Thanksgivings and Celebrations

Francis Noordanus

 Indian Thanksgivings and Celebrations

A new and growing pattern of ministry for me is being present at the moments our Indian brothers and sisters mark and celebrate their children.  While there are regional variations in the broad Indian tradtion, a pastor's prayer and a message is typically sought at several points ranging from pregnancy, the home-coming from hospital, the first birthday and sometimes an infant baptism or church thanksgiving.  These events are always communal with not just the immediate family involved.  To the delight of those attneding they also involve good Indian food.  I have been adapting to Indian food and am grateful that mild curries and some yoghurt are provided for my tender taste buds!

At the end of February, Barbara and I were delighted to join David and Glory Wessels for the home coming and thanksgiving of their twin daughters Aparanji and Avia.  I was asked to bring a message and lead prayers.  It was very special to hear Glory's story of God's special provision in her daughters.

 Photo by Ximena

Then a week later I joined a celebration with John and Florence Nakka as they celebrated the first birthday of young Revin John.  Again I was asked to offer prayers and bring a message. The images below show how John and Florence's main room was filled with people.  Arul Shalom provided musical support for these ocassions and the event runs much like a house church with good food to follow.

Photos taken by Noah.