Friday, January 3, 2014

Time has flown by and we have been very busy getting projects organized and done.  New Years Eve has past and the children were out of school New Years Day.  The team and children went to church about a half hour from Bapatla.  It was St. Marks Lutheran Church.  It seemed appropriate since both St Marks in St. Paul MN and St. Marks in Washington IL are very involved in helping the children of Reach Home.  The service was in telegue so the children could understand.  The pastor also asked if we would sing a few songs.  This seems common practice when a team of outsiders visits.  The service was very interesting...including a lizard going up Sylvia's back then jumping over her shoulder into the ladies in the next two rows.  I was sitting next to her, so was happy he liked her better.    The lumber for the desks and seats were delivered and the guys started promptly and cutting and putting the benches together.  25 tables and 25 benches.  The team of girls did the priming and painting them brown.  We were able to finish 18 tables and it was decided due to time that the older boys would be able to finish the project after we leave.  There is only so much time.  Other projects are to have the girls home painted -inside and out.  Fixing some major damage of falling concrete from the roof the the girls bathroom.  The building is in very poor condition, but painting and fixing it up will buy time until enough money can be raised to add onto the school were the boys stay.  It would be good to have all of the children in the same place for safety reasons.  We are getting the children bibles rebound.  Many sweaters and clothing were donated and the children love them.  We purchased sweaters for those that we didn't have enough for.  Pete is getting prices to have the school and boys hostel painted inside and out in order to keep it from deteriorating.   The slide for the children was fixed painted blue.  we are hoping to have the other playground equipment painted also.  Well tonight is the festival for the children.  100 widows will come and be served and also receive a new sari.  This is an amazing project that is the way for the children to give back to others.  We leave in the morning very early for the train and trip home.  We thank everyone for their support and prays to make these projects happen.  God Bless Penny Wright

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Third day in Bapatla India.  The children think we should be able to say all of their names.  I can't pronounce some of them, and so many children look alike. All are so adorable and ready for love.  It has been a busy time tiring to access what needs done most in order to benefit the children.  We started helping the children write the letters to their sponsors.  We have 85 children from 4 years old to college age.  It is an undertaking, but seems to be moving along.  The children have holiday tomorrow so they won't be in classes.  We should be able to finish up the letter and pictures tomorrow or the next day.  We have a great team with many people of many skills.  Buck seems to be pretty good with plumbing and has fixed many faucets.  Travis is good in engineering and a good problem solver.  The ideas are coming together about what we are hoping to accomplish while we are here.  Right now there are two merry go rounds that are in need of repair, the slide was broken and dangerous.  The monkey bars are also in need of fixing.  We have someone who is planning on fixing and painting the playground equipment.  Many classrooms do not have table and chairs for th younger children.  Lumber had been ordered and many new benches and table will be made by the team.  We are getting estimates on the girls hostel as it is in dire shape.  Very molding because of all the water problems. They will need to power stray and treat the mold before painting inside and out of the girls hostel.  The main gate has been broken and we have estimates to get a new one installed.  This is a huge saftey issue for the girls.   The girls hostel is about a mile from the boys hostel and school.  Two new sets of uniforms have been ordered for the children.  The bibles they have been reading out of are very tattered and torn. They are still able to read from them daily, but are in need of new ones.  After a long day of working and playing with the children, the team will take a rickshawbike into town and do a little shopping and seeing how it is here in downtown Bapatla.  Please keep the children and team in your prayers that we are able to accomplish all that God intends.     God Bless,    Penny Wright

Monday, December 30, 2013

2nd Day At REACH

Our first full day at Reach Home in India and my 1st time here, and it's been amazing!  Although I came to serve the children in India, it's clear that I am already receiving more that I could ever give.  We started the day at 7AM joining in with the children in their morning devotions.  They are SO spiritually excited and praise God in a way that is totally contagious!  They praised God in song and then took turns reading from the Bible.  Then after breakfast they started their school day.  Our day was filled with providing dental care for the children, teaching quilting classes and preparing painting and  maintenance projects for the week.  I am so thankful to be here, as I have heard about Reach Home through my parents for over 30 years.   They always felt to blessed to have met Kusuma (who oversees the orphanage) over 30 years ago, and supported her in setting up the orphanage.  God is so amazing! 

