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Its a long story, but Merlin aunty and uncle (Beckys aunt and uncle) usually do a social/charity project every year and they entrust the responsibility with Beckys mom (my Athai). Athai decided this year to spruce up the Paediatric OPD and after loooong hours of making toys etc at Kodaikanal, early in December everything was set up. So here is an album of all the colors, toys, tiles, curtains etc that made the OPD really child friendly!
Click here to see the pics of the Pediatric OPD after the transformation

So finally after all the zipping and zooming through air, road and rail I got back to where I started - back to the Doctors Quarters CSI Mission Hospital.
I'm just trying to compile the numbers and here is my first shot at it:
Trichy - Chennai (Road): 330 KM
Chennai - Ahmedabad (Air): 1900 KM
Ahmedabad - Udaipur (Road): 250 KM
Udaipur - Jodhpur (Road): 270 KM
Jodhpur - Jaipur (Road): 340 KM
Jaipur - Bombay (Air): 1200 KM
Bombay - Chennai (Air): 1400 KM
Chennai - Kodai Road (Rail): 460 KM
Kodai Road - Kodaikanal: (Road): 60 KM
Kodaikanal - Trichy (Road): 200 KM
And that does not include all the distances covered inside the cities visiting palaces and forts and shopping areas and malls and friends and lakes.... nor does it include the boat ride to see the Island palace and the short camel trip!
Air Distance: 4500 KM
Road distance: 1500 KM
Rail Travel: 460 KM
And thats almost6500 KM!!
Alls well that ends well and I'm thankful to God for the safety he gave us and also the comfortable trips. We were well relaxed and were rarely late. Even the airport halts were fairly comfortable. He IS the God of the earth, water and skies... or as these numbers show - the GOD of the Air, Rails, Road and Water!

Finally we boarded the Indian Airlines flight at Jaipur and bid adieu to all the palaces, forts, architecture and the camels in Jaipur. It was quite a trip and we really enjoyed it. Thank God for safety, fun, excitement, timings, adventure and fellowship. Its a looooong story and you can see the pics in my Rajasthan album to get a whiff of all that happened in Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur.

J is Beckys cousin and we were staying at their home in Udaipur while we were vacationing in Rajasthan. J has done extremely well in life and from humble beginnings as an Engineer, at 37 years in the Vice President of his company and is well settled. Inspite of his busy schedule and travel he spends quality time with family. All the money and fame has still kept the family very much down-to-earth. "I used to think a few years ago that I could never own my own new car. I got a second-hand Maruti800 and that was the best I could do I thought!" Today he zips around in either a Honda CRV or a Toyota Corolla and is waiting for the Audi A6 to be available!
His secret? This is what he told Becker a few months ago - "Your educational qualification may not get you very far in life. No textbook can get you far. The only Instruction Manual I follow is the Bible!" Awesome!
Amen to that!!

This was Becker's (aka Peters) first visit to Trichy and the last 2 days we introduced him to Tiruchirapalli (AKA Trichy)... or at least the better parts! Yesterday saw him shopping at the Femina Shopping Mall (mainly for food items etc which Athai was buying!) and then dinner @ Raja Garden (actually in the garden). He also managed to have his eyes checked up by Sandeeps dad.
Today he went out and bought the chicken for lunch. And after the prayer meeting at home we chilled out a little and then went to McLawrence (AKA Namma Veedu) for subs/burgers and salads! His mouth dropped when he saw the cheap prices and the great food here - made it easier to polish off the sub! His last outing was the auto ride to the bus stand at 2 AM!
We're sure that he enjoyed the trip - but his best surprise was watching and eating what Becky cooked! Never in his wildest imagination could he be prepared for the delicacies that she made - beef, chicken, fried rice, biriyani, raitha.... the works. It was a great weekend and the highlight was definitely Becker!
Yeah.... and I'll leave you to drool at one of the meals Becky made!

PS:
1. Becker is Beckys brother
2. I DO help out in the cooking

Ooh the sense of humor that makes Trichy so special. Sometimes I feel that the humour was unintentional. Like this shop that we went to toi check out decorations - a stationaries shop.
The shops punchline is
All stationaries are stationed here!
I couldnt help bursting out when I saw this. Was it intentional or was it supposed to be serious - you decide.

Got this email from Appa and thought I'd share it with you all!
It was nice talking to Rao uncle. His voice was clear and said he can move around after a week. Praise the Lord! We spoke to Mrs. Rao also. Lisa also called us. Glad to know that Luke is able to hear better now. Joel is anxious to visit India to see the 'Autos'!
Love,
Appa

Thanx for those who are continuing to pray! Prayer works!!

.... and this Christmas is gonna be different for me. The crux is the same, but this year theres gonna be a tree, some decorations, a vacation, new clothes...!
The core is the same - its the celebration of Christ who came to save me!!
Today Becky and I went and bought the Christmas tree.... marking the beginning of an exciting season. We got a great deal and were soon zooming back home on my Kinetic Honda with the tree tucked between my legs. I logged on to the internet and played some Christmas music and soon we were unpacking the tree. It took more time than expected, but looked awesome. I decided to light it up before we started decorating it and soon the room was dark with the lit Christmas tree.... a joyful moment for Becky and I.
I took a couple of pics which you can see on this entry.
The bottomline? The words of one of the songs that streamed in through my online radio reflected it!
Its called Happy Birthday Jesus - you can listen to it here.
The lyrics are below:
Happy bir
thday Jesus
I'm so glad its Christmas
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is You.

