Our recent protests of the extreme heat were put into perspective early this morning as a few of us went to a cashew processing plant. The men, who had been working through the night to avoid the heat of the day, were slowly shoveling whole cashews into a furnace from the roof, and shoveling them out down below. The women were then in charge of breaking open the shells and pulling out the nuts. An entire pillow-sized bag only earned them $1, and they only made it through about 8 bags in one night. The brutality of their conditions was hard to see, especially since they earned such low wages.
This morning our team also had the pleasure of participating in the dedication of two babies to the Lord. Both were C-sections at Subbamma Christian Hospital. These successful surgeries and their great health are a testament to God’s transforming work here in Mori, since only 17 years ago, when Chairman Solomon and his wife were due to deliver, there were no modern facilities anywhere in the area, and they had to return to San Francisco. Pastor Mel gave a great message inviting us, the body of Christ, to support these children and their families.
Our next important task was sanding and painting the school desks, since school starts in just 10 days, and they were in fairly bad condition. It was another hot day, but the team stayed positive, singing VBS songs joyfully. Later, we also sorted through the dresses that Tony’s friend’s organization, Hope for Women, had donated.
With a bit of a break between VBS last week and Teachers’ Training at the end of the week, we were treated with a trip to the beach, about a 45 minute drive away. The current was very strong, so no one went swimming, but the warm water on our feet was nonetheless refreshing. We loved taking pictures of the beautiful sunset and expansive shoreline.
On the way, we also got to visit a Hindu temple that predates Christ. We have been slowly learning about the grasp Satan has in this area through Hinduism, and Solomon gave us a brief overview of the religion, but he could not have prepared us for this massive and ornate temple. Every 12 years, it actually serves as a pilgrimage site for over 80 million people, as evidenced by its grand size and plethora of surrounding Coke products (Some of those on pilgrimage are actually Westerners now!). It had obviously been freshly repainted, with bright colors all around. We got a tour of the grounds, which were surrounded by small idols and centered around a large statue of their main god. Outside the gates, there was a group of traveling priests who were gracious enough to talk to us about their gods. One man, Swami, had left behind his family and job as a mechanical engineer to become a priest. We didn’t want to cause any trouble during a politically tense time (the new Prime Minister Modi is very anti-Christian), but some in our group did pray for them to become (only) followers of Jesus.
It was another fantastic day – thank you all for your prayers for us! Please do pray for Mike, who has been in bed with a stomach bug.