From Rev Fiona Gardner in Hyderabad
What a wonderful and eventful day! We had a delicious breakfast, and then went to the Diocesan office for a presentation about the work the church is doing here.
The Diocese of Hyderabad has 26 parishes, over 3 regions including, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur. Many families the church works with are from tribal and Hindu backgrounds.
We are also given some beautiful gifts and flowers.
We had the privilege of visiting the Piggott Memorial Girls Higher Secondary school, where we were given an incredible welcome from the girls, with a parade and fanfare outside, and then a sample of traditional Sindh and Kashmiri dancing from the girls.
There are over 1400 girls at the school, and we could visit some of the classrooms, and see them hard at work. There was a lovely atmosphere at the school, and Mrs Jennifer Dean and her team are doing a fantastic job, helping the girls to value education, and to gave the best opportunities for the future.
We then travelled to the Piggott Annexe school, in a poorer part of Hyderbad, where there was more dancing, and we also benfitted from seeing the dedicated teaching staff at work.
We then visited a Girls hostel, the Hanne Home for Girls, where girls are given a chance to have a good education, and to learn many practical skills, such as cooking and sewing. They girls were bright and eager to chat, but my Urdu is not good, so we faced challenges along the way! A smile speaks in all languages, which is just as well.
We visited other places also, and went down to the Indus river, which was very peaceful. We had a fish from the river for our lunch.
We have been greatly encouraged by the great kindness and hospitality of everyone we have met, and challenged also by the strong Christian faith of many we have met, and their desire to support the marginalised, and to share their faith with others. May we share that same vision to share our faith with others.