Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Then and Now

A long time ago in the garden, two young people got married.

It was Lamka town, Churachandpur on the 18th of May 1996.   Goumang was the dashing young bridegroom, and his beautiful wife was dressed with a bridal white top and her Paite wrap-around below.

The wedding was in their home church in New Lamka at 7.30 AM - in keeping with the tribal tradition - with a tea party afterward for the whole church and then a later feast for the family members at home.

I was there - as it was shortly after I had joined the SHALOM project for my 7 month stint.  My first 'real job' of any significance!  Goumang was the main administrator of SHALOM in those days - and carried on his work doing amazing service at the ORCHID project over the past decade.

Last week we had the joy of meeting up again after 17 years.

We stopped in at Goumang's home in Gauhati, Asom on the way back to the airport.  We met him driving a nano car - just dropping his beautiful daughter at the school bus pickup point!

Wow!  What a difference from 17 years ago.  Then we were three - now we are many!  Goumang has two daughters - one had left for school - the other Ching was with us - he is also looking after his brother's son and has one of Ching's cousins staying with them too.  I am no more the batchelor I was in those days - having been happily married just before the Millenium to my beloved Sheba (15.12.99) and we have our amazing Asha and Enoch.  Be fruitful and multiply!

We were royally treated by the Goumang family and it was such a blessing to fellowship for a short time with them before our beloved Taxi-man Peter gently nudged us to get in his car and drive off to the Gauhati airport for our Kolkota flight.

How precious it is to meet old friends again.

As the old hymn says:

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

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