Bangalore a Jag and Stitches

I arrived in Bangalore late afternoon of the 16th and grabbed a taxi and immediately called up my friend Jagadish to direct the driver to where I was going.  Jagadish had made arrangements at a local hotel for me to stay which was very close to where his house is located.  I met Jagadish through one my pastors - David Warnick after one of his trips to India a few years back for Alpha training.  I was told about this guy that was in his 20's that came from a transgender background that had radically come to Jesus and that I should meet him.  I started to e-mail Jagadish and then communicate via Skype.  I wanted to just encourage this young guy in his walk in any way that I could.  Come to find out he was already reaching out to so many others and having an impact.  We had a few conversations over the months and then it seemed it was harder to stay in touch.  I got busier and so did he.

As this trip was starting to happen I knew I wanted to try and make a few days to spend some time with him and to also meet his new wife.  He had just got married in October of 2013 -- a milestone in both of their lives.  He had told me at the time that he was also blessed to be a part of a great Vineyard Church which was pastored by Rick & Ellen Coffin.  And to connect things up even more, my friend Kurt Bubna that pastors Eastpoint Church in Spokane Valley, Washington -- when to high school with both Rick & Ellen Coffin and they are very good friends!  Crazy small world sometimes.

Anyway, got check in and took a bit of a rest and then Jagadish came over later to just say hello and to catch up a bit.  Carolyn, his wife works until 8:30pm at night and then has a one and a half hour commute back home -- so I would have to meet her the next evening.  He was right in the middle of a very big outreach which was supposed to happen the week before -- but there were a couple deaths that were related to folks which caused it to be postponed.  So I was going to be able to be a part of it. Jagadish told me it was costing quite a bit of money for the outreach and he was going to try and save money by doing the cooking himself.

Jagadish (pink shirt), Head Cutter (at table), David (trainee at machine)

The next day we went to one of the business he is working on -- a sewing center.  He said his boss lives in Hyderabad and overseas things financially but Jagadish runs the center and overseas quality control -- Right now they were working on children's school uniforms and had received a very big contract.  This work goes about 9 months out of the year.  I was introduced also to David.  David is a hijira that came to the Lord.  Jagadish feels strongly that even though the individual might identify as a woman, he calls them by their original name -- in this case David.  David still has breasts and dresses as a woman sometimes but Jagadish addresses him as a him.  David is being trained by Jagadish and in the picture is seated at the front machine.  A great warm spirit about him.

After touring the center we went to runs some errands (zipping around on a scooter!) and then went to get some lunch.  That evening I took rest and then the next day was going to start with the food prep and then the outreach in the late afternoon.

When I arrived the next day to a few hijira on the living room floor, along with the partners in Jagadish ministry all preparing vegetables -- they gave me a space at a chair and a bag of peas and I thought -- this will go very fast.  So I took the pea and said, "I know how to do this!" - I snapped off either end and through it in the pot and the whole room started to laugh!  This wasn't a snow pea -- it was peas in a pod.  One of the Hijira came over and showed me -- snap off either end, then slice pod with finger nail or pull string down and reveal inner pod with the peas -- scoot the peas out into the pot and drop the pod on the floor on the newspaper.  One, then 15 seconds later, two, etc. -- this was going to take a lot longer I thought!  There were bags of peas, carrots, potatoes, and about 6 other vegetables.  It took about 4 hours or so of prep.  I really wanted to take pictures but because we were in such close proximity I did not want to make them feel uncomfortable.  These were hijira that have been connecting with Jagadish for some time -- they also were still dressing as women but he called them by their male names.  One thing was for sure -- they loved and respected Jagadish.

More on the outreach later . . .


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