A few weeks ago Rajamani ( see picture ) asked me how he could learn to understand me better. My speaking that is not some weird spiritual journey into my inner psyche. Since I had been contemplating means to get a closer look at the normal daily lives of our Indian brothers, I immediately suggested I could bunk with him for a week. So here I am three weeks later in Nagalapuram, without air conditioning or pizza, eating rice and stepping over sleeping forms to make my way to the bathroom at night.
The first night has come and gone pleasantly enough. I was supposed to arrive Monday afternoon, but something came up and Rajamani had to be gone, so we came late Tuesday instead. Kumar my faithful and ever vigilant driver dropped me at Rajamani’s front door and then he was gone, not to be seen again until late on Saturday evening.
Arriving at Rajamani’s the household as well as some few others gathered around the living room where we proceed to spend a lot of time attempting to communicate. There were a lot of confused looks, constant repetition, and more than one line of discussion that was simply let go, but we managed at times to engage in a semi-fruitful exchange of information.
In the morning we awoke and began the work of learning, or rather Rajamani did. He started reading through the Gospel of John and would stop to question me about words he did not understand then write them down on flash cards. This proceeded reasonable well though there was more than one word that proved a challenge to explain. The word fullness is one I’d have trouble explaining even to a native English speaker. Oddly enough the word “bridegroom” proved difficult also, probably I just didn’t phrase that one well.
As for the rest of the day Rajamani and D Paul’s normal routine doesn’t seem that different from any other pastor’s. Both are constantly in and out of their houses, back and forth from one appointment to another, funeral, birthday, baptism, house prayer, sick visit, etc.
Currently they are both out visiting people and doing other pastoral stuff. I sit here and wait for their return, when we will away to visit a local congregation. After that it is back to Rajamani’s house and my turn to stumble along as Rajamani tells me what the Telugu words mean.