Early this year, Spring 2014, the Friends of Pravaham* received a modest grant from the Presbytery of Los Ranchos. Here is a semi-annual status report.
Pravaham is a mission partner of Irvine Pres. and in the last year two other churches First Pres. Westminster and Trinity have come alongside as well. The goals of the grant are simple:
1) Explore and build a Partnership of 3 or more churches in our presbytery with Pravaham (rural south India);
2) Expand the ballet and barre-based fitness program introduced by Anita Coleman (Irvine Pres.) and Jennifer Colon (Tustin Dance Center) at Pravaham to the OC;
3) Support Pravaham infrastructure development by initially funding their a/v equipment needs for community and vocational education, and
4) Going on a short term visit to Pravaham to learn more tentative dates January 2015, 17th – 31st.
Well, it has been a little less than six months and the Friends had our second meeting on 28th June; at our first meeting which was in March we decided to have business meetings every quarter only. Here are brief notes.
Present: Anita (Irvine Pres.); Christie (San Pedro United Methodist); Jennie (Tustin Dance/Red Hills Lutheran); Larry (Trinity United Pres.).
Guests: Marilyn (prayer warrior); Dr. George and his wife Irene (mission partners of Trinity)
News from Lucy, Pravaham: The Annual Children’s Summer camp was held 5th to 10th May. 90 children, ages 5 to 14 years attended the camp. A youth team from Ranipet helped Pravaham students and staff conduct the camp. The theme of the camp was “You Are Special.” For the first time in Pravaham, we conducted spoken English and computer classes to the Venkatapuram village children from 15th May to 29th May. The number of children was restricted to 12 because there were only 4 computers available. By the end of the course the students were able introduce themselves in English and understand many commands and responded to them in English. The newly bought Audio visual equipment was immensely helpful in teaching the children spoken English and made the sessions very interesting. Every day children were shown motivational films like, the life of Nick Vujicic, Helen Keller, Mother Theresa etc. This has made a great impact on the minds of the children. Our grateful thanks to Trinity Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church at Westminster, Irvine Pres. and Presbytery of Los Ranchos, and all the friends who helped us to get the AV equipment.
PLR Partnership Covenant Agreement: Faith, roles and responsibilities statements for the grant duration (2 years) and for the longer term (5 to 10 years) were shared by those present. This is an ongoing conversation in preparation for writing the Covenant by the end of a year or so and before the grant ends.
1) On Fire is our new name for the expanded Booty Ballet program. It is an integrated faith and fitness program/ministry and partnership. Read about On Fire in the June 2014 Presbyterian Women’s SEEDS e-magazine. (http://www.losranchos.org/wp-content/uploads/Seeds-Newsletter-June.2014.pdf)
2) On Fire domain name purchased and a skeletal blog set up: http://www.enfeu.org and we have a few people signed up to follow it as well!
3) On Fire logo designed by Arlene (Pravaham, India) for products to be used at events and in fundraising.
4) On Fire publicity postcards designed by Anita, printed and sample set of 100 distributed (50 commercial design and 50 free and color printing at PLR).
5) On Fire Events – Information shared and short demonstrations by Anita/Jennie (or both) at Concordia U (April), PLR Open Space (May, click here to see the presentation), Kaiser Permanente (June), PW Synod Conference at Chapman U (July 11-13), Irvine Pres. Children’s Sunday School (forthcoming in July).
6) On Fire Curriculum – Curriculum development for small groups in churches, schools, businesses is underway. These are: On Fire Fast (complimentary short demos); On Fire Fun customizable retreats and workouts $); and On Fire Alive (workshops and classes e..g. Adult Education, Sunday School). Besides the core group of adults for whom On Fire is meant, Anita and Jennie are also developing customized curriculum for two special audiences, seniors and children. Finally, we’re investigating updating the DVD we took to Pravaham, India with an On Fire DVD/video suitable for audiences in India and So Cal.
6) Pravaham/On Fire Internship – A college internship program was developed by Anita with the help of Young Life Irvine (and of course, Lucy, Pravaham). Praise God for bringing us the perfect college intern; Chelsea graduated this year with a major in Psychology, minor in Nutrition. She is currently working as an EMT (Emergency Med. Tech.) trying to earn her hours to go to graduate school to become a Physicians’ Assistant. She is also a trained ballet teacher with extensive choreography and teaching experience (San Francisco Ballet Company, Boston Ballet Company, etc.). Chelsea worships at Rock Harbor Church. She will go to Pravaham as our first Pravaham/On Fire intern in Spring 2015.
7) Pravaham/On Fire Trip to Pravaham – January 17 – 31, 2015 – Trip visa applications have begun. Training will start in September. In preparation for this trip we have begun to pray about two projects: library collection development (sending English books) and fitness equipment (e.g. resistance bands).
News and Prayers: Please pray for Pravaham students who will be graduating soon; they are taking their exams this week. Pray also for the new students who will soon start. Christie will be visiting Pravaham, September 2nd through 29th, bringing her Art Therapy program and attending the annual Pravaham Community College Graduation and Inauguration ceremonies.
Presentation by Trinity’s Mission Partner: Dr. George and Irene Vadakumara and their ministry for disabled children, Vadaketh Rehab Centre: VTCM Trust was established in 1982 by Mrs. Irene George to work among the people with disabilities in Miraj (India). VTCM Trust is the first organization in Sangli District to work for the developmentally disabled. Dr. V.C.George resigned his job as Clinical Psychologist to work among the children and adults with disabilities. Vadaketh Development Center was started as a residential facility from 1st July 1991 in the house of Dr. and Mrs. George. Since then the ministry has grown and the new (current) building for Vadaketh Development Center was built in 2008 with generous help from several friends and churches: North Sewickley Presbyterian Church, Ellwood City; Westminister Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh; Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Santa Ana; Conklin Presbyterian Church, Conklin; First Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara; First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs and other organizations and friends from around the world. Dr. George and Irene have invited us to visit Miraj. Today many disabled children continue to receive care, counseling, and as they grow older rehabilitation, vocational training (production of file folders, mud lamps, and carpentry works), and support for small business entrepreneurship. Dr. George is the President of the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists and has become a leading expert in the area of services to the disabled. You can view the complete presentation by clicking on this link: DrGeorgePresentationJune28.
*The Friends of Pravaham are:
If you feel God is calling you to join our partnership, specific project (e.g. visit Pravaham, become an Intern), or schedule an On Fire event for your church, school, business or other small group, we’d love to hear from you and help you explore further. Please contact Anita (949) 682-9603 or charis dot coleman at gmail dot com.
For more information about Pravaham, please visit, http://www.pravaham.org/.