Sylvia Lukin

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Namaste.  It has been 3 years since our last visit to Reach Home.  We have missed the children very much and are all excited to see them. We finally made the long trip to Bapatla India. Reach Home Orphanage.  It was a long tiring trip, but well worth it.  We were greeted by the children all lined up and ready for hand shakes and love.  We will try to keep you posted as to what is going on here in Bapatla, and what the children are doing.  They are full of big smiles and excitement to see the team arrive.  We are having a meeting later tonight to discuss projects and needs.  I personally want to thank all the the generous supporters that have contributed funding in order to make the projects possible.  As sponsorship coordinator of Reach Home I want to thank all of the wonderful sponsors who sponsor a child in order to give them a better live.  All the team is well, all look forward to the next week with the children.  God Bless  Penny Wright

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just to let you know, Kimberly and myself arrived home in Peoria on Sunday about 2:00 in the afternoon. 2 1/2 days of travel later. Jet lag has affected me much more than going over. After a 2 hour nap today and 9 hours last night, I am still exhausted. I start work tomorrow....I'll try to stay awake. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I love you all Penny

Friday, January 7, 2011

friday morning

The festival for the children and widows from the village went very well. Instead of a meal te widows were given a banana and water. After the program they were each given their sari. Many were very old and using a stick to walk with. The teachers were given a ticket to invite 10 widows from their village. They all greet you with Namasta, and you can see a gleam in their eyes as we greeted them. We were introduced and treated as stars with our names written out on paper going across the stage. We then went up on the stage and Kusuma thanked us for coming and helping the children. Then the children performed some of their talents. After that the children distibuted the sari's to the elderly widows. After the husband dies a widow is not suppose to marry again. She is a widow til death. As the widows were leaving they greeted each of us and thanked us. Many touched our faces or kissed our hands. It is an amazing experience, and one that I never forget. It really makes you appreciate all that we have. It was so nice to see the children assisting the widows in getting around.
Some of the things we were able to do with the funding raised was the dental clinic. Dr Dan Rauk, whose mother helped start the orphange worked very hard doing the dental work for all of the children. We also were able to get all of the children's eye tested and new glasses. There was still a need for more sweaters, so we purchased more of those. The children were very appreciative for the sweaters we brought and for the new ones. Sandles were also purchased. This time of year most of them do not wear the shoes, but in feb. the summer heat will start and for several months the sand will be to hot to walk on. They will need the shoes at that time. Also the girls hostel is in much need of repair. They have a serious water leaking problem throughout the building. Which causes the building on te outside to look very bad. This is the most expensive problem right now, so much of our funding will be to put in new PVC pipe that will go throughout the building making it much easier to fix problems in the future. After the work is finished the building will be painted inside and out. This will be a major accomplishment when it is finished. Five years ago, Kimberly and myself were on a team that painted the entire inside of the building and we hired the outside done. It looked very nice then, but is in need of it being done again.
The last day at Reach Home we took the dental assistance out for dinner with us. They are nursing students that lived at Reach Home and grew up there. They had never eatin in a restaurant. Then we gave then a gift of a new chudidar and new shoes. They were very grateful and surprised. The evening was very nice and we ate outside in the patio of the restaurant. I ofcourse enjoyed a bottle of squirt.
The final day at the orphanage is a hard one as all of the children love the attention and hate for us to go. I became close with the 9th grade girl that we sponsor, so it was difficult to say goodbye. Lots of hugs and well wishes. I also was able to meet children of other people I know who sponsor a child here.
We probably have 5,000 pictures to share between all of the team. It will be fun to look at all of them. I'll select a few and not make family and friends view all 5,000. Ha.
At 11:20 PM it was off to the train station for the midnight train to Hyderabad. This is the worst part of the trip. The travel home. Many hours of rushing and waiting. When you board the train at night it is difficult to find your bunk. The stack them 3 high, and of course I got the top bunk. So you put all of your bags and belonging in the bunk with you and climb up.
Right now we are waiting in Hyderabad to catch our flight to Deli in the early morning.
We have a 15 hours lay over, so Pete arranged a tour for us to take up some time. Not much to do at the airport. Our plain home leaves around midnight for a 15 hour flight home. Actually because of the time difference it looks like it will only take 2 hours. We lose 13 or so hours someplace. It would be nice at this point to beam me up Scotti and take me home.
love to you all and see you soon.