It's like the game where you squeeze the hand of the person next to you in the circle.The squeeze gets passed around and after some time, makes it back to you.Only instead of a squeeze, what is being passed is a blessing.
One of the cooks who works at the school kitchen preparing meals for the 300 students in the dorms of Kodaikanal International School, moved into the small, two-room house next door to us.When the rains began to get heavier at the beginning of this month David noticed that Anthony was working to get a large tarp to cover his roof.David went over to talk to him and learned that the tile roof was leaking in many places and were also allowing in many "poochies" (Tamil word for a wide variety of insects and caterpillars).Anthony was concerned for the health of his two young children.The poochies that worried him most was the black, fuzzy, caterpillar that leave a trail of red "itch" lines wherever it moves across the skin.
David spoke to the school maintenance department, which is to maintain the property.They were overwhelmed with projects and would not be able to help Anthony for some time, so David contacted Selvaraj, a carpenter who is often looking for work to support his family.Together they went to the bazaar and priced and purchased the necessary roofing materials of corrugated tin sheets, wood "reepers" and cement.Selvaraj and Anthony then went to work on the roof.In one day they had the old tile roof off and the new tin roof in place.The house is dry and warmer, ready for the cold and rainy monsoon days of October and November.
Today, a week later, the sounds of sawing and hammering come from our kitchen.We have had a rat that has been burrowing in the wall next to our back door.It had completely devoured the sill of the kitchen window and when it busted through the mud plaster wall of the kitchen when adding yet another room to its spacious house-in-the-wall last night, it was time to fight back.Selvaraj came to our rescue.He dug out the remains of the window sill, filled the open spaces with bits of broken glass and cement and put in a new sill, sealing the whole thing up tight (at least that is what we hope!).
The blessings move around other circles, too."Bless you and thank you to American Baptist International Ministries!" were the words of Dr. Catherene Samuel as she spoke to Betsy today while making the final arrangements to leave for a study program in Dublin, Ireland.Dr. Catherene has received a Leadership Development Grant from International Ministries toward a portion of the tuition of a 6-month post-graduate course in obstetrics and gynecology.She and Van Allen Hospital, the mission hospital here in the town of Kodaikanal where she serves, have felt the need for a doctor with specialized training in Ob/Gyn.Dr. Catherene and the nurses trained in midwifery are the ones who attend to most of the deliveries at the hospital right now.
Being present at one of these deliveries was a blessing Betsy had this past week.A Lutheran missionary couple from Germany that were expecting their first baby had asked Betsy to be their labor nurse to help ease the anxiety of having a baby so far from home.The labor started suddenly, two weeks sooner than expected and their 3.3 kg baby girl arrived with the help of Dr. Catherene, Betsy, and the nurses of the Van Allen Hospital.At the end of the delivery they stood in a circle around the new baby and Dr. Catherene said, "Let's pray."They gave thanks for God's gift of new life.
These blessings passed from one to another are one way we can witness to the extravagant love of our God who wants to bless us.We feel privileged to be part of the circle that can pass the squeeze of blessing from the many American Baptists who support us and global mission through the World Mission Offering and through prayer, on to the people with whom we have contact here in India and to pass the blessings and gratitude back full circle around the globe.We encourage you as you move through your circle of contacts each day to think of it as a circle of blessing.
"Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds."Hebrews 10:24
- For the Kodaikanal School Council of Management as they meet September 27 – October 2, that they would make wise decisions for the school and be sensitive to God's leading.
- For committed Christians to fill the key leadership positions currently open at Kodaikanal School:Chaplain, Counselor, High School Coordinator, and staff for the ESL and Learning Resource programs.
- For Dr. Catherene Samuel, that she would feel God's presence and blessing as she leaves her two sons here in Kodaikanal and goes for the 6-months of study and work in Dublin, Ireland.
Betsy and David Perkins