India blog – day 4

Before I came away, Paul Matthews (from Udaipur) prophesied over me that I wouldn’t have any kind of sickness while I was in India. So I have faith in God and in His prophets, and I receive that word. So it was not in the plan when Delhi belly struck last night. But I had just come hot-foot from a teaching session at church in which (besides the quantum stuff) the speaker had spoken about the Shunammite woman who, even when the worst of disasters struck, would only say, “It is well” and didn’t make any negative confession.

So I retained my faith in Paul’s prophecy and confessed “It is well”, and it turned out to be the shortest-lived gastric upset I’ve ever had, I’ve been fine all day today.

Then on my way to see the project leaders this morning, I stepped of the kerb, my ankle went right over and I’ve been hobbling round on a very swollen ankle all day. I was given a bandage to strap it up, and once or twice today I’ve had to use autorickshaws because I couldn’t manage the walk, but if anyone asks me how it is, my reply is “It is well”, and I’m expecting to see a significant improvement in the morning. I intend to be able to come home with Paul’s prophecy fulfilled.

This morning I sat down with the project leaders and worked out a plan for exactly what I’m going to be doing – autism training with the teachers this Monday, and training on diagnosing learning disabilities and writing SMART IEPs to improve and track learning the following Monday. Training for all the staff on report writing, and towards the end of my stay a creative writing workshop with the church on writing for worship. This is in addition to classroom observation of the children I saw on Tuesday and an English lesson.

This afternoon I helped to man a stall selling crafts made at the various projects. Trade had been reasonably steady in the morning before I arrived, but in the afternoon it was practically dead. This was partly because a lot of Americans were expected, but the American School held its parent-teacher appointments this afternoon, so they all went to that instead. These sales involve a huge amount of work for the staff concerned – not only making and selling the items, but they are stored in boxes on the upper floors of apartment blocks and it takes a lot of effort to bring them all down and load the cars, and put them all away afterwards. So I was disappointed to see so much effort for a relatively small return. There is another such sale on Sunday evening, so please pray for a much better turn out, and punters willing to put their hands in their pockets.

I still keep being asked if I’m shocked, and the answer’s still no, not really. I’m starting to feel a bit guilty, as if it’s callous of me not to feel shocked. I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe it’s to do with the fact that my parents worked all their lives for organisations that cared for the world’s poorest in far flung places, and I grew up accustomed to harrowing pictures and stories and was taught to pray about them from an early age. I don’t think it has made me inured to it, exactly, because my compassion is still in tact. I’ve also seen Ellen go through some pretty extreme suffering behind the doors of a hospital room. I hope it hasn’t so much made my heart hard as put some mettle into my backbone. I can certainly say that I’ve fallen in love with the children and young ladies I’ve met here.

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