An update from UBS in Pune! The girls got together this evening and wrote this entry - we learned so much! Also, we will be adding photos to these past few days' worth of posts when we have a bit more consistent connection.
Our day started out with us leading the morning assembly for the Kline Memorial School that is associated with the Union Biblical Seminary. We led the children in an interactive activity where we made a human rain storm by leading through making sounds with their hands and feet. Our concluding point of this activity was that the sound effects from one person are not enough to make a rainstorm.
We also used the verse 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for the believers in speech, behavior, love, faith and purity." We wanted to encourage them to be good examples and make a positive change in the world.
After the assembly, we took a tour around the school and visited classes of all ages. We were both impressed and surprised by how well behaved and disciplined the children were. The atmosphere for every classroom was very welcoming and open, the school really seems to work like a well oiled machine. It was also interesting to learn that while the school was started about 10 years ago as a response to the need for a good local school for the children of faculty and students at UBS - it has now grown to 1240 students, over 90% of whom are from outside the UBS community. It has thus become another outreach for the seminary.
Then, after another filling meal at the guest house, we talked to Rev. Dr. Shekhar Singh who gave us a grand overview of the history of the seminary. We then met up with Justin, another administrator, who gave us an extensive tour of the various ministries and missions around the campus that UBS is leading. These ministries consisted of a children's ministry, spouse's training, a community development program, and a music center.
In addition to training leaders, the children's ministry leads bible school programs and other educational activities such as assemblies for the Kline Memorial School. The spouse's training program provided an opportunity for the wives of male students on campus to also receive training as their husbands enter into ministry. The community development program provides a daycare service for working parents and is currently focusing on expanding a tailoring class. Members of the community can come to receive affordable training in sewing to then turn into a source of income to support their families. They are also looking to expand the program so as to include a clinic and bakery training.
All of the ministry training programs do a very good job at meeting people where they are in their lives by accommodating many different situations because of student's varying stages of life. This allows many professionals who couldn't otherwise attend seminary receive ministry training. We then sat down to tea with our guide and he told us about his story and his calling to ministry from God. Its was a good reminder to all of us to follow God's calling as we are looking into careers for the future. We then explored more of the campus before deciding our plans for tomorrow.
As we have been going through our days here we have been hearing many different people tell us about the work that Mukti Mission is doing in the city. John made a connection with the librarian who invited us to supper and suggested we go visit this ministry tomorrow. We are all very exited about this opportunity. At supper, Usha, our host at the UBS guest house, informed us that she grew up there as an orphan and her time there had a significant impact on her faith journey.
We ended our day with our brave leader John saving us from a large cockroach that had made its home in our bathroom. Hopefully all is well now.