Awake at 3:00 a.m. We are leaving for a new area this morning and our flight leaves at 6:10. We are flying to the city of Coimbatore. From there we will drive another hour to Ooty. We stopped and ate at a restaurant and I first genuine Indian eating experience. I can’t pronounce what I ate but it was pretty good. The hot tea was amazing.
We arrived at Ooty and checked into our hotel room. This area is much different from Gundar. It is high in the mountains and it is much cooler. This hotel room is much nicer as well. It actually has hot water so I got my first hot shower since I left the states. After meeting a couple of local ministers, we piles into taxis and headed out to do some sight-seeing. Twelve Christian women from one of the local Toda villages traveled with us. We had to stop at one location and let the women out. There was a Toda temple next to the road and the women were not allowed to be within a certain distance of it so they had to walk around it. We went to a local lookout that viewed a mountain range. It was absolutely breathtaking. There were waterfalls and the clouds hung on the mountains like blankets.
After that we began our walk to the Toda village. If I had known the trek we were about to take I might have stayed in the car. The scenery and the atmosphere was incredible but the terrain was treacherous. It was down the mountain, very steep, and very wet. We came to a place where the path was a solid sheet of rock and it was downhill. We had to walk across it and it was very slick. At the bottom it just dropped off into nothingness so I was constantly praying that God would give us sure footing. I slipped a couple of times but stayed upright.
We finally arrived at the village and gathered in one of the houses to meet with the women. They could not have fit one more person in that house. We sat on one of the beds which consisted of a piece of plywood with a blanket on it. They served us coffee, and after we rested for a while, we sang and preached. Four Toda women committed their lives to Christ. I am sure more wanted to but they are afraid. The Toda men are very resistant to Christianity. Some of the women have to sneak away to be baptized and attend bible studies and church because they are afraid of the men in the village. The women are very excited to learn more about Jesus and their faces light up when one of their own accepts Christ. Many times they break into tears when one of their sisters accepts Christ. When they sing, they sing with tears in their eyes. They truly love Jesus and the hope of eternity gives them great joy.
We entered the hut of one of the village members and they fed us. They were so excited to show us hospitality and serve us food. They still cook over fire and everything they eat is grown in the village. They make their own blankets and shawls. They are truly a beautiful people. We prayed for a very sick man from the village. He was suffering from kidney failure. We provided some money to buy medicine.
After we said our goodbyes we headed back to the taxis. We went a different way because the way we came in was too dangerous to travel at night. We finally made it back and our shoes were drenched. It was a forty-five minute drive back to Ooty and the fog was so thick that our driver had to stick his head out the window to see the road.
Back at the hotel room we collapse, completely exhausted. Tomorrow will come soon so it is time to rest. It was a great day to see people introduced to Christ. Praise God for his movement among his people!