving in India that Alison’s Father had passed away. Her family is in the UK, and while his health was poor from a brain bleed recently, it was unexpected that he died quite so suddenly. Again it seems we are ocean’s apart when these things happen. We will have a celebration of life later in Canada.
Family took on a new meaning for me in the first few days when I met Tommy and Chellamma. Tommy grew up in the boys’ orphanage in Irinjalakuda and Chellamma grew up here in Rehoboth at the girls’ orphanage. What was special to find out was that Chellamma was brought to the orphanage by my grandfather. In the tradition here, Phyllis is “mummy” to all the girls, and back then my grandfather would have been her “acha” or father. We had a laugh that she was then my auntie 🙂 They have been so generous, bringing several lovely meals including some chicken curry with appams.
An then there’s the wider family at Rehoboth, all of the people that make the place a home for the girls. One of the those key people is Sunny, who make so many things happen smoothly by being the person that deals with the complexities of Indian bureaucracy and handles the arrangements for the girls in various schools and colleges. He has been diagnosed just a week ago with a brain tumor that is operable, probably a benign cyst, but is growing. Please pray for his complete healing as he is currently in the state capital, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), expecting surgery.
Also family and a real encouragement to Phyllis at the moment is Joy, who is married and living in Ireland. She is visiting with her daughter during the summer holidays. There are a lot of Malayalees in Dublin apparently, something that I didn’t know.
Last Sunday I was at the Hindi church at Ebeneezer, a lively and growing church. I was giving the sermon, something I am starting to find easier than I used to! Afterwards, there was a tasty chicken curry and rice with parotha for everyone.
I’ve been busy most days with Rehoboth International School, getting time to connect with staff and students. There are ongoing efforts to gain certification and eventually recognition as a CBSE school. I plan to spend a half day on Friday doing some professional development with staff on Reading instruction and assessment.
There are a significant number of children with learning differences and special needs. It is getting quite common to have children assessed. I visited Sloka today which is a learning centre under the Innervision clinic. I hope to meet the clinical psychologist in the next few days for a consultation about the types of assessments that might be available. For those of you in my educational circles, the WISC has been adapted to India and referred to as the Malin Intelligence Scale for Indian Children (MISIC). However, the assessment that seems to be used the most, but of less educational value from my point of view, is the equivalent to the Stanford-Binet called the Binet Kamat which is based on Indian norms. In the future, it may be possible for RIS to provide services to a segment of children with more significant learning challenges.
I’ve taught three or four classes of the BTh students in Years 1, 2 and 3 at Rehoboth Theological Institute (RTI) to fill in for Jiju while he was in Trivandrum and also caught a fever. Again a new challenge, but one that I’ve really enjoyed. It’s been good to take what I know theologically, and present it in a way to make it accessible to eager students of the Word. I was able to share my own journey in my understanding of the Kingdom of God.
And lastly, the ubiquitous “palli” as it is known in Kerala, the house gecko. Saw this on the wall in the dining room and was reminded of seeing them so often when I was a child.
Thanks for your prayers and support!