So many things are happening at Prakash now that I will be bombarding you with all kinds of info in the days to come. Loren and I will leave for India on the 12th of January and will start the process of giving away the hundreds of chickens, goats and cows that you have made possible by your GENEROUS giving this Christmas season. Thank you, thank you! In the time of hardship for our nation YOU have been more than bighearted in your giving.
The students had a wonderful Christmas season and put on a celebratory program that made history for Prakash. The boys and girls were on the platform TOGETHER. In India the custom is still that the men sit on one side of the church or any event and the women on the other. NO MIXING! It is a new world, but India has a difficult time with change and the Christians are the worst. Tradition above all else.
I know it is after Christmas, but this story is just too good to not share. Notice—we had TWO alumni that participated in the Christmas celebrations.
Here is the report from Nupi: (She is the one who writes for all the staff.)
“It has been a busy week yet, it was full of fun and the joy of celebrating Christmas. I praise God that He gave His Son for us or else we would not have a reason to celebrate. As we had been preparing to celebrate Christmas for our students we had a questionnaire from Loren sir that really helped us to introspect and align our thoughts and action plan. We were reminded again that our aim should be to get the message of Christmas to the STUDENTS that the Lord has entrusted to us this year.
Christmas celebrations started on the 12th of December with the inauguration of the sports week. Mr. Dayanand Rakshankar was the guest for the program. A former student of Prakash Mr. Rakshankar is a commissioner of the Social Welfare Department. He was at Prakash during the first batch, later he studied in college and appeared for the government exam and passed it to get a job with the government of India. He was very impressed by the progress that Prakash has made. Also, he expressed a desire to sponsor one student at Prakash. It was encouraging to see that the Lord has a Prakash student at such a dignified post in the government department.
The RGI girls played different kinds of games on the 13th of December. We arranged games for them and it was such fun to watch these girls play and the boys cheering them up. The girls played on the porch. All the students’, boys and girls were divided into four groups so that has really helped a lot in building a sense of belonging and team spirit in the students.
The RGI girls also spent their afternoons learning how to make Christmas goodies. They made chiwda—IJ (Indian Junk) as you call it Nani—donuts and rose cookies too. It was really great to see the joy of learning to make new things. Each girl got a packet of goodies that they made and almost all of them had saved it to take home to share with their guardians.
The girls and boys worked hard to prepare and practice for the Christmas program. Practices had started almost two week before. Every day we practiced for one hour. We wanted to do every thing best. Every girl had a chance to participate in something, be it dance, skit or group song. It was my desire that each girl goes to the stage and gets to participate in some item according to her talents. Cleaning, practices and decorations and finally the big day came. The girls made a beautiful rangoli (Sand drawing) at the entry gate.
The program started in the RGI auditorium that was decorated by the girls. The auditorium was filled with students of RGI and PBI. The trees in the RGI lawn were decorated with lights. It was a beautiful atmosphere to be in. One girl from RGI was the hostess of the ceremony. The program began with a prayer followed by choruses. Later the RGI girls presented a wonderful traditional lezim dance a perfect display of well-practiced teamwork.
The boys really cheered up the girls very well. After this the Joy, the General Director welcomed all the guests present for the program. During this program we also had group carol singing. The PBI boys participated with each group presenting one song. This was followed by another special dance by the girls on a Hindi song. A Bible quiz was conducted by Rev. Salve based on Luke 1,2 and Mathew 2. The competition was between the women and men staff. It was really fun for the students to watch their sirs and madams compete against each other and needless to say the women out shown men in the completion.
The RGI students presented a skit based on nativity scene. The girls started the skit and performed from the angel appearing to Mary to the birth of Jesus scene and the boys enacted the shepherds and wise men it was wonderful to see boys and girls perform together. (Note: The boys really smelled good and wanted to be the closes to the girls according to the PBI Director of Students)
Nagesh taught a group song following the skit.
The General Director shared a message on Christmas that was connected to the second coming on Christ and asked the students to make sure that they are ready for his second arrival. Jesus has done His part with His first arrival at Christmas and for our salvation. But, now it is our turn to receive Him as our personal Savior.
The winners of the different games received gifts. It was wonderful to see the joy on the students’ faces as they received the gifts.
After the program was over the staff and students had fellowship dinner together in the lawn in the educational wing of RGI. We served chicken biryani. It was a wonderful time of FUN, FOOD and FELLOWSHIP.
Mr. Prashant Michael, a former student of Prakash, attended the program. Prashant studied RAC at Prakash. Prashant is now married and blessed with a son.
He works in Dubai and has come to Nagpur to celebrate Christmas with his family. Prashant spoke to the students and said, “I was not a good boy before coming to Prakash” Someone said, “Go to Prakash and your life will be changed.” “I was admitted in Prakash and the time that I spent in Prakash was a time of turning direction in my life.” He told the students, “Absorb all that is taught in Prakash, and keep it in their hearts and it will surely bring about change in your lives.” Prashant has been a student who has regularly given back to Prakash. He has sponsored many poor students and also donated money for the drum set for the students of PBI. It is so encouraging to see the fruit of the ministry of Prakash.”
Aren’t you justTHRILLED to be a part of this ministry. What a great stories of the results of the teaching at Prakash.
HAVE A VERY HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR.