We left the Gateway hotel with а good feeling after a successful Monday of KOG seminars. I cannot say how much we appreciate the work that David and Jolinda Schreiber have done now in Sri Lanka and India. For eight years they have faithfully cared for these people in both countries. It is interesting to watch them work together in organization and implementation of the varied duties of work like this. There are travel arrangements, visits with people, evaluating the unique characteristics of each city and group of people. It’s really a work of missions as the Apostle Paul did traveling from city to city with their inherent risks. There are so many things that could go wrong with arrangements and health. But, they just keep on. They have come to India 14 times in their oversight as Senior Pastor. Their particular mission here is not for the faint of heart. We have enjoyed being with them, too, on the personal level traveling together for almost two weeks.
Another person I want to recognize is elder Ken Murray from Australia. He has made numerous visits and has established and shored up the brethren in both Sri Lanka and India. He has traveled completely at his own expense and has expended a tremendous amount of energy in serving these people. In this huge area of MILLIONS of people, mustard seeds have been planted that are growing. But, it takes planting and watering. It was awesome to see this vitality and to see the growth. Beverly and I have stood in awe of what we are witnessing.
The ride to the Vijayawada airport was quick… only about 40 minutes. We have an hour flight to Visakhapatnam on Air India. Both cities have unpronounceable names. As soon as I learn to pronounce it, I forget it! So, I keep writing them down over and over to retain them in my brain.
They are both large cities that I had not heard of before. Vijayawada is 1.1 million people. Visakhapatnam is 1.7 million and is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. There are huge shipbuilding works here in Visakhapatnam.
We plan to be here two nights with a Kingdom of God seminar in Visakhapatnam and another in a smaller place called Anakapalli.
We were surprisingly met at the airport by three people from Anakapalle. Some are the products of the Kingdom of God seminar that the Schreiber’s held in Vijayawada in 2011. They had a huge welcoming banner for both the Schreiber’s and us.
From the airport we immediately drove to the home of Ezekiel Polinati. We have become acquainted with Ezekiel at Ambassador Bible College where he made two trips doing a partial year in two installments. It was somewhat difficult for the driver to find where he lived and I certainly would not have been able to find my own way out. There are so many people and so much traffic. Again, I’m on edge as a passenger in the van. Vehicles come so close one to another. There are people on scooters with two three humans on each, including children. There are cars and trucks. Yet, we have witnessed only one wreck on the roads since being here.
We arrived at Ezekiel’s and were warmly met. His wife’s name is Malika, his daughter is Jemima and his son is Simon. We visited. They said that they would serve a “light lunch.” It was anything but. They had delicious chicken, rice, salad, naan bread and ice cream.
Malika works at the shipyards as an engineer.
We decided to do a podcast and did one for 20 minutes. It should be interesting particularly to those who knew Ezekiel from ABC days because we did it from Ezekiel’s home where he talks about his life and his family’s life.
Ezekiel was born in 1969. His father was a minister. His meeting hall is right here where we're at. Ezekiel was introduced to the Sabbath in 2012 through a Dr. Ephraim who has been a Sabbath keeper in India since 1977 and part of Church of God 7th Day. He also had contact with Jacob Rao who lives now in Hyderbad.