More of My Memories From India

Memories of India

(I apologize for the poor quality. I was using an old digital camera and it was all new to me!)

Christmas of 2004 was the first time I went to India. I was content just going to the grocery store. And God calls me to India! The sunami occurred but we didn’t hear word of it nor did we even know what a sunami was. I spent 3 weeks at a Christian boys orphanage and returned in the winter of 2006 for another 3 weeks. I pray for the chance to return, but for now my health keeps me here. It’s a strange thing; although life in India is NOTHING like in the USA, I love it there. I love the slow pace of life. I love the sense of community. I love the smiles :). I love the generosity. I love the markets. As I was traveling to the airport on my return trip home the last time, tears were falling from my face and I kept asking myself what I could love about a place so dirty and so primitive.

A still small voice whispered to me;

The people!

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My first day at the orphanage. I’d been traveling for 16 hrs of course after the 24 hr flight. All the children ever wanted to do was sit and be loved. I was more than happy to hold my babies.

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This is the multipurpose building which the children slept in, ate in, worshiped in, and of course played in.

The main kitchen was built a yr after this picture, until then the ladies cooked in a metal shack behind this building.

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This was work on the directors home.

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This is the old kitchen. I spent a lot of time hanging out here trying to communicate with the matrons. They loved it when I would sit on the floor and help them cook. Mostly they tried to feed me.

They napped here and kept most of their belongings here.

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This is rebar. The men would spend ALLLLLL day and the next and the next, pounding the rebar to cut it to size.

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The construction of the new dining hall and kitchen. Much improved from the tin shed.

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The women from a near by village worked at sifting the sand for mortar. They sifted allllll day long!

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Herds of cattle, goats or camels passed by the orphanage daily. They were usually heading for the Sunday market called “the bizzar”. I loved waking to the sounds of their bells and bellowing!

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The directors wife affectionately called, “Mommie” by the children.

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Typical scene at meal time. This is a group of the little boys who don’t attend public school. They were having lunch. This was my first day and I was so amazed at how orderly and polite the boys were.

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Going anywhere took a long time. In Mumbai it was crowds of people, in the rural area it was animals!

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Our first job was to go to town for some decent India attire. I also purchased a Sari for Christmas.

As you can see, I was just making it in that get up. BUT, it was not easy finding everyday Punjabi Dresses (pants and long tunic) that were modest and not dressy. I hated being asked “how much?”

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Our group went into the local shop leaving our shoes at the door…. most were afraid someone would steal their new Nike’s. You can see we began to attract a crowd. Since we were in rural India, it’s not often that they see white Americans. We were for sure the minority. We loved it.

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The crowd grew! As you can see we were an oddity. Wind was over 6 feet tall…not typical for an Indian and his cousin had long blond hair.

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No matter where we were the children and adults alike loved to have their pictures taken.

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The boys always sat in lines by their age/grade. They affectionately called me “Auntie” and plead for my place on the mat. The children soon found out that I had 10 fingers; one for 10 children. And that I was the “Auntie” who passed out kisses like candy! Chocolate candy!!!!!

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My modest room at the guest cottage. All of the orphanages and colleges we visited had guest rooms or hostels. Ours was always clean and the food was prepared for us their to protect our tummies.

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The Christmas Story of the birth of Christ was presented by the children….and to our surprise even Santa visited baby Jesus!!!! Too cute!!

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A very skinny Santa!

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These are two of the matrons who live at the orphanage with the boys. You can’t find bigger hearts!

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This is the nurse and her husband with their little daughter. They are dressed like it’s freezing outside. It was in the 60’s and we thought it was great, but they were all very cold!

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The orphanage is gated and this is the gatekeepers daughter. They family at this time; mother, father, two brothers and this young lady lived in a one room shed seen directly behind her.

It was always clean, and there was one bed. The mother was miraculously healed from a large stomach tumor and from that testimony came to know Christ as Saviour. Since these photos the family has moved “up”. They now have several rooms in the water tower. They are thankful!


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The boys are attending the gardens. The health clinic is located in the distance.

All of the work at any of these orphanages in India and all around the world are made possible by donations from those of us who have been given much.  While in India I visited 2 other orphanages.  One with 400 children and the other 200 girls.  I’ve chosen to keep the identity private as to protect them from extremist.

