Monday, January 25, 2010

Final ? Reflection

It has been only three days since I have arrived home from India and I still haven’t grasped the experience. Maybe I will never truly embrace it at all? For India I believe is a mystical place where as in my childhood adventure books of sultans and tigers, it is filled with dreams of old and adventures yet to come.

A constant grasp of the past and future awaits every corner you turn. As the streets afford oxen pull carts gently coaxed by barefoot boys next to speeding crotch rockets driven by gel haired yuppies negotiating traffic to a Dell computer call center. It is a land where the past dances next to the future in harmony.

And yet there are dreams in the eyes and voices of the children as they wade through the tight alleys of the slums strewn with garbage, animals, and open sewage. They laugh, play, and tell stories of becoming famous and royalty. I truly am a stranger in a strange land.

Upon arrival, I was told by my dean and professor, that when one reads a book on India, one thinks they know a little about India. Then one day, one visits India and believes they know a lot. Then, one comes back and stays in India for a few years and one believes they are an expert! Only to realize after twenty years of living in India, what they know of India, they know nothing at all.

The hiddeness of God never may have been as revealed as in the land where future meets the present and begrudgingly lives next to the past. The past living so peaceful and simple in God’s creation with no mind to the present neighbor who strives to create faster microchips and advanced medical procedures. Yes, God may be truly revealed in all of these experiences; however, I have not yet found the treasure. As in my childhood stories, the telling of the adventure may be the treasure in itself.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some Links for Places We Visited

I know I missed some, but this may be a help for some folks besides myself, as we all begin the process of sorting out what we actually did, and what it all meant. I suspect that all of us are still a bit jet-lagged. I certainly am. Sometimes I could not find a good link, but I kept the name of the place on the list.


UTC Theological College
National Biblical and Catechetical Center
Lalbagh Botanical Garden
Bull Temple, Bangalore
Ecumenical Christian Center, Whitefield
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences-Whitefield
Brindavan Ashram of Sathya Sai Baba
Bishop Cotton Girls’ School
WHAD: Women’s Health and Development


Tipu Sultan’s place of martyrdom
Ranganathaswamy Temple
Daria Daulat Bagh:Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace
Chamundeswari Hill Temple
Mysore Palace
St. Philomena’s Church
Brindavan Gardens

Trip to Mangalore



Karnataka Theological College
Sayid Muhammad Shareeful Madani Dargah
Konkani Cultural Center
Thousand Pillar Temple of Moodabidri
Soans Farm
Christa Sevakee Ashram, Parpale Old People’s Home
Mulki Boarding Home
Kudroli Gokarnath Temple


YMCA Mumbai
Tender Hands
NavJeevan for children of women in the red light district
SEAL Ashram
Jyothis Community Care Center (AIDS)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Scents

Leaving the confines of the seminary campus, the environment and scents change. Yet, even in the brokeness of the trash, burning garbage, dire dwellings the children smile, the children play, and the children share their dreams! Mumbai awaits.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tropical Get-away...

So, Mangalore is quite different from Bangalore. A coastal city, it is noticably warmer with high humidity, tall palm trees everywhere you look, even more brilliant flowers, and sometimes the faint hint of sea air.

Yes, we are definitely not in Bangalore anymore.

This leg of the trip has changed pace a bit-- not so rushed and jam-packed with lectures and visits, etc, but more casual with time to sit and reflect. Yesterday we had an incredible day of visits to a Jain temple, a local farm (with 1000 acres of pineapples, other fruit and nut trees, flowers, etc.), a home for elderly men and women which served us lunch, and a boarding home for girls aged 6-20 which provided us with dinner. At each of these places we had time to wander, talk, and at the last two places, sit, nap, and/or play on the playground. I've enjoyed this more relaxing pace.

Our final destination of Mumbai (which we leave for tomorrow) will surely be different, yet again, from both Bangalore and Mangalore...

Friday, January 15, 2010

It has been a while

So there hasn't been a post in a good long while so I thought I would give you a short update. We have traveled from Bangalore to Mangalore. It was a perilous bus ride over the mountains in which there was lots of screaming. For instance there where several times through the trip where I looked out my window and there was no road only straight down. Of course I was one of the brave ones no screaming from me, but others yes others ;-) We arrived late in the night Wednesday and we have been busy ever since. Our lecture topics here have been on the religious plurality in India from a Hindu, a Muslim, and 3 Christians. We have finished up that series and are free this afternoon for sightseeing and shopping. Tomorrow morning we fly to Mumbai. There is some worrying going on over here because the weight limit for this flight is less then for international flights and so some of us might start throwing clothes away to meet the requirements. All in all I am sure we will all make it to Mumbai one way or another. We have had some wonderful times over the last few days and last night in particular we had a great time visiting a girls' school. I have some pictures but am unable to get them up right now. Some others may post their pics. We are looking forward now to our 3rd and last leg of our Indian travels. Hopefully we will have more use of the Internet in Mumbai and there will be more posts to follow.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Group pic

This is a photo of our entire group! Just thought you'd like to see who's been writing... This is taken outside the administration building at United Theological College, Bangalore.

Monday, January 11, 2010


It has been an interesting week. That is right, a week. Well technically a week very early tomorrow morning, but still that makes it seem more amazing. We have done and seen so much. Yesterday we experienced worship at one of the CSI (Church of South India) congregations. We heard the bishop preach and got to experience the liturgical life of the congregation. The bishop was present because it was confirmation Sunday as well. It turned out to be a slightly longer service then I am used to because of the confirmation. After the service we were graciously invited to the party of one of the students confirmed. That was just one example of how I have experienced people here being more welcoming then we are back in the US. It would be very strange for you to invite complete strangers to your party, but we were invited. This sort of hospitality keeps happening all over the place, as we are invited in and given tours of places that in the US we would not be permitted into. This culture is so welcoming it is surprising sometimes. Well I came out to an Internet place in the city to post this so I think I'm going to go hop an auto back now. (See how much we've grown in a week, I can go out on my own - well Rodney helped) More posts to follow