Betty Petersen – India - 2005 January 11 - Email

Dear Ones...

A little line today as there is an opportunity to use a machine. This comes from Vijayawada convention. It is only 3 hours from the Rajamundry convention and there are about 450 people here. They tell me there are 8 churches in this little city of 1 million. (Calcutta is 17 million and now only 1 friend). So the gospel has prospered here.

After Rajamundry convention we had a couple of days just staying on in that city and we visited one of the villages where 3 of the workers come
from. Joy & Anand's mother was the first to make her choice there in that village. She used to milk cows, and then carry the milk on her head and walk into town to deliver it to the different homes. She met a lady reading her bible and this lady was professing. So workers then came to the village with the gospel. Vivek is another worker from that city, and his dad would go out to the village every week and just read the bible to the people there so that they could get familiar with stories about Abraham, David and Noah. These folks couldn't read. So this man would go out to prepare the way for when the workers would come and have meetings and talk about these wonderful stories that we have heard from our childhood. Joy and Anand's mother couldn't read, so she paid a lady to read the bible to her every day until Joy and Anand went to school and learned to read to her. The workers would write letters to her and she would take this over to another lady to read them to her...and that lady professed. It was so special to sit in the living room with all these folks sitting by my side. Just 3 chairs and board benches and a mat on the floor.

It's rice-planting season now and everyone is out in the paddies, up to their ankles all day bent over planting rice. Here at this convention is a little old bent over lady. I would guess that she has spent many an hour in the rice paddy! It touched me that she wanted to speak to me. But we couldn't communicate with our tongues...but we could with our eyes and hearts and spirit. She grasped my hand and then put her other hand over her heart. She is a dear mother in Israel to me. We didn't need words to convey it. The people here are very small in stature.

The weather is beautiful...81.5F during the day and 79F at night...that's inside temp. This AM we woke up to fog, so it's very humid. It's winter season here. There is a man here with a toque on and another couple of ladies with woolen hats on. If this is winter, I'd take a guess that summers are quite hot to say the least. Another lovely thing here are the blue, blue rivers. Usually rivers in these lands are muddy...but they are aqua blue here.

We heard so helpfully about repentance tonight. God has given us only one right...the right to forgive our brother. Revenge, judgment, and
condemnation, criticism all belong to God. We don't have these rights. We may have done something very, very wrong but if we repent we are
putting our lives back into God's hand again and no one can estimate what God can do with a life in His hand. It cost nothing for God to make us out of dust. But it cost God everything to recreate life in us...it cost Him His Son.

Tomorrow is the last day of convention here. On Monday we are invited to a wedding of our friends. It will be interesting. Then we head down
south 18 hrs on the train to the next convention. Only 2 more conventions left. When I left I really wondered how this little sister would make it through...but time has gone quickly and now it's nearly over. It has been a wonderfully enriching trip. What a privilege to meet all these workers and to have such heart fellowship. My cup runneth over.

All now for this time.

Your sister,
Betty