U.S. Member Meets With Indian Congregation
August 14, 2011 [Report from Kourtney Hannaway]
Agra Church Has U.S. Visitor
I just had a wonderful weekend with the brethren in Agra, India. They really wanted me to write something about my experience! I am happy to, so here it is.
In planning for my 10-week school internship to India, I wasn’t sure how possible it would be to meet with United Church of God brethren. I looked around on various Church of God websites but didn’t find much and I wasn’t sure who to contact. After hearing that the Schreiber family had recently visited brethren in India, I e-mailed Mr. Dave Schreiber. After that, everything seemed to just fall into place, with God’s blessing I’m sure.
Despite being a good 15 hours away from Agra, I was able to make the trip this weekend. I had a wonderful Sabbath service with about 10 other people. Mr. Prakash Mandora was also visiting. They were all so kind and generous, helping by giving most of the service in both English and Hindi. I was struck by how sincere and enthusiastic they all are for learning the truth. It is wonderful to see and visit with people across the world, especially who are new in the faith and very excited about any knowledge and fellowship, since everyone is so spread out.
I had a great time with them this weekend. I’m going back to Mumbai in a few weeks (from my position in Falna as an intern) and I plan to visit Mr. Prakash and his family once more before I return home to America. I know God has been with me to allow for these wonderful experiences here with brethren in India.
I attend the University of Oregon and one of my majors is Journalism. I wanted to study abroad in India for this summer so after an application and some interviews my university matched me with an organization called Educate Girls which is based in Mumbai. It’s a non-profit organization that helps find ways for rural families to enroll their girls in school. The head office is in Mumbai, but they do most of their field work in Rajasthan, India, which has the highest gender disparity for children in school.
So I’ve spent a little time in Mumbai and most of it in Bali, Rajasthan. As an intern I have been helping them edit content for their new website that just went live. I also visit the rural areas and interview and document families, schools and villages to make stories about the need for Educate Girls and the impact the organization is having.