I apologize for not communicating sooner. Our hotel is under construction and the wi-fi is not very dependable. There are 4 floors in the hotel with rooms and most only have one room per floor that is useable. The rooms are nice but the hallways, etc. are all in one state or another of demolition or remodel. Our team is scattered out over all the floors, using the only useable rooms. We are the only guests at this time.
The conference is going well. We have close to 300 people we are teaching. It is such a blessing to work with them. We start early in the morning and go steady until dinner time around 6 pm. There is preaching in the morning, then we split up and present seminars all afternoon. After dinner the team goes back to the hotel and I stay and work with the master trainers and leaders preparing them for the major training effort we are planning to begin in June. These men, about 25 in all, are an absolute delight to work with, very motivated and sharp. I get back to the hotel about 10 pm so it makes for a long day.
There have been a couple of interesting developments as we have gone through the week. Because there are so many people a large tent was constructed outside to accommodate everyone for the preaching and for seminar space in the afternoons. Just across the road, about 100 feet away, a major rail line runs through the city. There are probably 60 to 70 trains that go by every day. It can get a little noisy. One afternoon when I was conducting a seminar in the tent, about 12 trains went by in the 3 hours. They blow their horn right as they pass to move people off the tracks ahead. In addition, we have about 100 kids from the slums at the conference and they meet across the yard in another tent. They can be a bit noisy as well so it makes for an interesting teaching time.
The city is doing major work on the sewer lines around the training center so the road is all torn up. During the day they make slow progress digging a trench and laying sewer pipe. After the workers leave for the day all the squatters who have makeshift houses along the road dig their own lines and hook up water and sewer to their homes. You wonder how any of it works. Yesterday, somehow related to all that work, the sewer backed up and water ran all under the tent making it unusable. We had to move everyone inside the center, cramming all 300 into a relatively small space. It was cozy with many sitting on the floor, but no one complained as they sat through three sermons with one half hour break. A few even had little kids with them and they did fine as well.
I really enjoy the ride home at night in a three wheeled motorcycle taxi. The exquisite chaos of the Indian traffic never ceases to amaze me. There are many more vehicles on the road than anywhere I have ever been. Thousands of taxis, motorcycles, bicycles, cars, trucks, buses, people on foot, camel drawn carts, etc., etc. And that is not mentioning the many dogs and cows as well. There are only about two stop lights in this area and everyone ignores one of them. Still all in all the traffic moves very efficiently, more so than in America. There are no traffic jams and few short delays. I cannot explain it but it is a wonderment.
I have only two more days here now. I will try to update you again as I am able. Thanks for your prayers.