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I have been rather lax in my journaling activities for the last two months. As I become more accustomed to these foreign surroundings my activities and travels seem more and more routine and therefore less worthy of chronicling. But it always makes for an exciting and noteworthy week when friends from the home side of the world come to visit.

A little over a week ago, on Thursday the 15th of March, Mr and Mrs Duden from the Red Wind MN area arrived early in the morning for a visit to India. Purely by coincidence Vanessa Meyer had been also planning a trip at the same time and arrived a few days later on Sunday the 18th. Duden’s brought crayons, coloring books, and other presents for the kids. Vanessa who had little experience teaching nevertheless courageously accepted the challenge and prepared a bible story for the kids. Thus we spent the week traveling to various churches, teaching two parables and handing out gifts to the children. The four of us visited four congregations in the evening Tuesday through Friday. The Dudens visited two more congregations traveling with Dave Koenig to Nellore and Chengleput. While I was with them we handed out a total of about 350 coloring books and crayon boxes, also balloons, candy, pencils, and Vanessa’s handmade necklaces.

On Friday the visit was a bit more extensive. Mr. Duden as a farmer was interested in visiting the rice paddies of the BELC. After this we stopped at D Paul’s house for supper. D Paul’s second daughter was home from school for the weekend and had brought a friend along. They wanted to take Vanessa shopping but since she had to leave Saturday night there wasn’t any chance for this. After the normal lessons and worship in the village that night the Indian children put on an extensive program of songs and dancing, which Vanessa and Mrs. Duden enjoyed while Mr. Duden waited patiently in the car.

Besides this mad rushing about, our visitors also received the chance to visit a wedding the first Sunday they were here and stopped at the Chennai reptile zoo on Saturday. Saturday evening we all got together at my apartment and barbecued chicken on the roof of my apartment building while watching the sun set over Chennai.

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