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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To India We Go!

Months of planning, weeks of meeting with the team, preparing, learning, anticipating...and now, we leave tomorrow!  The taxi arrives at 4.15 a.m.  We gather at 5.00 a.m. at the airport to get ready for our 7.00 a.m. flight to Brussels and then onto Mumbai just after 10.00 a.m.  It is a tight connection so I am praying for a smooth transition, including the luggage!  At 10.30 p.m. local time we step into a brand new culture and what I'm sure will be a memorable time together.  Here is our team, less one more teenager.

And here is our proposed itinerary.  I say proposed because it has changed almost weekly since we began our planning!

India Mission Trip Itinerary
PMT: Panvel Mission Team

Thursday October 24
Depart 7.05 for Brussels.
Transfer to our flight to Mumbai. Depart at 10.10.
Arrive in Mumbai at 22.40
Transfer to Methodist Guest House in Mumbai

Friday October 25
Morning PMT meeting
Sightseeing tour of Mumbai
Travel to Panvel and check-in to the Peace Park Hotel Panvel

Saturday October 26
Morning PMT meeting
Travel to the Community Center and paint the Center's Interior
Lunch on site
Return to Hotel get cleaned up
Attend a pre-wedding ritual and dinner.
Evening PMT meeting

Sunday October 27
Worship with the Panvel Church
Pastor Doug preaching
Lunch
Free time
Attend a Christian Indian Wedding/ Dinner included

Monday October 28
Morning PMT Meeting
Mission Work Day (We will break into 2 teams of 10 for the day)
Leper community- Meeting people and learning about people's lives
Slum visit- A children's program for kids in the slum

Tuesday October 29
Morning PMT meeting
Mission Work Day (We will break into 2 teams of 10 for the day)
Leper community- Meeting people and learning about people's lives
Slum visit- A children's program for kids in the slum
Lunch on site
Entire team will visit a Leprosy Rehabilitation Center

Wednesday October 30
Travel to Pune to meet leaders of the Hindustani Covenant Church
Visit to Mission sites of the HCC
Return to Panvel

Thursday October 31
Rest and Relaxation Day- We will travel 1 hour to the Indian Ocean for some swimming, relaxing. We will also take some time to share our thoughts and reflections.

Friday November 1
Morning PMT meeting
Dedication of the Community Center
Mission Work Day at the Community Center
Hygiene training
Medical camp assistance and Landscaping
Return to the Hotel for R&R

Saturday November 2
Morning and Early Afternoon Free time (ie. Shopping in Panvel, perhaps a visit to an Animal Reserve, R&R, and maybe other options)
Afternoon assistance for the set up of the Panvel Church's 25th Anniversary Celebration
Evening Anniversary Celebration at a Church Banquet facility in Panvel

Sunday November 3
Worship with the Panvel Church
Pastor Jodi preaching
Farewell to our Friends of Panvel
Travel to Mumbai
Free Time in the evening
Diwali-the festival of lights in Mumbai
A quick stop at the HCC guest house to freshen up
Arrive at airport by 22.00
Flight Departs at 2.15 am (Monday Nov. 4)
Monday November 4
Arrive in Stockholm at 12.10

The church has invited us to a wedding!  We will celebrate the church's 25th anniversary with them! We will help them complete a community center that Immanuel has been helping them build. They will welcome us with hospitality that I'm sure will blow us away.  It will be a full time, rich with new experiences, meeting Indian Christians, seeing some of the amazing work they do there, and enhancing our world view.  I am mostly excited and only a little nervous as I consider the barrage on my senses that I think India will be.  These past few days have been filled with memories of other mission trips I have led or been on.  I've been pondering my years living in South America, the different cultures, food, smells and sights.  I hope we don't get too sick! All of our anticipation is about to become real.  I am full of gratitude for this opportunity.  I'm thrilled with each person who is going with us and look forward to connecting with the Covenant church in India and particularly the Panvel Congregation.  
I will try to update the blog when I can.  I have no idea what kind of time or internet access we will have.  I am grateful for your prayers as I seek to stay open to all that God wants to do in these coming days.