12 May 2015
by Gary Rose

Today was the day that our team met up having all arrived via different routes on different days, and what a day it's been!

One particular highlight of the day came as we were heading back for lunch from our morning appointments at the Catherine Booth Hospital, Nagercoil. Heading out into the countryside from the hustle and bustle of Nagercoil we spotted a group of young lads having a game of cricket in a farmer's field, on a makeshift pitch that favoured the poor bowler somewhat!

We decided to get out of our vehicle and see if we could join in for a few minutes. So, we grabbed our cameras and headed to the field on foot. The lads immediately headed towards us to see who we were and suddenly started shouting 'Hallelujah, Hallelujah'. It turns out that they were all youngsters from the nearby Salvation Army corps and had recognised John's uniform and our Salvation Army- branded shirts!

Our cricket friends

David Giles in to bat

What were the chances? We like to think that God had his hand in it by allowing us to share with our young brothers in a very international (Indian, English and Canadian) game of cricket. It was really encouraging to meet these young men and enjoy some fun together, cutting right through any cultural difference. 'What do you want to do when you grow up?', David asked one of them. 'Serve God' came the reply, as quick as the bowler's delivery.

We continued our journey for lunch and then stopped off at a small market on the coast where we purchased three cricket bats and five new balls for the boys.

On returning to the field, the boys had gone and so we found the corps to which they went, only to find a small community where we continued to share with the local people. Lo and behold, all the boys were there too. We gave them their new bats and balls, had a brief look around the corps building and then had some photos for our own memories.

Our cricketers

Sometimes, the best things in a trip are the things that are totally unplanned. How blessed we've been today.

For the record, the English won the cricket!

Tags: India, South Eastern
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