Happy birthday Jesus
I'm so glad its Christmas
All the carols and bells
Make the holiday swell
And it?s all about You
Happy birthday Jesus
Jesus I love You!

And thats the reason we enjoy all this so much.

And while you're thinking about Christmas - check out this poll about CHristmas..... just for fun!

Becky and I have some of the most romantic conversations this world can ever dream of. I really cant narrate the more romantic ones on my blog, but here are some..... with a twist.
The scene: I'd finished OPD a little earlier than Becky and after seeing her at her OPD, I was sent off to buy some eggs before I went home.
The twist: Instead of going home after the purchase, I decided to take the loooong detour back to her clinic and walk back with her.
The conversation:
Me (with the sweet look in my eyes): Honey, do you know why I came back to pick you up at the clinic?
She (with batting of eyelids, innocent look and a sweet smile): Uh... I dont know
Me (romance blooming in my eyes): Er...... I dont have the keys to the door.
-------------------
The scene: At the dining table discussing Christmas gifts
She: Mmmm... honey - so have you decided what to get me for Christmas..
Me (Desperately short of ideas but with romance storming all through my heart): Mmm... babe - you have all of me for Christmas!
She (looooooong pause): Cant you get anything better..... or ..... do you have an exchange offer
-------------------
Duh....... is this love?

I received these 2 updates from Sheba:
The first email:
Uncle's BP is stabilised, but he is having mild fever, so they are continuing to monitor him.
Luke and Lisa have bad strep throat and cough...
ARun's family hasnt decided as to when they can leave MI because of the snow storm,..they are also very exhausted,..do keep praying. They r trying to catch some sleep here and there.

And the second email a few hours later:
I just spoke to Lisa and she mentioned that Uncle is recovering now..they are moving him out of ICU. Esli has landed in Detroit.
Arun's family have started driving back to WV. Please pray as the weather is harsh and it is a 6hour drive. Luke's cough has gotten worse, so they are taking him to the doc tomorrow. Lisa can barely speak,...Joel took the phone and said " Sheba Athai, i think Mommy didnt wear her cap,..now she cant speak because the snow fell on her". But he confirmed that he is taking good care of everyone and keeping Arun alert on his drive by talking continuously! He also says quick prayers, although 75% of it is always for Lutie!
We will call up arun every hour to check up on their drive.....
My cough and cold are almost gone, although Jitto's is still pretty rough. But Atlanta is much warmer than WV which is much better than bitter cold Michigan.
The last few days have been a pure test of our faith in Christ to move big mountains and it is so wonderful that we all united in prayer...
I will continue to send updates,...
Sheba

If you read my previous entry, I hope you also read Joanna's update/comment:
Awesome ! Thanks for Praying Jayanth. This is Joanna... I am not sure if you remember me but we met you at Aruns wedding.. Yes Uncle Rao is Doing much Better by God's Grace and all your prayers.
He is in control and every situation that led to the heart attack, the hospitalisation, the angio, recovery..... In everything, In every step, we saw His hand leadin Uncle, Aunty, People who were needed to help , the doctors being htere on time, rescheduling his appointments to a much earlier time... Oh and the list goes on!
Finally, 'Nothing compares to the promise he has in HIM!'
God spoke to Uncel Rao about a month ago from a Calendar verse that said "I will heal your heart" Something in his heat told him that he will have a heart attack. Then God promised him from Isaiah 41:9,19

Thanks from all of us here, for praying for him.

Love in Christ,
Joanna

And so this journey of faith keeps going on - with every turn a wonderful exposure of Gods love and grace!

We missed Shebas call in the middle of the night as I was away to see a patient. This is her email which I saw first thing in the morning.
I just got a call from lisa. It seems at exactly 1:15p.m. (11:45 p.m indian time) his BP stabilised and the enzyme test results came out normal! Uncle started crying when he heard the news, as his condition had deteriorated so much and the Lord intervened miraculously. His whole church is on their knees in prayer and so are we. It is truly an asnwer to our unified prayer.
The doctors say that if his heart continues this way, the damage from the heart attack will not be significant.
Thanks for your prayers.
Prayer points:
1. Uncle's BP should continue stabilizing and the enzyme level must be controlled. (sorry if iam medically inaccurate)
2. The doctors and nurses have now been on this shift for 28+ hours continuously,..they are exhausted
3. Uncle's family : Rao Aunty, Ashish, Lisa and Esli
4. Esli is flying out of Hyderabad now
5. There is a snow storm in Michigan which is turning into sleet and so many are driving up and down from the hospital, esp arun,..pray for safety.
6. Luke is much better, but his cough and cold are aggressive.

Uncle's morning Devotion today was Acts: 3: 16 - "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see."

Please continue to pray....will keep you updated,

It made us all feel so blessed about how caring God is. As a doctor I still understand that he is not out of danger...... again Faith and Knowledge seem to contradict..... But I know that God is in control

I got a call from Sheba saying that Rao uncle has had serious complications and his condition is unstable after the angioplasty. This is the email she sent me:
Uncle has been moved to Critical Cardiac Unit because his BP is not stabilizing. Please pray.
Luke's fever has subsided, but he had some mild seizures. Right now everyone is sleeping in Rao Uncle's house and getting some rest. Esli is taking an emergency flight out of Hyderabad to reach Michigan soon.
I will write again if I hear more..

We all decided to pray at the same time as he presently needs some enzyme test and the result will be known at exactly midnight. Becky and I feel helpless as we seem such a long distance away. We're praying for the best.....

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