Thursday, January 13, 2011

Graduation of the preacher-training school at the Jack Nelle Institute

Preparations are being made for graduation. A large tent is erected to shield us from the hot sun. Although it is their winter season, we find it pleasantly warm, but mothers wrap their babies in caps and blankets.

Our hostess, Kumari wishes to dress us--Hilde, Janet, and me--in the traditional saris for the ceremony. We feel like Cinderella as three young ladies choose our wardrobe and begin to wrap us in the beautiful fabrics. There is quite an art to dressing in a sari!

Graduation is a very big occasion for them with the graduates dressed in bright saffron-yellow robes and faculty in red and blue ones. They provided robes for us to wear also. Milton delivered the graduation address and other words of encouragement were given by Arliss Gray, Jay Dryden, and Lynnwood Cockerham.

Diplomas were presented to the 32 graduates of the preacher-training school, including a few preachers' wives who completed the 2-year course in Bible along with their husbands.

A lunch of curried lamb and rice was served to the crowd. We were told that the 10 sheep that were delivered the previous day and slaughtered early this morning yielded 400 pounds of meat. This was cooked and served along with several hundred pounds of rice.

-Laurel Sewell

Location:Vijayawada, India

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