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Update from India : Thursday, April 24

The presentation this morning to the executive committee of the Council for Baptist Churches of North East India went well.  The one hour was extended to 2.5 hours before it was over.  Lots of questions on my assigned topic "Challenges and Opportunities of Christian Higher Education in 21st Century."  There were about 30 of the key decision makers in the discussion. 

The CBCNEI Compound is about 5 acres on the banks of the Bramahputra River in downtown Guwahati, Assam, India.  Built by American Baptist gifts the operation is entirely in the hands of the nationals.  There are about 12 buildings in the complex (think Windermere, Baptist Building in Jefferson City, and Harold's office above the Mexican restaurant all combined in one.)  Two office buildings; canteen; three hostels/dormitories for leadership training; chapel; 4 homes; work space for abused women learning skills; book store; library/archives, craft shop; plant operations.  We can have air conditioning or hot water but not at the same time.  Warmest April since 1999. 

Today is election day so all businesses are closed and the army is on full alert in the streets.  Nearly one billion votes may be cast before this election is over.  Thanks again for your interest in this project. 

Jerry and Steve

Posted by Kelsey Adams at Friday, April 25, 2014

Update from India : Wednesday, April 23

Today's only speaking engagement will be with the women's indigenous female graduate students studying in the University of Guwahati and other local graduate schools much like the men's hostel I reported on earlier this week. 

Dr. Reid Trulson, Executive Director of ABC International Ministries, and Ben Chan, ABC Asian Area Director, have arrived here at the Council for Baptist Churches in North East India and thus our team is complete.  Our paper work was delivered today allowing the four of us into the disputed area called Arunachal Pradesh for 4 days with no extensions allowed.  Sounds scary.  The morning paper reported that China denied a visit from an India youth delegation because the Indians were sending a lad from Arunachal Pradesh.  Both nations claim the region and find ways to squabble over it.  Our meeting will attract some 300 Baptists and thus far has had no political problems.   

Tomorrow we leave about 5 AM to drive 10 hours over reportedly rough roads.  I speak at 6:00 PM to the group on Christian Higher Education.  The main meeting begins at 7:30 where I speak again on Christian Leadership Traits.  I doubt if we will have internet connections for the next 5 days but we will try to report if we do. 

We are well.  We are rested.  We are eating OK.  It is a joy to have Steve as a sounding board.  Thanks for your prayers and support. 

Jerry and Steve

Posted by Kelsey Adams at Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Update from India : Tuesday, April 22

We worked hard to stay awake all day yesterday and thus slept 10 hours last night hoping to defeat jetlag in one fell swoop.  I think we are on top of it.  Last night we spoke at one of three hostels owned by the CBCNEI (Council of Baptist Churches in North East India) and provided for rural students working on graduate degrees.  There were about 20 men present with several studying in medicine, business (called commerce here) and several in engineering.  The Baptists thus provide housing for these students who study at the University of Guwahati and other area universities.  It is a wonderful model for Christian higher education.  In essensce the housing unit becomes a fraternity (or sorority) for national Baptists who can get into graduate school. 

This morning we toured a large Hindu temple and got to experience first hand what we have read about for years.  There we long lines (longer than Worlds of Fun) of devotees qued up to make sacrifices.  Lots of goats and doves.  Lots of families and monks and old people spending their last days in the temple.  Then we visited the Assam Museum of History to note the change of culture and language in the area next to the Bramhaputra River over the past 1000 years.  It was very good and Steve has pictures to document it all. 

Tonight we visit one of the six hospitals operated by the CBCNEI where we will speak to students in a nursing school.  If we can get to a computer tomorrow we will give you a quick report.  Healthcare was a major emphasis of the early Baptist and Presbyterian missionaries who began work here 175 years ago and reminds crucial today.  Thanks again for your prayers, interest and support while we represent Second Baptist Church. 

Jerry and Steve

Posted by Kelsey Adams at Wednesday, April 23, 2014