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Day 7

Bumps in the Night

Wake up with Chris... in an Indian village!


Today you will visit a junior church that has grown out of a local Children's Bible Club. And the village kids show Chris their favorite way to have fun!

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Chris' Journal

India: Day Seven

It's truly eye-opening to see the poverty in India. I am a middle class American - and I am ashamed of all the times that I have complained about what I have.

When I see the joy on the faces of India's believers - and many have no electricity, do back-breaking work all day for a little over one dollar, and experience daily struggles that are nothing in comparison to mine - it truly is humbling.

The highlight of my day was experiencing a children's worship service. The readings, the sermon, the tithes, the prayers - all done by children. My guess is that not one of them was over the age of 15 or 16. Again, I am truly humbled by their dedication and sacrifice. They don't think they have to wait to grow up before they can serve the Lord - He can use them today!

I think about what our average 15 or 16 year old is interested in - and here are these children spending hours worshipping and giving of their time to the Lord. Amazing...

I asked the kids about their favorite things to do, and instead of telling me ... they showed me! They took me to a field outside the village and we played cricket - what a blast! I whiffed many times! [But in truth we all did.] But we also got a few hits as well and shared a lot of laughter. I even had a chance to pitch!

And this is what I mean - in the midst of this poverty, every single child had a smile on their faces. It is amazing!

I couldn't sleep last night ... and it wasn't just the strangeness of staying in the village. I can't stop thinking about the spiritual darkness I see everywhere. Many of the villagers are still in the grasp of idol worship and rituals. India's people are very spiritually minded, and it's obvious that they are seeking. But their eyes are closed to the truth of Christ.

Yet, I am praying that through the children, the true Light of Jesus Christ will be shown here and many eyes will be opened!

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Chris' Photos

Waking up in an Indian village was a whole new experience for Chris today!

Click on the photos below for more behind-the-scenes shots from today's episode.

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Family Devotions

The Children of God

Today's memory verse: "From the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise..." (Psalm 8:2a)

Why do things always seem to be scarier at night?

Most of the time we don't even notice the sounds that surround us in the daytime. We do not hear the dogs barking or the trees rustling in the wind. But at night the dog noises make us think of wild animals and the wind makes the trees seem to moooan.

What other sounds do you hear at night?

How do you feel when the sun finally comes up?

Jesus is like the sunrise. Because He loves us, we have no reason to be afraid. Can you remember stories in the Bible where God, or an angel messenger, or Jesus Himself, said, "Fear not!"

We can get lost even in familiar places at night, but we have a clear view of the same path in the daytime. The Bible says we were once walking in darkness but now we ARE light in the Lord:

"Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8-10).

Talk about it:

Make a list of what it means to walk in the dark and what it means to be the light. Share your list with your family at dinner and talk about how you can encourage each other to "live as children of light" each day.
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Rangoli Artwork

In today's video, you saw women creating special designs on the ground in front of their home. These traditional designs are called rangoli. (They are known as kolam in the Tamil language and muggu in the Telugu language.)

Rangoli designs are symetrical patterns and are usually created on ground using flour or powder. The patterns are very complicated and are especially popular during Hindu festival months.

Sometimes, several women together will create one large design. When the symmetrical pattern is decorated in colors using colored sand or flowers, then it is called rangoli. Some rangoli designs are passed down through the generations from mother to daughter. Certain designs are created on special occasions such as weddings and Hindu festivals like Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Rangoli are thought to bestow prosperity on homes. Every morning in southern India, millions of women draw rangoli on the ground with white rice powder. Through the day, the drawings get walked on, rained out, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day.

Every morning before sunrise, the floor is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface. The rangoli are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so that it adheres better.

Occasionally, cow dung is also used to wax the floors. In some cultures, cow dung is believed to have antiseptic properties and that it provides a literal threshold of protection for the home. It also provides contrast with the white powder.

Women used to primarily use rice flour to create these patterns or designs. Holding a handful of flour in her right hand, the woman will uniformly drop the flour to make a line through her thumb and pointer finger, and keeps on moving her hands to make the curve or the dots. Today, women prefer to use crushed stone powder or the many brilliantly colored synthetic powders available in the market.

Create your own rangoli work of art!

Depending on the weather, you may be able to create your rangoli using chalk on the sidewalk or driveway outside. Or, you can use colored chalk or paint to make your design on black construction paper or cut out colored paper and glue onto paper plates.

Rangoli come in all shapes and sizes. The designs are usually symetrical and often begin with geometric shapes drawn on a grid of dots. Start by outlining your design and then go back and add some bright colors. You can make your design as simple or complex as you want!

Online resources to get you started:

Every rangoli is unique - just like the person who created it!

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Let's Play Cricket!

Cricket is India's unofficial national sport. Professional players are revered by children and adults alike, and India is one of the host countries for the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Cricket dates back to 16th century Great Britain and is mainly played in countries like India that were part of the British Empire. In India, many kids play an informal game called gully cricket that can be played in any street or field.

Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings.

After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.

A formal game of cricket can last anywhere from an afternoon to several days!