Believe me, I have a million more pictures.  I may post more another day.

That’s My Girl!

Becca finally posted some new pics on facebook and I know some of you would like to see her. Her team in Germany had a Thanksgiving party. Much out of character (but “you go girl”), Becca baked from scratch Monkey Bread! I guess all those homeschool days of learning to make bread paid off. She says it was a hit!

I think she’s COLD!!! I never understand girls wearing sleeveless dresses in the dead of winter!!!!

She cut her hair after she arrived and this is the first I’ve seen of it! I think, just like mother, just like daughter! Not a bad job at all!

Here are more pics of her team and her closest mates.

This is what I call a TREE HUGGER!!!!

That’s good for now. I’m sure that Auntie M is glad to see you Becca!!!!

Photo Credit: Becca’s Facebook

My Memories of Mumbai, India

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I spent Christmas 2004 in India working in a boys orphanage. We landed in Mumbai and traveled to a rural area of the state. On our last day before returning to the US, we spent the day touring southern Mumbai.

As “missionaries” we didn’t foot out the BIG bucks to stay at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. A lower class room was $200/night. I did sit in the very posh lobby which was decked out for Christmas. The Ladies Restroom was cleaner and fancier than that of the Ritz Hotel in NYC.

It saddens me today, as I watched the Taj burn and the terror continue.

I still love India. As I flew into the airport on my returning trip in Feb 2006, the words of Dr David Livingston came to me; “I’m haunted by the smoke of a thousand villages.” All over the city the slums were smoking with small fires to keep warm. Today, Mumbai is smoldering from the fires of terrorist.

These are some of the sights that caught my heart then and continue to call me back.

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The Gateway to India

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Fishing Boats in the Harbor

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The Lobby of the Taj

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This was a gorgeous waterfall in the lobby of the Taj.

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Beggars right across the street from the Taj.

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Ghandi’s home

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Ghandi’s room

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My team and me.

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Incredible architecture from the British rule.

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Gorgeous old Cathedrals.

Surrounded by indescribable poverty that still draws me to this place.

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This was the view from my hotel room. I remember standing in my room at 3AM and asking myself, why on earth I was there. It was then that I heard the words of the prophet Isaiah; “when you give yourself in behalf of the poor”.

Although our hotel was nothing to compare to the Taj, it was clean and comfortable. I always felt safe and at home.

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Another view from my hotel room. A woman with her sacred cow.

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A city that never sleeps.

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People who love incredibly.

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A Christmas Gift….chalk art!

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A people with hearts so large they literally give you the shoes off their own feet.

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Our last day at the orphanage.

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The love of children that pulls me to go back.

We Gather Together To Ask The Lord’s Blessing

(photo credit linked to artist)

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings.

From Peaceful Acres to where ever you are,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Remember to give thanks, not just today, but everyday.

One of our family traditions is to list 5 things you are thankful for. Here are mine!

1. Happy Thanksgiving Becca! We miss you so much! Lots of hugs and kisses!!!!

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2. I love you Ben! You are the man we always hoped and prayed you’d be.

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3. I love you Honey! God has blessed us with so much. Two great kids, a great marriage and a love for our Lord!

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4. My healing. Which is being completed each day! Philippians 1:6

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5. And always, I’m thankful for my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Who died so I could live!

Turkey Drive

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I went to Jehovah Jirah (God will provide) Farm today to pick up my pastured Thanksgiving turkey. It took nearly an hour each way, but the weather was cool and crisp and I enjoyed the back road trip. I ended up on the backside of Sugar Loaf Mtn. There is one ridge near our home where we can see Sugar Loaf on a clear day, but it has to be really clear. I always love driving back country roads and hate it when a local comes rushing down my neck trying to get me to go faster! I don’t know if it’s just here in the DC metro area, but people seem to always be in such a rush. In fact, driving into the farm another customer was nearly pushing me as I was enjoying the sheep and Jersey cows. Hey, relax. Life goes by too fast as it is and it’s just not worth it. (no it wasn’t because I was taking pictures!!!)


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Sugar Loaf Mountain

We use to hike this when the kids were young. The view of the farm land is beautiful from the top!

