A happy Easter to all our supporters and other readers. As we celebrate the good news (in the words of Isaac Watts) 'the joyful news of sins forgiven, of hell subdued, and peace with heaven', may we also thank you for all your support.
News and announcements
Muumba school - another success story
In the Article of 19th August 2017 we wrote,
‘In two years the school has grown from 50 pupils, to an expected 338 this coming September. Looking to the future, Mr Bbilika would like to extend the school to Grade 9 by adding 3 new classrooms.’
Well, a glance at the picture shows that the head teacher, Mr Bbilika, has not only begun the building work but that one additional classroom, yet to be completed, is already in use!
We also wrote, ‘Anything seems to be possible at Muumba!’
How right were we? Well done! Keep up the Good work Mr Bbilika!
Jumpers for All
Our knitting ladies, in particular coordinators of knitting groups, often ask if it is possible to see photographs of children in Zambia wearing the school jumpers that have been sent. And here they are. Not only do the children at Muumba Community School look very smart in their new uniforms, but we are also very impressed with the number of children who now attend the school and, more than that, that each of them has a school jumper. Well done to all our knitters… there was no limit to the number of jumpers that you made… how wonderful is that!
And again, thank you very much!
We have now moved from the Banyan Tree at Kulappada to the Special Therapy (special needs) centre in Kulathara. This brings many advantages. One of them is running water - a cold shower is luxury comapred to getting a bucket of water out of the well. And it gives a level of protection for Tom - as it is a special needs school, any visitors can be stopped, and Tom can decide whether to meet them or not. Unfortunately there are some people who are adept at putting psychological pressure onto Tom, something that he is not able to cope with these days. Sadly, there are a couple of Pentecostal pastors who head that list. At Kulappada he is out on his own; here at Kalathara he is safe.
One disadvatage is that Kalathara has no internet connection. So I am typing this from an intenet cafe in Nedumangad whilst the others have gone off to do some shopping. Not shopping for themselves, you understand, but shopping for equipment that will help the disabled children at the Special Therapy centre.
But to return to the subject of this update. Take buying a cow, for instance. I am unwilling to just hand over the money. There are too many things that could go wrong. So I will do it myself.
Prasanna is a poor man who we have helped over the last couple of years. He has a compound fracture of his leg. Whilst he was in hospital Shibu looked after him, and we paid for the implants needed to pin the fracture. We bought him a Zimmer frame so that he could have a degree of mobility, and leave the hospital. I have seen the x-rays of the fracture. and I would be amazed if he is ever able to walk again. The result is that the family - him, his wife, and two sons, have lost their breadwinner and are reduced to destitution. But there is one bright spot: his wife is able bodied, fit and knows how to look after a cow.
Stortrum is a greeting used by many Christians in Kerala. It roughly translates as "Hallelujah". It is one of the few Malayalam words that I know.
Another word that I have picked up is "praktika" which means "prayer". Not a very useful word, you might think. But if you do think that, you would be wrong: prayer is an integral part of daily life here in India, far more than in the UK. I have prayed for more people in the last four days here than in the whole of last year in the UK. Everyone wants prayer - Christian, Hindu, Muslim or any of the other religions all appreciate it, and indeed ask for it. In church, in houses, in the restaurant, on the street, wherever we happen to be. India is a great place to be.
We have just had a great visit to Thanal house, our home for destitute women. They have completely transformed their dining area - it is now a bright and airy hall with a nice tiled floor that should be easy to keep clean. Outside was a great pile of tiles for the rest area - the next project, just waiting for the funds for cement and glue to fix the tiles. Originally the money for the tiles was given to Salini to start building a home for her and her family; but they asked the donor if they could buy tiles for the women they look after instead. We were impressed.
The annual HHI visit to India is under way. I (Edmund) arrived Thursday morning, and Iain will join me tomorrow (Saturday). I was greeted at the airport by Tom and Philip, and Sebastian who is a volunteer with the Banyan Tree for a year - he is an Indian who was brought up in the USA but has gone back to his roots. A graduate in business studies, he is making a great contribution to the work of the Banyan Tree.
From there we went to see Shibu in the hospital. Shibu is now looking after some 11 patients (a normal bystander looks after just one) - all aged about 60, all brought in unconscious and without adequate identification ("unknowns"), and all victims of traffic accidents. Most are incontinent. Shibu seems to thrive on the pressure and the work. Tomorrow we are hoping to get three of them discharged and we will take them to the Bethany brothers who will nurse them back to full health. Otherwise they may be kept in hospital, in pretty awful conditions, for up to three months. It is only your generosity that makes all this possible. With such large numbers, budgets are being exceeded, which is causing problems that we will need to address.
An encouraging story is of one of these patients. He had left home 28 years ago, and had had no contact with his family, who had given him up for dead. Shibu found a name and address amongst his possessions, which turned out to be his mother. She was delighted to be reunited with her long lost son and has come to look after him.
And outside we were able to meet Muniyanda, a former patient of Shibu who was returning for a check-up. He is making a good recovery, and is very grateful for what Shibu did for him.
It’s Good to Catch Up!!
No, we are not geographically challenged!
Tidings : July 2016. Do you remember reading this?
‘Moscow is a talented Zambian. He is also an albino. As well as all the health difficulties this leads to in a hot sunny climate, he has also had to face prejudice and antagonism from his local community. HHI was able to help him by supporting his education and training at Chainama College of Health Sciences. Now he is in charge of a Rural Health Centre in Mazabuka District and because of his position he is respected in his community. He is also married and has a child. He is an example of how determination combined with timely help from HHI can overcome disadvantage.’
Well, we have just received this very welcome email from Moscow. He writes…
‘I would like to thank HHI Zambia for the support they gave me and sponsorship through Jute Williams and Pat Cairn . I hope one day we will meet. I am now married with a daughter.’
The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus.
It's Saturday morning and I've managed the kidney medicines distribution alone, and without strain, so things are looking up. Shibu has just arrived so I'll get a few stories and then we go and send a couple of pictures.
Ajayan, 48, is from Changanoor (with Shibu, right leg bandaged). He was a heavy drinker, and, crossing the road, he was hit by a vehicle. He can't remember anything. Because of his addiction, his family won't have anything to do with him. He will need an operation [which HHI will probably need to pay for]. Shibu is doing all that is needed.
Mariyandi Marthandum - from Tamil Nadu (on bed with Shibu behind - left leg in plaster). Crossing the road, he was hit by car. Police brought him to the hospital. His leg has been set in plaster. An operation is not necessary. Shibu has been looking after him for 3 weeks. He will soon be discharged - but he has nowhere to go. We are searching for a place.
Thampi (Kerala) was walking beside the railway line and was hit by a train. Both legs were severed. Shibu has been looking after him for one month. Nobody has come.
Unknown (with oxygen mask. Shibu by bed). Only today, after two weeks, has he regained a little consciousness. He is feeding by rice tube. We don't know anything about him. Yesterday our church prayed for him, at Shibu's especial request, and Shibu is so happy that today he is rather better.