Here's a basic explanation of how to play cricket:

There are two teams. The team bowling has 11 players on the field, an oval-shaped area with a long rectangular strip of ground down the middle called a pitch. The team batting always has two people on the field.

The Captain of the bowling team chooses a bowler from his team; the other 10 players are called fielders. The bowler is trying to aim the ball at a wicket, which is made up of three sticks (called stumps) stuck into the earth, with two small sticks (called bails) balanced on them. One of the fielders, called the wicket keeper, stands behind the wicket to catch the ball if the bowler misses the wicket. The other fielders chase the ball after the batter has hit it.

The bowler throws (bowls) the ball overarm six times, which is called an over; then another player becomes the bowler for the next over, and bowls from the other end, and so on. The same bowler cannot bowl two overs one after the other.

The batter is trying to defend the wicket with his bat. When he hits the ball with his bat, he runs toward the other wicket that the bowler or the other batsman is standing at. To score a run, the two batsmen must both run from their wicket to the other wicket, as many times as they can. If the ball leaves the field after being hit without bouncing, six runs are scored. If the ball rolls or bounces out, whether or not the batter hit it, it counts as four runs.

There are different ways that a batsman can get out. The most common ways are:

  • The batsman misses the ball and it hits the wicket (called Bowled)
  • The ball hits the batsman's body and it would have hit the wicket otherwise (called Leg Before Wicket, but it need not be his leg that stops the ball)
  • A fielder catches the ball after the batsman hits it, and before it bounces or leaves the field (called Caught)
  • A fielder can throw the ball at the wicket, or to the wicket keeper or bowler. They can try to hit the wicket while the batsmen are running. If unable to finish the run, the batsman nearer to the wicket that is hit is out (called Run Out)

Click here for a more detailed explanation of cricket rules of play

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Satya's Story

My name is Satya.

I am 11 years old and I live in a small village in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

My father works as a tailor and my mother takes care of me and my younger brother.

A few years ago my parents became Christians, and I often watch my mother praying to Jesus and reading from God's Word. She always looks so happy when she prays.

I was invited to a Children's Bible Club. On the first day, I learned the songs very quickly. So, I started leading the children in singing. Soon, I also began telling Bible stories to the younger children in the village.

At the Club, I came to know Jesus as my Savior. I also learned how to pray. Every day, whenever I find the time, I pray to the Lord Jesus.

I love to pray better than anything else!

I pray at school, too. Once, as I was praying during lunch time, one of my friends noticed and started praying with me. Many of my friends have experienced answered prayers. This news spread to kids in other classes at my school - and they started coming to me, asking me to pray for them, too.

When my teacher heard what was going on, she encouraged me to keep praying. But she does not want me to get in trouble, so she tells me to pray behind a closed door. I do not care where I pray - I know God hears every prayer!

My teacher does not know Jesus, but sometimes she also brings me prayer requests! The Lord has given me a great passion to pray for every person. I have a special burden to pray for my friends and other children.

I pray that through my life, many people will come to know Jesus as their Savior, too.

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Fill your suitcase

Here are some ideas from other My Passport to India families on how to get started filling your suitcase with loose change to send more of India's kids to Children's Bible Clubs! Remember, each $1 you give will allow another boy or girl to attend a Bible Club in their own community.

"My 7 year old daughter is making handmade greeting cards to sell to raise money for Indian children to go to the Bible Club."

"I make handmade jewelry and donated a portion of my proceeds from a recent sale I had."

  • "We've been taking some clothing the kids have outgrown to a local resale shop. Our plan is to put the money we earn from those sales into our Mission India suitcase."

"Each week, as I am preparing the grocery shopping list, I go over the things I am buying especially for the kids - juice boxes, fruit snacks, etc. They choose an item (or items) they are willing to give up for a week to put the same amount of money in their Mission India suitcase. It's a small scale sacrifice, but every time they go to the fridge or pantry, they see what's missing and remember that lives may be changed for eternity through their gifts."

"We decided that at any meal if a family member drank water instead of the other beverages offered (iced tea, juice or milk) we would put a quarter in our box. How could we not sacrifice something so small for those needing the Gospel in India?"

"My boys' Sunday school class just held a bake sale outside a local grocery store today to raise money for My Passport to India and earned $368! The kids and adults alike were thrilled."

"My daughters (6, 8, 10) are using my Cricut to make gift tags for Christmas gifts. All sizes and many Christmas colors, some with printed papers, using punches, etc. They are selling them for 25 cents each or 5 for $1."

  • "[Our homeschool group] gathered with about 7 dozen muffins and cupcakes to sell for $1.00 each - each one to send 1 child in India to Bible Club."

"My girls filled the suitcase all by themselves, doing extra chores for their grandparents and even giving money from the tooth fairy. We learned a lot about India and had fun!"

Share your story

How is your family using My Passport to India? What ideas do you have about raising loose change to fill your suitcase for Children's Bible Clubs? We invite you to email your photos, stories, and ideas to us at mpti@missionindia.org.

Kids - we want to hear from you, too! Tell us what you've learned so far, or share your prayer for the boys and girls of India. Include your first name and age and, if you'd like, your state or country.

(By sharing your stories and photos you give Mission India permission to publish this information on our website and/or in other print materials.)