India Update: A Mountain Top Experience

Bright and early on last Thursday morning, the Team traveled from Ralap up the Himalaya Mountains in hopes of seeing Karakoram – locally it is known as “Chogo Ri”, meaning “The Great Mountain”. It is the second highest mountain peak in the world with a height of 8,611m or 28,250ft.  This mountain prevents them from seeing Mount Everest.  They were able to see it a little before the fog set in; some of the National Pastors and their families were there as well, so they had a worship service right on top of the mountain, praising God and singing songs in Hindi and in English. They said it was a beautiful time – a mountain top experience for sure!

Afterward they went to Pastor Marshal’s house and he fed the Team a very good breakfast. They stopped to shop in Gangtok for a short time before driving back down the mountain to Ralap to hold the next clinic.

This clinic was held inside of a church, with everything set up inside in one room. Some of our Team preferred this other using separate rooms – they could communicate easily with one another, everything was close by and easily accessible to them, so it went better, and they felt they got more accomplished.  They seen about 200 patients, but as always, they had a cut off time they had to follow, so some were not able to be seen.  They finished the clinic this day about 5 PM, then went to the Pastor’s home for an authentic Indian supper – rice and everything.

After dinner, they had to drive down off of mountain – it was night now, and very dark, and you are right on the side of the mountain with precarious turns and curves.  Some Team Members were understandably apprehensive about this ride, very concerned until they got off of mountain.

It was about midnight when they got back in Siliguri, this was the night they had to hunt for more hotel rooms because of the hotel they had reservations at did not have enough rooms.

Friday morning was more leisurely for the Team.  They have been going at a very fast and hectic pace, so a slower morning was a blessing. They went to Sanjay’s home for breakfast before making the 3 hour drive to Makrapara Child Development Centre. The children and staff were all waiting on them to arrive!  They had lunch ready for them, and then it was time to play with kids, sing songs with them before having a time of prayer with the children.

Some of the Team Members are Sponsors to some of the children at this Child Development Centre, so they had the honor of going to the homes of their sponsored child and spending time with the whole family.   It was a very moving time for a lot of people!  Team member Phyllis said she never had kids before, but now she does!  She picked out a boy and a girl to sponsor!  She was so happy and thrilled – it was emotional for several people.  Other Team Members also choose certain children to start sponsoring. Some visited the home of a child who is sponsored by a previous Team Member who sent gifts for their child.

But all good things must end, and they had to return to camp for the evening Worship Service. It was during this service that John Boedeker dedicated a building in memory of his sister, Joyce Gompf. Family members and friends of Joyce had donated the funds to build the building that is used for classrooms and an office at the CDC.  It was an emotional service for John, but he was honored to be able to do this in honor of the Christian and sister that Joyce was.  Richard found it emotional, as well. They did not get out of there and to the hotel in the forest until about 9 PM.

On Saturday morning 12 Team Members went on elephant ride in protected National Jungle. They seen rhinos, deer, peacock, wild pig, monkeys and a python – they really enjoyed the ride, the peace of the jungle and seeing the animals in the wild!  This was a refreshing break after the hustle of the clinics.

Afterward it was time to go back to Makrapara to hold the last clinic.

The clinic flowed well, however the needs of the patients required more time to be spent with each patient, so they were only able to treat about 225 people.    This clinic ended very well, they had stopped accepting names earlier, seeing it was taking longer with each one, so there were not a lot of people waiting in hopes to be seen that wasn’t able to be treated.  They did end up taking a few more close to the end.  When they finished, there were the children at the Centre waiting outside for them, so the team went out and blew up balloons, played ball or whatever games the children were playing – everyone had a great time ending the day this way!

On their drive back to Siliguri, everyone was ready for some American food, so we found a Domino’s Pizza!  Ohhh, it was sooo good!  When they arrived at our hotel, they all were full and ready to get some sleep, for the morning would be here soon and the trekkers were to leave at 5 AM!

And so the group of 7 or 8 trekkers did leave this morning . . .  the remaining Team Members will be going to Sanjay’s church before heading to Darjeeling for some excursions of their own (Tiger Mountain is one), shopping and a time of rest or spending it with the National Pastors and families.

All the medical clinics are now completed.  The Team saw approximately 1100 patients at the 4 different location; they performed 2 surgeries on the spot, while other arrangements were made with an Indian doctor for people who needed surgery, and these have been paid for.  People have been so appreciative to have been given this help, but it was very hard on our Team for those who did not get seen.  They spoke with another group that has done medical clinics in India that they would incorporate a “spiritual check-up” after the physical check-up at their future medical clinics.  This was done some of that at the last location & 4 people were lead to the Lord!  The group has worked extremely well together & are already talking about the next medical missions trip.  Crossings Church had other people on a waiting list to take part in this venture, and who are eager to go on the next trip.

The time is drawing nigh for part of the part of the Team, they leave India on the 14th to fly back to the States.  Of course, some of the Team is staying longer, with the next 2 people departing India on April 20.  Richard and John remain there until May 6.

They have had no access to email at all so far in the trip, so don’t be alarmed if you’ve heard nothing or have expected a response from them.

So until next time . . . keep praying and keep your eyes on the Lord!