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Southwestern

Marcus Rowntree*

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FIRST-PERSON (Marcus Rowntree*): In India, the first week was fantastic….

INDIA (BP)–“So how was India?” I was trying to imagine how I would respond to that question when I returned to the United States, but I couldn’t even think of where I would begin. How do you describe something that has invaded every part of your being, wrapped itself around your heart, and entwined itself […]

Christians fight infant killing in Indian slum

INDIA (BP)--A baby girl, only a few hours old, is carried to her execution.       The woman who holds her calls herself a midwife, but everyone in this Indian slum knows who she really is: the bringer of death.       As the woman approaches the pressure cooker, the baby's mother does nothing.

In India slum, woman’s faith blossoms

INDIA (BP)--Trishna* grew up in one of India's slums -- squalid, crime-ridden places where families languish in misery. Drunken, unemployed men beat their wives, women turn to prostitution to feed their families, and children gamble, drink and steal.

In India, follow-up to flooding opens hearts

BANGALORE, India (BP)--When the worst floods in more than 100 years swept through a village in southern India, the water did not ask about the rich landowner's social status before it washed away his soil, drowned his cattle and destroyed his house.

Hindu idol worship stirs Christian witness

INDIA (BP)--The Hindu god who removes obstacles was no match for a tree limb.       Southern Baptist representatives Brendan and Alyson Strizek* watched from a balcony as celebrating Hindus tried to navigate a trailer-mounted image of Ganesha through a narrow alley. A low tree limb soon blocked the 10-foot idol's progress. The crowd, unable to back the trailer out of the alley, tried in vain to sever the tree limb so the idol could proceed.       "It took them about 45 minutes to figure out what to do," Brendan Strizek said. Finally, a child removed the top of the makeshift temple covering Ganesha, barely giving the idol enough room to pass under the tree limb en route to a time of worshipping the idol, also known by the names Ganapati and Ganesh.       "If that's not the perfect picture," Alyson Strizek said. "They're expecting this god to remove obstacles in their lives, but he can't even remove a tree limb."       Hindus widely revere the elephant-headed Ganesha as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. He is the remover of obstacles in their lives and devotees invoke Ganesha's name to bring success to any venture.