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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

October 30, 2009


Daughter Laura and I got off the train in Pune, India.

We had been traveling for the better part of the past day and a half as we journeyed up the west coast of India to Mumbai (Bombay) and then another 300 miles to Pune.

It’s always an adventure to arrive at a destination in the wee hours of the morning. We came off the train with our bags and were promptly met by an enterprising cabbie who crossed through the waiting people and approached the only Europeans who got off the train (us). He had a little motorcycle rickshaw, which are so prevalent in India. We had ridden in a hundred of them over the past months and so he jammed our bags into the back.  Laura and I climbed in.

The cab driver assured us that he knew the area of the Deep Griha guesthouse. He was true to his word too. He got us to the subdivision of the street and address but then we were stumped. The street wound around. The house numbers were not well-lit or non existent. It was 4 am.

On the front porch of one house (sort of a semi-attached semi-modern condo/apt building) was an elderly gentleman. The cab driver pulled over and asked about our address. The gentleman said that we were in the right neighborhood, and though he was in his pajamas he took off walking down the middle of the street and our cab followed. About three streets away, we were at our destination.

Deep Griha was and is a Christian mission in the heart of the city of Pune.

We spent our nights at the guesthouse some miles away but each day we went to the mission to experience the range of ministries and projects in which Deep Griha (Lighthouse) was engaged. Education. Medical. Orphanage. Preschool. Daycare. Life skills for Indian women. Life skills for Indian men. Family planning for married couples. A place which offered hope for countless in that vibrant city.

That was five years ago. The work continues and now Dublin Community Church has a special relationship with that mission too. We are partners with First Community Church and First Congregational Churches in Columbus. Our involvement currently is supporting ten orphans at the “City of Child,” one of the related institutions to Deep Griha.

Recently we held and “Antiques Road Show” at our church in Dublin. Old friends, Mike and Kathy Clum graciously gave of their time and came to appraise antiques. All proceeds will go to sponsorships for those kids. 

The history of the mission is one that is intertwined with countless churches, individuals and children. The founders, Dr. Neela and Rev. Baskar Onawale continue to have ties to this vital mission. It has a strong history over the past decades and solid mission partners who will work with them in the coming decades.

But, I find it interesting that I was first introduced to the area in the middle of the night by a man who led the way down the dark street in his pajamas. You just don’t see that in America, much anymore.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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