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  • Carol Alexander

Take Heart!

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. I this world you will have trouble. But Take Heart!!! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Meet Princy, she is the adorable daughter of Raju, one of our teachers. She is sending a cheery reminder of the current situation in our world. March has been a crazy month! We have seen this Virus take over the world. It has been a month of testing for us and it looks like we will be in this for a while longer. We are all learning to slow down and spend more time with family and hopefully making some good memories before all of this is over.

I am still in this little village in Assam India. I feel quite safe since we have not had an outbreak any place close to us. But the whole country is shut down. They have even blocked off the two main roads to our village to make sure no one comes in or out. That means the street markets are not open, and unfortunately that is where we get our fresh veggies. For now, we have plenty of rice and dal and yesterday Sanu was able to find some meat from one of the booths in our village. We do have rice and dal at school and will plan on sharing it with those in the village that may need it. I am thankful Sanu bought fresh supplies for the school before we found out about the lock-down.


Just before the latest in lock-down orders, several of the staff from the school, and even Grandpa joined in, to tear down the original thatched school building. It was a huge project! God bless them! They worked so hard and it was soooo hot! But they got the job done with great attitudes. We plan to use this plot of land for a new building. When things go back to normal, we have many plans for repairs, completion of projects and new ideas are brewing. For now, we have closed the school, and everyone is staying home.



Sanu’s brother came for a visit and now is quarantined with us and unable to return home to his family because the trains and buses have stopped running and no cars are allowed out. That puts 8 in the house with many sharing beds😊

We are experiencing long hot days with three bored children. Fortunately, when Donna was here in February, we taught them how to play SkipBo and Mexican train dominoes. So, they are becoming quite the champs!

Yesterday the guys decided they all needed haircuts! So Sanu got out the razor and now all the guys are bald. We ladies managed to escape the razor. All in all, we have managed to have some good times in all of this.

I thought that since there school is closed, it would be a good time to answer some of the questions you have been asking me.

QUESTION: Are you able to keep in contact with any of the students that have moved onto higher grades?

ANSWER: I am happy to say we have kept track of several. Two of our current teachers, Joshua Tikhatri and Sean Mech, went through our school and have gotten higher education and now are teachers at our school. Joshua’s mother and father ran our first Learning to Hope School in a mountain village of Rontato, India. They moved back home to Assam when Joshua’s father started to get sick. He has since passed away, but Barka his wife and Joshua are still teaching at school. Sean’s parents both work for the school. His mother is our full time cook and his father maintains the school property. We are blessed to have them all at school.

The family across the road sent their children to our school. Their daughter is married, and the boys are both working. They still have one child in fourth grade going to our school.

I often find myself talking with people who find out I am connected to Grace English School and are happy to tell me that their children went to our school or they know someone who’s child is currently attending.

QUESTION: Where do you live when you are in Assam?

ANSWER: I am blessed to live with Sanu and Senti Kareal and their 2 children, Grandpa and Senti's sister. They have a nice home and have made a very comfortable bedroom and bathroom (yes, a western one) for me. They have welcomed me like family. Sanu is the Property Manager for Grace English School and oversees finances, purchasing supplies and overseeing any construction that takes place. Senti is one of our teachers.

QUESTION: How do you like the food?

ANSWER: To be honest I am not a fan of Indian food. But both Senti and Sanu are wonderful cooks and I have learned to enjoy many Indian dishes. They are very sensitive to my not liking spicy food. So often will set aside some for before they put in the Hot stuff! Also much of their food they add spice on the side of their plate, they call it chutney or curry, but it really is a variety of different sauces that they put very little of on their plate and mix in with their food as they eat. King Chili is a favorite. Those of you who know chilies, know this is VERY HOT!!

QUESTION: Have you ever gotten sick while there?

ANSWER: Thankfully I can say the worst thing I have encountered is allergies. They have lots of dust and burn their garbage every night around 5 pm. That does bother me, but I can live with that. As for food: NO! I have never gotten sick eating the food. There have been times I knew I needed to eat something so I would not offend, but I have asked the Lord to protect me and he has kept me healthy.

QUESTION: What does your day look like?

ANSWER: I am usually awake around 6 am to the sound of Senti cooking in the kitchen, the roaster crowing and the neighbor’s pigs waking up. I have breakfast usually toast with peanut butter and banana on it and a cup of tea. Off to school at 7:30, school assembly starts at 7:45. and classes start at 8. I help in the preschool age classes. My favorite time is recess where I can go and sit under our big tree and interact with the kids. They love showing how well they use the hula hoop or count with them while the jump rope or play catch with the little guys. It is a good time for me to get to have some one on one time with the students. I help out in the lunch room, serving extra rice, dal, curry or water. All our children are encouraged to eat as much as they want. No hungry kids leave our school. After lunch the younger classes go home. I usually go home then too. The upper classes are there until 2:00 pm. Sometimes we have teachers meeting after school or after Saturday school, which only goes to noon. Yes, our students go to school twice a month on Saturday. After lunch is nap time in India.

We have family devotions every evening before dinner. We sing a song or two and read from the Bible. We are currently reading through Luke. Then prayer and it is time for dinner, clean up and off to bed. We often don’t eat dinner until 7:30 or 8:00.

QUESTION: Where do you go to church?

ANSWER: When we can, we go to Nepali Baptist Church, it is about twenty minutes from our house. But since we are all home because of the virus, we are doing church at home. We all get dressed up and meet in the living room and have church together. It has become my privilege to prepare a short devotion each week.


QUESTION: How can we stay in touch with you?

ANSWER: One of the best ways to reach me via Facebook Messenger. There are no data charges as long as the internet is working...heheheh that is always in question but give it a try, I would love to hear from you! Here is the link to my page: https://www.facebook.com/carol.j.alexander.7

PRAISES:

1. We are all healthy and safe in our little village

2. We thank each of you who have supported our school, both with prayer and finances. It means so much to us.

3. I am thankful the weather has not gotten to hot yet. And the humidity has not been too bad.

PRAYERS:

1. That I will have clear timing for when I need to leave India and head home. Right now, I think I am safer here than home. But of course, we know all that can change quickly.

2. We are in the process of making some major changes at the school and would appreciate your prayers for clear direction in the days ahead.

3. For our school to be a light in this community wherever needed.

4. For my continued support during this difficult time.


To Contribute to Carol Alexander's ministry support

Go Online to:

https://fbclodi.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving

Designate in the drop down box:

Choose Designation: INDIA / #40-108

Or mail a check to:

First Baptist Church

267 N Mills Ave, Lodi, CA 95242

Memo: LEARNING TO HOPE (include this account number) #40-108

To join in support of this meaningful ministry and give to our many school needs

Go Online to:

https://fbclodi.ccbchurch.com/goto/giving

Designate in the drop down box:

Learning to Hope (c) 20-807aa

Or mail a check to:

First Baptist Church

267 N Mills Ave, Lodi, CA 95242

Memo: LEARNING TO HOPE (include this account number) #20-807aa

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Carol Alexander India 2018