Jerris and Juanita returned this week from an extended stay in India. More details can follow, but in his short report to the Manassas Church of Christ, he stated that from the more than 23,000 preachers that he spoke with, seeing 400 to 500 of them daily, his most requested thing was "Take me back home with you!" This request was not to escape the place where they live, or the work that they have to do, but it was to "Thank the contributors in person" for all of their prayer an support.
Jerris' team was unable to travel in the Northeastern congregation, even though he had them scheduled, because of the unrest plaguing those areas. The locals of those areas told him that it was "Not good to come."
There was always many other places to go, and during his stay there was 5625 baptisms there. He could not witness them all in person, but he found that each time he went down to the water, he witnessed "the waters troubled over and over again"
Although the temperatures wavered between 102 to 105 degrees, the hot season had not begun!
Jerris account on one particular stay in Poona (now called Pune or Pune City), he was teaching bible class to the men, and began his first day with a translator speaking Kannada as Jerris calls it. The next day, he planned on continuing part two of this lesson, but was told that this group spoke Marathi, the next day, Hindi, and the next Telugu. He was only able to get one lesson in because of this. From this example, he would like the listener to realize that the language barrier is vast in India. The official languages spoken in India are: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Panjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu and English. As Jerris said to me one time, most everyone can speak some english, it's just that you need someone to translate this for you. Individual mother tongues in India number several hundred; the 1961 census recognized 1,652 (SIL Ethnologue lists 415). According to Census of India of 2001, 29 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers, 122 by more than 10,000.