A Not-So-Lazy Sunday


The day started at 7:30am. After a quick shower and getting dressed in my Sunday best, I went outside to find that Vimulbhai, our most trusted driver, was ready to take Emily and me to our first church in India. It was a little bit of a drive (close to an hour), but we eventually reached a town called Vyara where there was protestant church by the name of Vyara Church of North India. The service was completely in Gujarati, so I pretty much had no idea what was going on from beginning to end except for a few times during the message when the pastor inserted some English phrases to accommodate slightly for our presence in the audience. It was a really nice gesture in my opinion. I estimated that the congregation was around 300 in size, and I was later told that there's actually a relatively large Christian population in Gujarat. There's a church in Surat with membership over 10,000!
church in vyara
church in vyara
When service ended, the pastor stood by the door and shook hands with people as they left. We were last to leave the sanctuary, so when we stopped to greet the pastor, he immediately invited us to join him and his family in his house just across the street. Over cups of chai, he told us a little of the history of the church. It was built 100 years ago, a church-plant initiated by two U.S. missionaries. About 15 years ago, a number of churches throughout India began to work together and formed two networks, Church of North India and Church of South India.

We said our goodbyes, and I told the pastor that I would be seeing him often over this next year. He told me that starting in a month, they were going to be having English services on Sunday nights. Something to definitely look forward to! Vimulbhai decided to take us on a longer, but more scenic, route back to Kadod.
beautiful road
Unfortunately, we were forced to take an even longer detour when a train was stopped on the tracks after hitting a cow. :( Emily actually witnessed the accident happen a little to our left.
He drove us through towns that I had not yet seen. Some of the houses in these towns, he explained, were built hundreds of years ago and had beautiful woodwork decorating the outsides! We stopped at a town named Kakrapar where we walked to a dam that had one of the most amazing views I've seen in India so far. The water was actually blue, unlike the water of most of rivers/lakes in India, and Vimulbhai told us that it was cold, too. He promised to take us back next weekend if the monsoon doesn't start by then so we can go for a swim!
kakrapar dam
kakrapar dam
water behind te dam
Well, it's Sunday afternoon, and now, Zach and I have to prepare our Spoken English lesson plans for the week. I hope for more weekends like this in the future where I get to see some places that are more off the beaten path in Gujarat!

Next episode: Kadodian Wildlife


electric broccoli man said...

hahaha my favorite sentence was the one about the cow, followed by a smiley face. giggled me out of the reflective mode of encouraging reading about church. (not that death is funny, even that of a cow)

spoken english class sounds awesome!!! today i started volunteering at that migrant children school program i told you about, teaching english. partially inspired by your kadod teaching english videos. yays!

vineetgmt said...

i'm yogeshbhai's bro....
my name is gamit vineet

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