Dommeru - DAY ONE

Was greeted in the morning where I stayed by Mr. Smirnu, Douglas and Karpavarum who escorted me to the NICE Mission. On the way we stopped at where Mr. Smirnu lives. It is in an outlying village passed Rajahmundry and it is actually an old leper colony. The government about 25 years ago built these buildings for lepers -- they are now the equivalent of "projects' and some of the poor live there. Mr. Smirnu has two apartments at the place that he rents -- one is his home which is like a studio and upstairs he converted one of the rooms into a church -- it is so small - about 8 x 6. They have about 50 people who come to the church service each week he says. We greeted some of them on the way up the stairs.

Next we took the journey over the bridge and across the Godavari River to Dommeru where we arrived at NICE Mission. NICE Mission is directed by Pastor Ravi and his father with the help of a very good team. They had a meeting set up for me to address some of the pastors that they work with, regarding HIV/AIDS. We had a couple patients show up along with a group of women from the community as well. I think they were challenged with some of the frank discussion but in dealing with a disease whose primary transmission is sexually -- it has to be delicate but it has to happen. We ended up having a really good time together.

After that it was lunch and then around 2:30pm in the afternoon I went back to where I was staying for a rest and would return around 7:00pm for an outdoor evening meeting for the village. . . .


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