Friday, February 5, 2010

snake charming

The plaintive sounds of the snake-charmer’s pipe wafted out on the still air of the morning. It was 8.00 am on a beautiful day and the snake-charmer had been called in to find any snakes lurking in the garden. The sound of chattering voices mingled with the pipe tunes as the boys from the hostel nearby came to watch him at his work. Out of a basket a cobra raised his head and began to sway to the music, closely followed by another. We were informed that their fangs had been removed, which was quite a relief as we watched the snake charmer allow the snakes to glide around his neck and shoulders!

After the show was over, the boys went off to school, and the charmer began his other task. Around the garden he went, making his music, and then suddenly with a flick of his wrist he had a cobra snake by the tail, and was making his way to his bag to put it in. This was a wild snake with his fangs and we stood watching in awe as he did this. Minutes later the charmer found the female partner to the cobra and went off very happily with his cargo as he would be selling the snakes to the government who use the venom to make antidote medicines. It was something of a shock to us to see that the bush where he caught the snake was only a few feet away from the little patio where we had been sitting to do some work! Thank you Lord, for your protection!

We had come to Nawabganj, in Uttar Pradesh to meet up with an amazing man of God, Rev Andrew McCabe, who has worked in that area for over 50 years, setting up schools and children’s homes. At 85 years of age he is still having new ideas and we were there to help him in the planning of a new English-medium school. The hostel next to the school site houses 167 boys and they attend the Hindi-medium school at present, but the big move in India is for English education as it opens the doors to greater possibilities for future jobs. It was such a privilege to lead the devotions morning and evening for the boys of the hostel, some of whom in the past have gone on to be Pastors, lawyers, and high-ranking officials in the area.

We give thanks to God for His amazing protection over us in all the travels and places we visit around India and Asia, as we’ve encountered snakes as well as rats and bears – but they are another story!

Debby and Malcolm,

Education Consultants, The Well Education Consultancy

Supporting Mission Education across India and Asia

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