June 21, 2016
The team left Bethel at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 21st, for India!
June 22, 2016
- Update from Pastor Andrew: Hello everyone from Delhi! We all are alive, but a bit sleep deprived. Sharon met us when we arrived at the YWCA here and we ate breakfast and now showing getting clean before we go explore the city. Be in prayer for Abby as her luggage did not make it here. 😦 Be in prayer for tomorrow too. We have an early train to catch tomorrow too. Praises: Tired but attitudes are great. Great weather. AC in our rooms. Our team is excited to get to our retreat and meet everyone. Thanks for praying everyone. Update hopefully in another 24 hours.
June 23, 2016
- Picture of Chad and Will posted today in India
June 24, 2016
- Update from Pastor Andrew – Good morning from Musoorie. Internet is very poor and hard to connect to. I apologize for delaying a bit in our communication. Thursday was a crazy day. Most of us slept ok that night but the jet lag took a lot out of us. We woke up around 5:00am and loaded into our van and we were off to the train station. Arriving there about 30 minutes later we were surrounded by men grabbing bags and fighting each other for Sharon’s bag. Sharon just laughed and said “Isn’t this just exciting” and she had the biggest smile. For her it might have been but maybe not the word our kids would use. The train station was packed with people. Everything, the people, sounds, smells, vehicles are different. Sharon told us this is how it would be for us. Every street corner, every new road would be something new for us and that is completely true! Kids peeing in the road, street vendors, dirty, beauty and the TRAFFIC! I can’t go into details until we get back. It makes my driving look perfect! We took a 6 hour train ride up to Derha dun and that actually was pretty fun. They gave us tea and cookies, breakfast, tea and cookies again. Traveling the countryside did show the beauty of the this country and as we arrived in Derha dun it sat at the base of a huge mountain. The Himalayas. So, parents where this retreat center is having to be top 3 most beautiful places I have ever seen. The drive up the mountain was just amazing and unreal. The height and valleys and villages just perched on top was so cool. We are now at the retreat center and it is an old but big building. Build sometime in the 30’s if I am remembering right. Beds are ok, temperature is PERFECT!!! Last night we had a short session where they blessed and welcomed us, sang and had fun. Kids went to bed pretty quick after that. In our debriefing meeting everyone was struggling to stay awake. Today it officially starts! Sessions, games, worship-everything. Continue to pray for our health. All have been pretty well. Ambar and I were horribly carsick on the way up here but after she threw up- all better! Haha. Pray that this retreat is a blessing to everyone. I will try and update again tomorrow if possible.
June 25, 2016
- Update from Sam Mall: Talked to Sharon this morning. The retreat is going well. Everyone seems to be enjoying. Small groups really bonded with games and interaction. Enthusiastic sharing of testimonies. Saturday night dramatic climax happened with superb worship, singing, and dancing. Our tonight (their Sunday am) worship is expected to be awesome. Monday activity will include baptism celebration also. Hardships, limited amenities, monkey invasion on campus did not dampen the enthusiasm. Overall report is very uplifting. Thanks for praying. Couple of delegates were not well and needed some medical care. Our team is doing well. – Sam
June 27, 2016
- Another update from Sam: This morning I talked to Sharon again. The team is down the mountain at a hotel with relatively better amenities compared to the retreat center. They came through safe and sound away from the monkeys. The monkeys are noisy and amusing. But as it is with all wild life, they can be unpredictable and appear unfriendly (not always cute) at times. Our team has done their part in building some good memories of God’s grace for many young people and leaders alike. They had a fellowship meal and a visit with Tree of Life team this evening (Our morning). I look forward to their first hand report of the experience and the trip. Let us pray them home safe and sound.
- Here are some pics of the monkeys that visited the retreat center they were at:
June 28, 2016
Lots of updates today!! They are back in area with better wi-fi:
- Update from Sharon Mall:
Written two days ago…we are now down the mountain and having some down time before heading back to Delhi. Tomorrow I take the team to a city of temples and pilgrimage on the Ganges where they can get some more understanding of Hinduism. This city is famous as the city where the Beatles went many years ago. Tomorrow evening we take the train to Delhi. Keep praying still much ahead. So far it has been an amazing trip. The verse Lauren gave me when I left has been so significant. John 7:38.
Greetings from the beautiful Himalayas! We just closed an amazing youth retreat here…that was definitely an Ephesians 3:20 retreat! The teaching, worship, fellowship and games were awesome. The Indian youth and American youth mixed well. Today was closing day with pictures and send off in different directions in North India. As we sent them off we knew they had been filled up, refreshed, and were overflowing. We pray that from these young people Rivers of Living Water will flow to the parched places of India.
The youth travel team that came with me is healthy and enjoying experiencing a new culture and making new friends. Today After lunch we went on a hike to the top of a mountain where there are Tibetan prayer flags. The view was awesome.
Tomorrow one of the Indian youth is following the Lord in the waters of obedience. Our group will leave here after breakfast and do a bit more sightseeing and then head down the mountain to a very cold mountain stream. I am so thankful to be here because we have known this girl since she was a baby. In fact, Sam and I personally sponsor her schooling. She calls us grandma and grandpa in Hindi. She has one more year of high school left. She has become quite a young godly leader. Isn’t God amazing…to allow me to be here at this special time!
Well, monkeys are jumping on the roof now. That has also been entertaining!
I have several more days with the youth. They leave early Friday morning. I will visit network friends in Delhi then fly back to Kolkata for a couple of closing days. …
Please continue to pray. Much is still on the agenda. Pray also for Sam and for stability for my Dad. I will leave India in July 4th night. Thanks for partnering to bring freedom and release to captives.
When you celebrate the 4th—Pray for true freedom for all who are oppressed!
Love and prayers!
- Some pictures sent from Chad (text and Facebook)
June 29, 2016
- Update from Sam Mall: Talked to Sharon today,
After getting done in Dehradun with a fellowship dinner with TOL families, the team had a good rest and in the morning they went to Rishikesh for a visit. They were able to visit with some of the retreat youth on their turf and in their fellowship setting. They were able to develop friendships and witness the real life experiences of young believers and their families in the field. The very presence and sharing to bring encouragement they ministered God’s grace as a team. They also did some sight seeing in the area and got to dip their toes in the river Ganges (No swim). They visited the holy city of Haridwar (Look it up on Google) by the river Ganges and saw some of the temples and the city sites on the way to the train station where they boarded their train for Delhi. I talked to Sharon and Pastor Andrew before they got to the train. I talked again with Sharon while they were already on the train and as they reached the next stop on the way to Delhi. They sounded great and thus far healthy and positive. Today late morning our time (11pm for them)they arrived in Delhi and resting now in real time. till may be 9:00pm for us). Some last minute closure and shopping outing is scheduled while we are asleep here tonight. The team will be ready to go to the airport to catch their flight home. Please pray them through with safe travel and return entry. First hand rendition of the journey with juicy tidbits and personal touches will be upon us soon. – Sam Mall