Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Let my people go...

Go down, Moses
Way down to Egypt la-a-and
Tell ole, Pharaoh,
Let My pe-ople GO!

We sang that old Spiritual in choir in high-school, harkening back to a slave nation that was brought out against great odds.

On the final night, the first 'pass-over' the people were told to dress to leave and eat standing up, ready to march away...  Pharaoh had said that he would never 'let the Israelites go' ... but a few hours later, with the land mourning many a deceased first-born, the message was relayed to Moses - depart!

In a small way, that's where we are now.

In 60 hours the movers are due to come and pack up our worldly possessions and ship them off to Lalitpur.  

Asha's and Enoch's new school in Lalitpur (St. Dominic Savio) started today, but as I key in this small note, Asha is still studying for her last big exam of her 9th standard... Chemistry (tomorrow).  The next day is art which is a breeze for her.   Enoch is already in bed.  As are Yohan and Sheba.

The house is emptying as books are put in boxes and some things (too few) are being given away.  How did we get to have so much stuff?

But we still don't have 'permission' to take Yohan with us.

Our prayer network is humming as folks near and far are interceding for us.

And given the fact that the 'lady pharaoh' of our lives has refused to give us the permission so far things could be seen as being pretty bleak.

Some steps, however, are being made.  We have reached out to the highest ranking bureaucrat in the State for the particular department we are talking about (or not... you can see that we have to be careful about what we 'put out there' while the process is going on - one of these days we will write a no-holds barred account of the last year's shenanigans - but we want that day to come with us having the needed papers in hand).

We also had our 3rd home-visit today - which as far as we can tell went well.  So that leaves us with tomorrow as the authority in question sits only on Mon-Wed-Fri afternoons - and the Fri of this week is a public holiday.   We are hoping to get onto a train at 12.10 AM on Monday the 11th of April morning.  This would mean that Asha would only be missing a week or so of her 10th standard.

Will we be able to make this hoped-for deadline?  Will we get the 'paper-in-hand' - allowing us to take Yohan with us as we shift north?  We have been told that this will happen by the folks who have been approached on our behalf - but we are now talking hours instead of days?  Will the Eichers be on the train on Sunday night - or sometime on Monday?  

Only God really knows - and He does not give us a script to live out... Rather, we have the deep privilege of trusting and being stretched by what seems to be un-doable, completely impossible...

The movers are coming in 59 hours from now. 

We have decided that we must stick together.  The authorities finally sent another person to do a 'home-study' (our 3rd full home-study so far...) and that person came today.  We were glad that Yohan was not intimidated by her and was able to speak freely.   With so many things apparently hanging by a thread, each step forward is a cause for thanksgiving.

We are waiting to hear a correct and life-affirming response to the call: "Let my people (the Eichers - all five of them) goooo!"

Time for a series of miracles.


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Learning from Indian Grey Hornbills

I turned a ripe and nicely young 47 years old today ... and arrived back from Lalitpur late last night to be back with the family and jointly plough through what should be our last week in Thane for some time ... we hope!

Life has been plunging head-long over the past two weeks and it will take a goodly time to recap everything that we are experiencing.  So do bear with us, gentle reader, as we work through the challenges of seeing Yohan's papers, our flat being sold and other various sundry items being done before the movers come on the 8th of April!

In the meantime, I have been helping out the Harriet Benson Memorial Hospital with their website - do take a look at it if you can.  

Here is a post that I put up on the HBM site - which we hope you will enjoy too:


The HBM hospital is not only a place for the healing of the body and soul – it is also a place to see the great beauty of creation.  And amidst the stately trees that adorn the compound we are blessed with various species of birds.
Will you come along with with us for a quick visit to our own biodiversity park in the middle of Lalitpur town?
We would like to introduce you to probably the largest bird to live on the HBM hospital campus: the Indian Grey Hornbill.   We see these handsome birds fly in pairs or singly around the campus in the early morning or just before dusk.
 The Indian Grey Hornbills need to be form pairs, because once the breeding season starts, the couple finds a hollow in a tree for their nest.  If the hollow is small, they enlarge it and then the female enters in and is ‘enclosed’ using mud pellets and faeces.  The birds leave only a small vertical gap open.  The female then sheds her feathers and lays the eggs and hatches them in the nest.
The male Indian Grey Hornbill’s task is to keep bringing food.  This he does faithfully, passing the food for his mate and the small ones through the small hole that was left in the nest.  Eventually, when the chicks have grown large enough to take to the out-doors, the nest is broken by the parents and they fly free.
The female has in the mean-time grown her feathers back and is able to fly again and find her own food.  All this while she was helpless inside the nest and dependent on the male’s hard work and careful hiding of her nest from other predators.
What an amazing picture of faithfulness and cooperation as parents.  And a real lesson for us as well.  The Bible says in one place: “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you” (Job 12.7).  The Indian Grey Hornbill have much to teach human parents about loving faithfulness to each other and mutual help and cooperation. 
So here is another picture of our dear teachers the Indian Grey Hornbill, taken on the HBM hospital campus.