Sunday, December 28, 2014

Around the India Bangalore Mission

Our mission is wonderfully diverse in cultures, peoples, and countries. Today as we were traveling to an adjacent city to attend Church, we saw a inter-city bus with route information written in four different languages utilizing four completely different alphabets.

Today's post will illustrate some of the places we have seen and the people who live in the India Bangalore Mission.


On the main highway between Bangalore and the airport is an old Hindu Temple. Recently I noticed that a portion of the complex has been painted, indicating that it again is being used.

Old Hindu Temple on the outskirts of Bangalore
The streets of Bangalore are a crazy, eclectic mixture of automobiles, lorries, auto-rickshaws, motor-scooters, animals, ox-drawn carts, pedestrians, bicycles, and vendors. Traffic seems to move, though not always as smoothly or as quickly as we would like.

Bangalore Street


Southwest of Bangalore is the city of Mysore, which used to be the seat of government for the Raj or king of what now is the State of Karnataka (where Bangalore is located). In the early 1900's the Raj constructed a magnificent palace. Karnataka no longer is ruled by a king, but the palace continues to be a reminder of the history of this portion of south central India.
Palace at Mysore

On the east coast of India is the city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras. Like Bangalore, the streets of Chennai are full of people, engaged in a wide variety of pursuits. We constantly marvel at the beautiful colors worn by the women of India.

Street Corner, Chennai, India

Rural India:

On one of our trips out of Bangalore, we attended a Hindu wedding. For a detailed description, see the blog post dated13 July 2014.
Women and children enjoying breakfast following a traditional Hindu wedding
On one occasion, while traveling from Coimbatore, a city south of Bangalore, Terry and I decided to take a "back" road, rather than the main road. We marveled at the rich agricultural areas and the smiles on the faces of many of the villagers we passed.

Rural India, between Coimbatore and Bangalore

Hill Country above Coimbatore:

All of our missionaries serve in or around populations centers. We emphasize building from centers of strength. Coimbatore is a gateway to the hill country where Indians vacation in an effort to escape the heat of the lowlands.  The hill country also contains many national parks and wildlife reserves. Sister Berrett and I took a "preparation day" (actually about a day and a half) to visit the area above Coimbatore.
Sweeping the grass in municipal park, Coonoor, India

Wild elephants in the Mudumalail Tiger Reserve


Our most distant missionaries are located in the city of Visakhapatnam or Visak (also called Visag). This city is about 1.5 hours by air from Bangalore. We have a wonderful district with four branches there.

Visak street vendor selling pomegranates

Also located in the northern portion of our mission is the city of Rajahmundry. We have a large district of the Church there. Rajahmundry sits on the Godavari River.
Bridge over the Godavari River
We are told that in July of 2014, millions of Hindus will come to Rajahmundry to take ritual baths in the river. This event occurs every 12 years.

Sri Lanka:

Our mission also includes the adjacent country of Sri Lanka. We meet with the saints in Sri Lank every two or three months.
Muslim school boys in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka is the city of Galle. This city was a Portuguese trading center in the late 1600's, then was captured by the Dutch, came under British rule, and finally at independence, became a regional center for the country.
Church and lighthouse, Galle
On one of our trips, we joined our two senior missionary couples to travel to the Wilpathu National Park. We enjoyed seeing many wild, native animals.
Wild elephant, Sri Lanka
We do not often get the opportunity to be "tourists". But, when our responsibilities allow a few minutes to visit the countryside, we continue to be fascinated by these wonderful countries and the people who live here.