10th February 2019

A sudden cold snap rolled in this week which eventually led to a government order shutting down schools in our area; of course this was devastating to our children, they were just loving being in the middle of examinations. "Oh man, that sucks, now we have to miss out on our exams!" said no child, ever.

Cold weather and fog suddenly rolled in early in the week.
We also had a whole lot of rain and some hail.
The Big Boys Hostel new roof kept the boys dry during the rain.

The Big Boys Hostel, seen above, is in a process of renovations at the moment. The new roof was just the beginning; now that we don't have to worry about leaks we can paint, add some new furniture and even set the boys up with a new TV. The outside is also getting some love thanks to a fresh coat of paint and some new garden beds.

One of the new garden beds, and a rain water drain getting installed.
Sohalia, Evelyn and Niyati couldn't resist playing with the stones brought in for the new garden beds.

As you probably know, we constantly have construction/renovation projects happening around here. This week is certainly no different, new gardens (not just at the hostel), new furniture, new laundry lines, a couple of drains, some major plumbing projects and of course the staff accommodation keep us all busy,

Gordon installing a new 4 inch water pipe to pump water into our biogas plant.
Can you see Rocky smiling too?
The new water line will help move sediment away from the biogas tank.
The Staff Accommodation, almost ready to pour the first floor.
The first floor will be poured early next week.

Clifton took a bunch of the girls up on the roof our new Staff Accommodation construction to give them a lesson on the roles that architects and engineers play in construction. We are blessed to have the assitance of Engineering Ministries International in the construction of our buildings and this was a great chance for our girls to understand what exactly it is that they do; it was also a bit of an adventure for them just to get up on the roof!

Climbing up on the roof was an adventure Sheetal was happy to take on!
Sareena getting close to the top!
Up on the roof Clifton went through the construction plans with the girls, they discussed the difference between architecture and engineering, learned about the roll iron plays in the protection of a building during earthquakes and a dozen other random snippets of knowledge in their crash course.
Learning about structural engineering.
The girls watched as the builders wired the reinforcing iron bars in place.
The climb down was even more of a challenge than the climb up.
Little Santoshi was the last to climb down.

In a completely random turn of events a group of our staff joined a big rally of motorcycles and travelled around our area to promote awareness about the importance of wearing helmets when riding motorbikes. It is amazing that people in this area happily spend money to put a protective case on their mobile phones but cringe to spend the same amount of money on a helmet to protect their heads!

The Road Safety Rally had a massive turnout.
Eugene and Shane showing how it's done.

It was a big birthday week too, first up was Gordon who turned 18 years old! In India 18 is the year that you are considered to be an adult, you can vote, get a drivers licence and register as a tax paying citizen. Here on the mission turning 18 has some perks too, you can use mobile phones, go for holidays off the mission and are finally allowed to date (yep, we are pretty strict). While Gordon may well endulge in some (or all) of those things in the future, for now he was just happy to have a big party with all his loved ones and celebrate his big day around a warm bonfire.

Gordon's friends helped set up for the party.
Food was catered for the party by a local restaurant.
It was a fun night for everyone, with plenty of food to spare!
Happy Birthday Gordon!

Nancy also turned 26 and, as her birthday coincided with Rose Day threw a white and red themed birthday party for all of the mission family and extended family. It was a great night with good food (butter chicken), snacks, cake, dancing and games. Everyone enjoyed themselves but none more so than Nancy who had a big smile on her face the whole night.

Nancy welcoming everyone to the party.
Vishwajeet was excited for the butter chicken!
The Dining Room was well decorated.
Everyone on the mission (except Clifton) enjoys a good dance.
Busting some moves, birthday style!
Happy Birthday Nancy!
(she's in the middle with the white balloons)

And that about ends this week. Here's a few random photos from the last seven days, each one tells it's own little story we suppose.

While Kamal is currently undergoing practical examinations in his Year 12 studies, he took a moment to slack off and watch some Youtube. The cheeky look is because Clifton caught him watching the "How to Train Your Dragon 3" trailer.
Our dear friends John and Sarah headed back to Australia; as some of our oldest supporters they have been to India 11 times since 2007. Rick and Sunny joined them for the long drive to Delhi.
Malik, enjoying freedom from school. One of the days off included endless hours of a card game named Mafia, of which around 20 kids took part.
Our wheat crop absolutely loved the rain this week, though it probably could have done without the hail. It continues to grow well covering our fields in a lush green.

We thank you all for your continued love and support. At the request of several friends we will be including a little prayer box at the bottom of each of our newsletters from now on, prayers are always appreciated.

Blessing on you,
Rick, Clifton, Eugene & Priscilla

For those who pray:
  • Our girls Catherine and Roma will be going in for interviews on Monday as they seek to get Indian Passports made; both girls have been offered employment in Hong Kong and the passports are a first step to make that happen.
  • We are planning to pour the first floor of our Staff Accommodation construction on Tuesday. Please pray for safety and a successful pour.
  • Our children continue their examinations in school, please pray for clarity and low stress levels for each one of them.
  • We are still searching for a librarian for our new library, we are hoping for someone with at least 8+ years experience.
Copyright © 2019 The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission
The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission is a registered non-profit and society in Uttarakhand, India that undertakes the care of around 75 orphan and destitute children. The Mission works to be as self-supporting as possible through income generated internally by it's farm and school. For more information see our website.

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Strong Farm
PO Banbasa
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