Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Home Place - India

When our youngest daughter, Sharilyn, was 8 years old, her teacher at the Hyderabad International School asked the students to write about their homes. This is what Sharilyn wrote along with her drawing:

My Home Place - India
I was born in Kerala. There are SO many trees in Kerala, and it is a special place because I was born in Kerala. When I left Kerala I was two, and for my first time I was in Hyderabad. I had to go to a play school then, and learn my ABC and 123. I like it. Now in Hyderabad there was an "Old Hyderabad" and there was a Charminar. Char means four and Minar means towers. So it has four points. It is quite big and has two gates and at a time of day you can go inside and go to the top. Near there is Bangle Street. I buy lots of bangles with diamonds, red, blue, black, white colors and many things.

Sharilyn's Drawing

Almost every day the sky is blue and the sound of chickens and cock-a-doodle-doos, and dogs everywhere and cats running and climbing. It's a wonderful place to be. And I like to hear the snake-charmers in my garden. I had many snakes because I had a BIG garden. I am at a place called Hyderabad International School. The books come from America so when I go there I fit right in.
School Paper, March 1985

Sharilyn was recalling the time snake charmers had come to our compound. Early one afternoon we heard the sound of snake charmer's flutes outside our bungalow. Three men had come with three large baskets, and they asked us if we wished to rid our property of snakes at Rupees 3 per snake (or 39 cents each). I thought they might catch three or four, so I grabbed my camera, Arlene grabbed Valerie, and I said, "Yes! Begin right here by the front verandah."

Within three minutes, they had laid down 2 cobras by our front steps. By the time 30 minutes passed, they had collected 29 poisonous snakes - all within 36 to. 50 feet of our house! Aren’t you glad you missed it!

I had checked their baskets when they arrived, and found them empty. And, as they walked slowly, playing their hollow-gourd flutes I, and a couple others, followed watching ­although very carefully! The snakes would come right out of the holes in the ground. When the men see them, they suddenly drop the flutes, and grab the snakes by the heads in one hand, and tails in the other, and hold them up. I saw one man with four vipers at once in his hands. I marveled at how they could catch several at one time without being bitten.

The last snake they caught was nearby at one of our Bible School Teacher's house. It was the largest cobra - a whopping 67 inches, as thick as my arm. We had seen it off and on for a couple of months, and knew it was there.

This cobra wound itself around a flowering Pala tree, and as the man tried to pull its tail, it was very strong and pulled around the tree and bit his finger! Although the snake charmer screamed and shook the snake, it held his finger in its mouth for over 30 seconds. His friend ran from 100 feet away, and opened the snake's mouth, leaving part of the fang (tooth) in his finger.

The bitten man ate some mustard-colored roots that he had with him in a pouch, while another waved some roots in the pouch over his head and chanted. He vomited several times. I immediately asked if we could pray for him. He refused, saying his gods would become angry if we prayed to our God. (We all prayed in our hearts anyway.) They took off for a nearby city, with all those snakes to sell to a zoo - an unbelievable total of 58!!! Ten cobras and forty-eight Russell vipers. Aren't you glad you missed it!

We do thank the LORD for His abundant protection, and for your prayers. We know that Jesus has sent us here to spread the marvelous Light of the Gospel. Apostle Paul said, "We are laborers together with God!" (1st Corinthians 3:9) We are laboring in our LORD's vineyard, and "My Home Place - India" is the LORD's vineyard! Together, we are all laborers in the His vineyard! "For which cause we faint not...! " (2nd Corinthians 4: 16a)

May God bless all of you who are our partners here in South India!

Earl & Arlene Stubbs
Assemblies of God Missionaries