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Impact India 360
Party Time

Hello all!

Tonight is the big party, the graduation of the students in the Missionary Training School. Rows of chairs have been lined up in the courtyard, the kids are dressed up in their Sunday best (and soon our team will be as well in the beautiful outfits that the women in the sewing training school made for us). I don’t have an exact count, but maybe about 40 men and 50 women will graduate tonight after which many will return to their home villages as missionaries and church planters. With less than 2% of the Indian population being Christian, and still a level of persecution against Christians, they have a big and potentially dangerous job ahead of them. Please keep them in their prayers.

This is my second trip to CEM in the past three months. I’m very thankful to have had that first trip under my belt because there is a lot more going on this week. In addition to the party tonight we have been holding a dental clinic, mostly doing extractions. I’ve spent more time in the clinic than I ever thought I would and even pulled three teeth (with the help of experienced dentists of course!). It was a very unique experience to witness dentistry done for kingdom purposes. People are so grateful, even after having had several teeth removed. I can now see how dentistry can be referred to as dental care because that is what these people are receiving, care and provision. Whitney thought of a unique way to care and serve the women who cook our (and the kids) meals and the JEM teachers by painting their nails. It was a lot of fun for us and I got the impression that it was really appreciated by the women as well.

The kids here are truly indescribable. It has been great to see them again, hug them again, walk with them to school again, have them write in my notebook and teach me Telegu. Yesterday a girl named Gowthani hennaed my hands. It is so rare to get to spend any time with just one child, they are all so eager for attention. We sat in the entry to Jaya’s home as she lovingly covered my hands with circles, swirls, flowers and butterflys – chicacocachilicas in Telegu, one of my favorite new words, that and nenu ninu premistunanu… that means I love you πŸ™‚

One last note, this team here is so wonderful and enjoyable to be with, a combination of folks from Michigan, New York and Texas with several people who have been here many times before and even some who have been involved since the beginning of the Kensington-CEM relationship. I met the man, Seth Stark, who unknowingly was largely resposible for my service shift to missions and outreach. Seth filmed and produced the first video that I saw about CEM, the video that struck me so strongly that over two years and several mission trips later resulted in me coming here. And the same video that I have shown to friends and family and small groups to help them understand the importance of what is happening here. It is also an incredible blessing to be here with “The Reverend Doctor Craig Mayes,” a title that he gets teased for mercilessly :). I think he is one of the most Christlike people that I have ever met. His love and compassion for the kids, the team members, and the entire community is always evident.

I better go, hoping to rest a bit before the big shindig tonight… nenu ninu premistunano πŸ™‚

Anne from Austin πŸ™‚