Letter from Haluaghat
Floral greetings from Bangladesh! The winter has gone and we are full of life this spring. The trees look beautiful, with many different flowers. Even a few months ago we were frightened by the political situation, but are happy now that the President has declared a State of Emergency. People have welcomed the interim Government and the various initiatives being taken by them. A good number of politicians and their relatives have been arrested and charged with corruption. Yet there is fear of what will happen when power is handed over to an elected Government. So we are still living in uncertainty and fear even though there are many positive things happening.
South Asian Christian Youth Network
I am on my way back to Haluaghat from Nepal, where I went to attend the core group meeting of SACYN. It is not an organisation but a forum which encourages and monitors Youth Leadership Development programmes in various churches of South Asia. We share our youth programme with friends from other countries and try to learn from each other. Now we are working together for a website, an on-line discussion board, a bi-monthly newsletter and a yearly magazine. We are also preparing for our third conference, in which about 300 young people from South Asia and abroad will be able to participate.
Mother Susila and the Christa Sevika Sangha
On 5 January I heard that Mother had been admitted to Birdem Hospital in Dhaka. As the next day was the feast of the Epiphany I thought I would visit Mother and the Sisters Jharna, Sobha and Shipra there. The Revd. John Probudan Hira was the parish priest of Dhaka, so we took consecrated bread and wine for them and also some food. A few Christian nurses joined us in our small prayer meeting, which was followed by the sharing of snacks and rice provided by the hospital. Mother went back to Barisal on the 29th. She felt a bit better for some days, but after a month was again admitted to hospital for a further check-up. She is in hospital as I write, with Sisters Sobha and Shefali, waiting to go back after they get the results of various tests. Some of the time Mother seems as good as usual, talking a lot and remembering, but at other times she does not want to eat or drink or to move even a little, and complains a lot about bodily pain. Our Bishops, priests and other friends staying in Dhaka are regular visitors to them.
Sisterhood of St. Marys
On 26 January two postulants, Sathis and Nirva, were made Novices during the service of Holy Communion. It was a Friday, so the schoolboys and schoolgirls could attend. We also had a Memorial Service on 25 February, the first anniversary of the death of Sister Charu, in the Sisters Chapel. Sister Meera, with the other five Sisters, asks for your prayers.
Bishop Michael Baroi has asked me to undertake the pastoral work in Baruajani and Telekhali parishes, along with my regular work in the school and Mission in Haluaghat. Both parishes are 15 km away from Haluaghat. The Bishop inaugurated the new church building (a tin shed half-building) at Telekhali on 11 November 2006. The people of the parish keep this church clean and decorated, so I do not need to come out for this.
In the meantime I have been registered with the Government as a non-government teacher. For this I had to take public examinations after I completed my Bachelor of Education degree. I have now been appointed Assistant Headmaster of the school here.
I am very happy with my present work. Please remember me in your prayers.
St. Andrews Mission, Haluaghat, Mymensingh