Thursday, May 9, 2013

A forest journey

The day after his ordination anniversary, Fr. Varghese helped a fellow priest move supplies to a new mission assignment. The trip involved an 8-hour bus ride north into remote territory, and then a two-hour trek through dense forest, home to tigers, poisonous snakes, and elephants.
The Sileru River, crawling with crocodiles.
Shrines to various deities dot the countryside, in a region that is 98% Hindu.
India's characteristic conical hills.

A roadside "shop."
The drought has been "heavy" this year, says Fr. Varghese, and every living
thing is struggling.
Water supplies are contaminated.
The mission has stood vacant for six months, so needs a lot
of care. Fr. Varghese and Fr. Bhaskar spent the night in a room
full of rats and mosquitos. 
Villagers told the priests that a tiger had come from the forest that
night and taken a newborn baby while the mother was out fetching
water. Please keep this suffering mother and family in prayer.
Arranging wares at a local market.
Seeking shade is essential in temperatures more than 109 degrees F.

In this area of no electricity or phone service, the people's lifestyles are

Fr. Bhaskar has degrees in education and music, and is taking up work as the principal of a little school amongst the "aborgin" people. He is packing in a "harmonium" to share his gift for music. The harmonium is a keyboard instrument operated by a bellows!

Of course, the most important thing Fr. Bhaskar will share, is his love of God. He is shown below at left, processing into Mass on May 5, Fr. Varghese's ordination anniversary.

In Fr. Bhaskar's new location, access to emergency healthcare is non-existent, and a lack of electricity and phones will cut him off from the outside world. As you pray and support Fr. Varghese and Holy Family Mission, as the new June 2 date for Confirmation approaches (the date was rescheduled from May to June due to severe heat and lack of funds), please also pray for protection for Fr. Bhaskar...God's blessings on his ministry!

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