Monday, February 07, 2011

India Bound in February

Tradition says that St. Thomas (yes, "doubting" Thomas) was the first Christian in the 1st century to sail to India to spread the Good News to the Jewish diaspora in that region.  In the late 1700's, William Carey, sometimes referred to as "the father and founder of modern missions", was very impactful in India both in missional as well as benevolent endeavours.  Today there are scattered communities of Indian Christians throughout the country and for my next project trip I will be leading a team to Patna, Bihar in northeastern India to serve two local ministries.
TIM Gate
Rev. EA Abraham of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Center (ECFC) and Rev. Biju Thomas of Transform India Movement (TIM) both have established programs in medical care, education, leadership training, vocational training and children's homes.  Each are operating in scattered rented facilities and both have acquired parcels of land to construct new centres for their work.  Our team will visit them in Patna to master plan and design the buildings and infrastructure (water, sanitation, power) for these new centers.

This project is being undertaken in conjunction with the eMi Southeast Asia office in India, commonly referred to as eMi2 (it was eMi's second office).  This will be one team with a set of engineers and two architects, each to take on a separate ministry.  In this way, we will serve two ministries in the time it normally takes to serve just one. The goal of our team is to complete two sets of preliminary design master plans, building designs and preliminary engineering recommendations.  The eMi2 office will complete the remainder of the work after our time at the project locations is complete.
This is my first trip into India and I'm thankful to have Ivy Coffey, an architect on staff with eMi2, participating on our team.  Ivy will provide much needed insight into the local culture and how we can function and serve in the most effective manner possible.  You can read more about the projects by visiting the links under Greg's Upcoming Projects at the top of the right side bar of this blog.

Our team will be flying into Delhi on February 11th and for the next 14 days will be travelling by planes, trains, automobiles, buses and pedicabs plus even a little trekking with our own two feet as we do the design work in Patna and afterward make a brief visit to the eMi2 office in Mussoorie (in the foothills of the Himalayas) to conduct a design review of our project with their staff.
IMG 2161
Pray for our travel safety and good health throughout the trip.  We also desire to have open minds to learn, listening ears to understand the needs and soft hearts to come alongside our Indian brothers and sisters to serve them in a way that will be most beneficial to their work.

We also ask for prayer for our families at home who need to handle the ongoing busyness of life without those of us on the team.  Thank you to all supporters and friends who are making it possible for me to do this work.  I will update this blog as I am able in India but for sure will provide a follow-up upon our return.

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