Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Here we visited with friends that we met in Long Beach because of the Lutheran Maritime Ministry. Santanu is the first engineer on a MOL vessel. He’s a big quiet man with a shiny shaved head and a heart of gold. We enjoyed meeting he and his wife, Purba, during their last visit to Long Beach where we showed them around and served them dinner at our home. They insisted that we meet them here in India whenever we visited. They just got back from their European voyage 4 days ago and are thrilled that we kept our promise to visit them. Purba’s parents live with them and what a lovely and peaceful home they all share! They live in a private gated community. Purba’s sister is an architect. She & her designer husband created this very modern home with beautiful features. The floors are marble but it looks like wood. There are many unusual built-in features unique to this 3 story house. I think it is definitely one of a kind.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Visiting Pune

Since leaving Mumbai (Bombay) on Saturday we've been to a city, Pune, about 1 1/2 hours drive from Harjeet's place. Captain Jimmy Shroff and his wife, Zendin, picked us up from Harjeet's and took us to their beautiful place in a development called Clover Highlands. We stayed with them over the weekend and then they went back to work in Bombay leaving us the keys and full use of their home! WOW! What an unexpected blessing that was. Very relaxing and calming.

The second day in Pune we went to visit the famous India Union Biblical Seminary (UBS) where many of our friends studied and received their higher education. The students were busy in classes and the Principle was occupied with other duties but he took time to greet us and sent us with a student, Marine, from Mizoran. She gave us a tour and ask us to pray for God's leading in her life as she is a fourth year student due to graduate soon. It was an honor to see the school.

The following day we took a rickshaw to see another seafarer's wife and children and deliver the goods from him to his family. The rickshaw driver told us it was about a 45 minute drive but 3 hours later we finally pulled up to their home! Turned out we went the long way around! Josephine and her sister, Jerry, insisted we have lunch (second one for us) and bless their home with prayer. Then we headed back because Captain Jimmy was coming back to Pune to take us to the rail station the next day. We had the opportunity to discuss spiritual things with Jimmy that evening. Long story short, we took an over-night train to Goa after Jimmy dropped us. C

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Day in Mumbai (Bombay) India

Well, we made it! Even though the flights were long and tiresome, it actually wasn't too difficult to make the journey. It took us from Sunday evening 11:10 pm (LA time) until Tuesday (India time) about 8pm. As we waited in LA for the first leg of our trip, I told Chim that it looked like there were a lot of seafarers with us as fellow travelers. We flew on China Air so most of the passengers were Asian but there were a lot of men from the Phillipines there too. A man named Raymond was seating next to Chim on the flight to Taipei. He is a supervisor from a cruise liner in Florida. Of course Chim told him about our ministry and shared the Gospel message with him. Raymond opened his heart to the Lord and prayed to accept Him as Savior. Praise the Lord! Always on duty, even on vacation!

Our good friend Harjeet met us at the airport with flowers and drove over an hour out of his way to help us deliver a suitcase to the brother of a missionary friend. (The brother will deliver it to his sister later. ) Harjeet's family had a lovely dinner waiting for us and it was a pleasure to meet them. They are a Sikh family and very religious. (Most Sikhs are Punjabi.) This family is vegetarian as well! In fact, because Harjeet doesn't eat meat, he found our home in Long Beach a place where there was always a meal that he could enjoy. Thus our long friendship was born!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Final Days Before Departure for India on Nov. 9th

The Lord has blessed our family greatly this month. We have a new grandchild born Friday the 24! Her name is Nina Savita and she weighted in at 7lbs 14 oz and 19 inches. Our family is blessed with her arrival and her mother's save delivery. Matteos is a proud big 3 1/2 years old brother. Dad and grandpa can hardly get those smiles off their faces!

Total of 10 ships for month of October were visited by both Chim and Hearen. We had a service and communion on the APL Spain at the Captain's request. There were about 16 crew members there. We had the opportunity to share Jesus with these men and Chim spoke about how Jesus meets the needs of people and impacts them. He used the example of the Samaritan woman at the well and shared how He gives living water from the inside out.

We continue to have men visit our home. However, it seems that we are concentrating more on visiting ships for service because of lack of drivers to bring the guys to our home. This month 7 guys came one afternoon and helps us with a family problem...they moved the new baby's furniture upstairs. We served them dessert and gave our thanks to each one.

Hearen and Chim spend some time with different crews taking them to Best Buys, Staples, Cosco and sightseeing. Usually about all they see in Long Beach is Walmart! Building relationship is still very important. Hearen is continuing to learn his way around the port. He has a heart for giving the Gospel to the mariners and never misses an opportunity to be used of the Lord.

For more than a year, checks that arrived for LMM have been taken to Sadie Marsu, a member of our board. She has stepped up to the plate and has been delivering things to and from the bank. Last week she fell and broke a couple of ribs and fingers on her right hand. Please pray for her quick recovery. Despite her injuries she continues to run around helping others! Thank you, Sadie, we don't know how you do all that you do for LMM and others!

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ms. Mary Steward, Mission Board chair at First Lutheran Church in Torrance. She has volunteered to join our board and brings many years of rich experience to the task. We are looking forward to working with her for many years.

Ron Nelson, president of LMM, has agreed to help Hearen any way he can while we are away. Already busy with his position of Stewardship Specialist with the Synod, Ron has many responsibilities that take his time and energy. Please pray for continued strength and health for him. We could still use more volunteers for this ministry. Oh, and just to keep you informed, the Long Beach International Seafarers' Center is facing deep financial difficulties. They have had to lay off people and reduce their hours of operation. As of December, they will no longer be open on Saturdays for the seafarers. However, they are still open for Christmas shoe boxes and plan to distrube to the seafarers during the holidays.