Well, it’s been 4 weeks. What has seemed to be a long visit seems to have flown by quickly. From quiet morning breakfasts to busy afternoon visits to the churches or Sunday worship, evening home worship, even death of a Pastors mother in law. Then death hit closer home, with the passing of Mercy’s sister’s father in law. Pastor visits for healing prayer, money for medication – we have started to see the daily activities of life here in Kerala, India for Pastor Babu Samuel.
My wife and I have faced the culture head on and have embraced it like missionaries should and have in the past. So what does that look like? Eating the food, wearing the clothes, respecting the traditions.
From breakfast to dinner, dishes that require the use of the hand. The right hand in India is used to mix and stir foods. It can be challenging to say the least.
Clothes for women are very modest. Clothing is not of the revealing nature like the American culture’s often times is. There are very colorful patterns. I do not think there was a pattern or color I did not like.
For men, the older generation pastors wear pants that are dark in color with a white shirt that is usually starched like card board. Casual dress wearing a Munda that is white, wrap around skirt, waist to toe length with a colored band at the bottom. It can be folded up to allow for mobility in walking, and can be a way to be cool in this hot and humid climate. Maybe this is what Paul meant by “girding up your loins”. I didn’t get a chance to wear one this visit, but I do plan to in the future.
The culture from a Christian perspective has a complementary approach with husbands leading their wives and children. Respect for the wife is shown. She runs the household with the help of her husband. Children have a respect for parents at a young age which is reflected in their character and demeanor. American culture has so much to learn from Indian culture. It is refreshing to see.
I hope I was able to give you a picture of what the last four weeks looked like. Memories that will be seared into our memory till Christ returns or takes us home. This will be a start of many more trips to come.