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I’ve kinda put the cart before the horse. Tonight, two days before Thanksgiving, we’re having Turkey Soup! I was trying to make room in the freezer and realized I had a lot of Turkey Bones that I’d gotten for our allergic dog to eat last year. After buying them, he developed yet another food allergy. But without thinking, duh, I started a pot of soup! I usually freeze it in Qt containers and then we have soup whenever we want it or need it.

On Monday, this particular pooch, Boomer, our Yellow Lab took very ill. I think I’m going to affectionately name in Lazarus. He has come back to us so many times. Boy did I cry a lot on Monday. I really thought I was going to lose him. He was vomiting, trembling and crying. The vet said she thought he’d pull through and sure enough he has. He’s 10 yrs old and being at the end of the gene pool, he has allergies to almost every food on the planet. So now I’m hand preparing him what would make me well. I’ve been giving him lots of raw milk. And since it was a GI upset, he’s getting this wonderful Turkey soup. I’m hoping that a yr off the turkey he can now tolerate it. XXXX

I put it all in the blender with raw milk and so far so good. He’s finally stopped vomiting and is looking a lot better.

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This is before we got into see the vet.

Just like a little kid, he was only content laying right next to me.

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24 hrs later, he’s bright eyed and bushy tailed again. He licks his paws when he’s having allergy issues and sometimes he just licks for licking sake???? He’s on an ABX which I don’t like, but they are necessary in some situations….I’m getting the hang of putting my arm down his throat…I guess good practice for a cow!

I’m so thankful he’s still with us. With both of my kids leaving home this year it has been particularly hard on me. I’d hate to lose my best K9 friend too.

Life Is Change

This will be our first Thanksgiving without our 24 yr old daughter, Becca. Many of you know that she has chosen the life of a modern day missionary. Although she is living more than half a world away I know that I will see her again. She’ll be home next summer to clean out her room and give away her earthly belongings to follow God to serve the most impoverished people in the world.  Corrie Ten Boom said, “Lord help me to hold on to nothing too tight that it will hurt when you pry my fingers from it.”

My heart cries and tears still flow when I realize that Becca has chosen the road least traveled and this is just the first of many holidays we will celebrate without her. It’s purely the loss of my dearest best friend and her ability to see right through me. I miss her kind words and her sincere love. I miss her candidness and honesty. I miss her tenderness when I am sick. I just miss her.

Our table will have an empty chair that no one can fill. I’ll miss her cheer in setting a beautiful table. I’ll miss her asking for Broccoli Casserole. I’ll miss so many things this year.

I don’t know that my loss will get easier. I just know and rejoice that she is walking in God’s perfect will.

As I have a sorrow that doesn’t compare to that of others, it is non-the-less a large emptiness in my heart this year.  However, many of my joys help to balance my life and I have so much to be thankful for.

Please take a moment and pray for those who won’t see their loved ones ever again on this earth. For those who are forcing themselves to find something to be thankful for this year.

Photo Credit: Linked to original artist on Flickr

Praise From A Grateful Heart!

My doc just called!!!! I did it…we did it…me, Jesus and my doc that is. I no longer have hemolytic anemia!!!!!! I raised my RBC to normal with food and supp’s in 7 wks! My doc was so elated. Just to remind you, I was nearly ready for a transfusion as I celebrated my 50th thinking that I was dying. Desperately seeking to STOP whatever was killing off my red blood cells at a rapid rate. He said that there is NO doctor that would believe these blood results. He’s so proud of me for working so hard. I went from 24 to 26 to 32 to 37. Whahoo! I’m now within the normal range of Red Blood Cells. I’m continuing to attack the Babesia and it is working. After only 1 month of Artemisiae from Hepapro I feel 100% again! I’m telling you that with all the infections I carry, Babesia is the very worst!

Not only that, but finding the mice in the garden also confirmed WHY I’ve been picking up “deer ticks” in the garden. They really should be called “mice ticks”! The other day I was in the garden and kicked the old mouse nest. Out ran one little guy and I heard a very loud voice say, “Do it Diane, Do it!”. So I did! I stomped on him. Not once not twice but three times. He was dead. Then today Lady and I went to the garden and I lifted the plastic to cut lettuce (which by the way froze!) and out ran two of the other mice…..I sicked Lady on them and she got them in a snap! She was one proud dog. BUT she’s back to chicken guarding again…that dog is dead set on killing those chickens!

I have so very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit Flickr