"I believe that if an angel were to wing his way from earth up to Heaven, and were to say that there was one poor, ragged boy, without father or mother, with no one to care for him and teach him the way of life; and if God were to ask who among them were willing to come down to this earth and live here for fifty years and lead that one to Jesus Christ, every angel in Heaven would volunteer to go. Even Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, would say, 'Let me leave my high and lofty position, and let me have the luxury of leading one soul to Jesus Christ.' There is no greater honor than to be the instrument in God's hands of leading one person out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious light of Heaven."--Dwight L. Moody
Thursday, January 19, 2012
We landed in Dhaka on Tues. the 17th around 10am, and stood in a mob with hundreds of people waiting to go through immigration. There were no lines, no organization nor order, so we simply pushed our way forward inch by inch with everyone else. After three hours, we made it to the immigration desk. The airport conditions are deplorable. Filthy, runned down, tarps hanging here and there for walls....unbelievable.
We met our driver and then waited for a second vehicle to arrive to load on our 25 pieces of luggage, plus the luggage of two students we picked up along the way. When traveling through Dhaka to our accommodations (a local dental office) we found the driving to be horrendous....and terrifying. No signs, no speed limits, no order, just drive in any lane, on the shoulders or anything to get around other drivers. We were so close to the other vehicles that we were literally inches away. (We are certain the angels which excel in strength were traveling with us!) All vehicles we saw were dented, scraped and battered (including our vehicle) because it is common place to "brush" up against other vehicles on the road.
We walked around the city with our guide to exchange our money and get a bite to eat. The people were very friendly and especially intrigued to see white-skinned people. They stopped whatever they were doing to stare and sometimes follow us around.
The filth of the city is indescribable. In our travels around Dhaka and then the 8 hour trip to the northern part of the country, we've seen nothing but poor, poor people and incredible filth.
During our first night in Dhaka, Mike became sick. We are not sure of the source of his illness, but are grateful he is beginning to feel better and today (Thurs.) has started to eat a little.
We begin each day with a bucket shower and have been introduced to squat pots (yuck!). We stopped at a gas station on the way to Bangla Hope, to find a bathroom. Their bathroom accommodations were squat pots with no walls or doors surrounding it.
We arrived at Bangla Hope Wed. afternoon around 2pm. What a beautiful place this is. The grounds are lovely, the staff warm and friendly (they make you feel like a celebrity) and the children....they've won our hearts already. The girls are constantly swarmed by the little orphans! They love to be held and cuddled, hold your hand or hang onto any piece of clothing they can, just to be near you. There is a constant crowd wherever you go.
We've enjoyed the worships, meals, bedtime routines and lots of playtime with the children. This month is going to fly by.
Today (Thurs.) we spent the morning unloading bags and getting everything we brought organized. What a huge job! Around noon we headed to the nearby town of Healey. We rode in a "putt-putt" into the local village of "Healey." A "putt-putt" is a bicycle with a small motor and a wagon attached. The girls were able to select fabric for salwar kameezes.
On Friday our family will be preparing for Vacation Bible School and preparing a program for the church service on Sabbath. Sunday morning very early we will leave on a road trip to the southern part of Bangladesh. It will be about a 10 hour trip. We'll be doing a VBS program at two village school during the week, then will pick up 2 babies and bring them back to the orphanage.
We just got internet access tonight, so will post updates as often as we are able.