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News from India & Bangladesh May - October 2006

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Last October there was a meeting in our Common Room. Mr. Matthew Malaker was the leader and he was very happy. He had been born and brought up in this village, and as he was involved with the Young Men’s Christian Association he has been nearly all over the world. He now organised the programme for the celebration and was so happy to do so. There were many plans made, and plans changed. There were 30 VIPs, and their meetings were in the Boys’ Hostel. The Very Very Important People’s meetings were in our Common Room. At one meeting there were four sheets of notepaper of those responsible for various activities. As usual the men wanted to take the lead, but the women objected strongly. The men wanted ‘Caroline Babon’ (given by Caroline) to be their HQ. We changed that, and it once again became one of our Guest Houses.

The Girls’ Hostel was full: there were 55 of our own people, six came from Barisal St. Mary’s Home, ten from the Church of Bangladesh Hostel Khalishpur, and eight from the Church of Bangladesh at Kaligram. The Play Group building was full of the Sisters’ relations - about 30 of them - and there were more from the village. Fortunately people do not mind sleeping on the floor, and we brought 40 extra mats so the girls were not overcrowded.

The VVIP guests from the UK were Denis Doble, Margaret How, Liz Crocker and Diane Jennings. We were responsible for 15 VVIPs (sometimes I counted 19 at the table). Bishop Michael and Mrs. Mary Baroi were in our Guest House. The men VVIPs were upstairs in Mrs. Plumb’s beautiful house, and there were some RC Bishops there too. There was much coming and going as most of the RC Bishops did not stay the whole time. Mr. Doble did - he liked it up there!

There was so much happiness - and so many problems, especially when the electricity failed! The Meeting started on the second night. We expected about a thousand people, yet there were over 1,400. I shut my eyes tight, put it in the Lord’s hand and then forgot about it. So there was lots of food, and also some to spare. No food was wasted.

On two days after the Holy Communion Service, there were two sessions in the morning and two long sessions again in the afternoon. After supper there were happy shows from different villages.

February 5th was our Special Day: 100 years of the Church in the village of Jobarpar. All the services were in the pandal (large canopy covering nearly everyone). There were benches by the side for those who could not sit on the floor. The majority sat on the mats -including the Bishop when he was not standing to preach.

Again there was enough food for all and nothing was wasted. One man had three helpings of rice! The crowd was great, as there were many denominations present, and also our Hindu and Muslim friends.

It was an occasion that brought many people together. It was a great joy for all who came, plenty of work for all the locals, and an unforgettable occasion for everyone.

SUSILA, Mother CSS, Jobarpar and Barisal
5 February, 2006


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