December 29, 2004

Tidal Wave Disaster

Filed under: Unrelated — Celia Rexselin @ 10:01 pm

Asia is yet to come to grips with the unexpected earthquake-tidal wave disaster. However , the relief measures are now in full swing. For those of you guys and gals who wanna donate , please checkout this site.


December 25, 2004

Christmas Day……

Filed under: Unrelated — Celia Rexselin @ 6:10 pm

It was 3.30 in the morning when I got up.Eddy (my younger brother) had already woken up and had started studying for his computer architecture exam.I prepared coffee for eddy and started getting ready for going to our first ever morning christmas service.Every other year, we used to have our overnight christmas celebrations in the small mahal that we have near our church.This time,however,for all odd reasons we had to break the usual tradition and keep the service in the morning.

Well,where was I then ? ya, and there I was searching for my accessories in my cupboard and mother started murmuring in her sleep.You know,she has always got the “I , THE MOMMY” feeling and every other time she’ll be worried about what I was up to.And this time,it was about the “coffee” dear..

“Bindhu ma !!” I heard her murmuring .. Did you make coffee dear?.I turned back and even before I could reply,she went back to her sleep.(she did that for another two times.. which I didn’t bother to listen) Okay!!! I tried continuing my searching job and some two minutes later , I could feel her nudging me (My cupboard is very close to her bed).”Mole.. I smell something odd .. hey.. it should be the milk … Go and see no”. I was going nuts.. “Mother !!! would you plz get up”??I shouted back which woke her up … She smiled and looked at me as though nothing had happened.

We managed to get ready within 5.00 and went to the bus stand near by.There was only one bus in the stand then and we had no idea of when it will start.I saw an auto there and coaxed him to get us to Guindy for 40 bucks.He came all the way from the stand,ready to go in the narrow velachery road.. and as I was about to get in…Mom had a different idea.The next minute , I saw myself in the bus with mom sitting next to me.I didn’t dare to look back at the “confused auto driver’s face” who was wondering abt the sudden disappearance of two ladies.

It was 5.30 by then and I knew that we would be very late to the church by then.had a bet with my mom that she should give me “100” bucks if we go on time, and I won too..We reached there by 6.30 and by the time , the people had finished singing some carols.We sang “Joy to the world” then and listened to Pastor’s message.This time,he had taken up “Service & Giving” as the subject in general.It was a subject which most people in the world talk about and very few people do.I thought I should also be doing something in the days to come.I had a gala time with my church friends after service and returned home after 9.After giving sweets& cakes to neighbours and friends, I started making and receiving calls .. which I love the most (especially ‘coz my mother hates it).

Then we had a good feast with “chicken curry” in the noon.After that, I lazed around for a while and started waiting for my aunts to come.Suddenly ,I got this idea of blogging it here and thats how this article happened.Okay buddies..”Merry Christmas & happy new year to you all!!!!”

December 21, 2004

The Rich Family

Filed under: Unrelated — Celia Rexselin @ 10:47 pm

I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12, and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money. By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.

When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.

We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives. Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.

The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change. We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.

That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.

We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet. But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses.

I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich. When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20. As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes!

Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills. Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash.

We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night. We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor. That Easter day I found out we were.

The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed–I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor! I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time.

We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way. Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse.

At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week. Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering. When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100.

The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.” Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.” We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus! One day, Jesus was in the synagogue. He looked up, and saw the rich people putting their gifts into the treasury. He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins.

He said , “Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of the others, for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

By Eddie Ogan ..

I asked

Filed under: Unrelated — Celia Rexselin @ 10:37 pm

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey…

I asked for health, that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things…

I asked for riches, that I might be happy
I was given poverty, that I might be wise…

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God…

I asked for all things, that might enjoy life
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things…

I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed!

(Source: ‘The Understanding Heart’, compiled by Louise Bacheider)

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