Barbara's Bulletin

Sabbatical Travels


Over my 3 Sabbaticals since I started working at Kodaikanal International School, the Art focus that has been a theme, has been to explore the art and heritage of SE Asia, beginning with India (Hampi, Ajanta and Ellora), and moving out to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. This time I decided to spend a month in Myanmar, and return to Thailand and Malaysia, but with visits to new areas.
The monuments, ruins of temples, stupas and palaces that are left from the past of these countries fascinate me. I see the beauty of the natural world, God's creation, around and often growing out of the ruins of these monuments, as a reminder that God is present even though the builders of these sites tried, like those in Babel, to stamp their own importance and make a statement.
As I traveled, I was aware of Gods' presence and guiding. I looked for who and how he might be leading me to share. With only a few speaking English where I traveled in Myanmar and Thailand, this was in small ways. One special moment was on my first day in Yangon. A Burmese Naga Christian was showing me around. On a local crowded bus, I found myself next to a young man reading what looked to be a bible. When I asked my friend, in the next seat, the young man looked up and told me that 'yes, he was reading the bible' and asked if I was a Christian. When I said yes, he smiled, and returned to his reading. A brief connection, but a reminder that God is present and has his people in every nation.
I've drawn, and taken photographs to continue to work with now that I'm back in India.
Here I'm sharing just a few of the places and scenes that I've experienced in the last month. God spoke to me as I moved through these places with an awareness of his presence, I hope they touch you as well with a reminder of his great gift to us.

Back in Bethania

Doug's visit

When I was in Canada, I shared about Bethania Home for Children in several churches. Doug Rue, from my home church, Forest Grove, decided to add a trip to India and Bethania to his plans to visit Thailand. I'm not sure he realized what a challenge this would be, with visa and travel, but he came while I was away, and spent several days connecting with the kids at Bethania, praying and playing with them. I'm sharing some photos from his visit. I head to Bethania tomorrow, and will be there for a week.

Barbara Gail Block - Bethania Home for Children with MB Missions

For more on Bethania, visit Bethania Home for Children, Kannivadi on facebook, or MB Missions also has a facebook page and web page for more on what is happening in places like Thailand and India as God is at work.