We have returned last night to the pastor’s home in Nalgonda in the state of Andara Pradesh. We are now spending the day with him and his lovely wife Sarisha planning the future work here with them. They intend, to build a christian primary school to minister to the area and use this center as a base for church planting in surrounding area. So we are helping him to plan for this and praying with him and his wife about it. Precisely, Kenneth is doing that, I am listening and watching and praying.

The drive across India last night of about 7 hours from Tenali to here was truly wonderful, from the opportunity to see India close up from the rural areas to the small towns and villages along the road, to the authentic roadside restaurant where we stopped to eat, and the rural stretch where all the truckers stop for a quick “rest” at the side of the road.

The driving was a little like riding shotgun with a formula race driver – I complimented the driver on his amazing driving and told him that I was sure he raced professionally on the weekends. When this was translated he got a good laugh out of it. Now mind you, he spent 50% of our time on the wrong side of the road passing cars, buses, trucks, rickshaws, and vast hordes of pedestrians and goats and buffaloes. The little yellow motorized rickshaws would hold three people in the U.S. and be very crowded, but here you see them carrying up to eight to ten people, crammed inside, hanging out the doors, hanging off the back. There are thousands in the cities acting as taxis, but I don’t think there was any stretch of even country road in rural areas that we passed through last night where we were not zipping past rickshaws crammed with passengers.

When you pass a car here or want to pass a herd of cows, the custom is to warn them that you are behind them by honking the horn. The full quota of my lifetime honks that I might use while driving in the US from age 16 to my very  last car trip somewhere in my 90’s was used up by the driver last night. He drives with his hands on the wheel and his thumbs on the horn. It was so continuous that after a while it just blended into the white noise. The trucks and buses often have a slogan pained across the backs, “Please honk your horns.” This is for safety. While in the US this would make everyone angry and it would elicit all manner of salutes from the other drivers (you know what I mean), here it is expected and appreciated by one and all. Our driver honked at the police, for goodness sake – they just smiled and waved him on through (ok, so maybe they didn’t smile).

Every time we hit any kind of open space in front of us, he would floor it, roar up to the next cluster of mixed people and vehicles in the road, slam on the brakes, weave in and around for a bit, honking all the while. I was riding shotgun, as I said, and so I watched the speedometer, and frequently he was pushing 80-100 mph. Somewhere about halfway along, I remembered that their speedometers are in km per hour, not in miles per hour, so I relaxed a little. I think I will be a new kind of driver when I return to the states. This weaving, bobbing, honking thing is intoxicating. I can hardly wait…somebody hide my keys until I pass through this phase, please…

I am so loving this, but all humor aside, it’s the work and potential for Christ that really gets me churned up. My engines are revved…come on, Uganda! We leave here tomorrow for our next leg, 5 am I think.

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