Family ex­cited about trip

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The Ken­dall family will find out the def­i­ni­tion of hot weather this Christ­mas, when they un­der­take a Mercy Mis­sion to In­dia.

David, Hi­lary, four-year-old son Wil­liam and their 14-year-old niece from Christchurch, Mag­gie, will head to the Viziana­garam district of Andhra Pradesh state in the coun­try’s south.

They are go­ing to work in the Chris­tian-based Mis­sion for three months from De­cem­ber 1, with David us­ing his IT skills to help in­stall sound sys­tems and tech­nol­ogy, while Hi­lary will teach English and carry out ad­min­is­tra­tion tasks.

‘‘At that time of year [De­cem­ber on­wards] it’s sup­posed to be hot, real hot, which will be an ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Hi­lary says.

The sea­soned trav­ellers get away for trips over­seas fre­quently, with Wil­liam lov­ing ev­ery minute of their ex­pe­ri­ences. They have no doubt he will ad­just to his new sur­round­ings well.

They had originally wanted to go to the Philippines, but the de­sired du­ra­tion of their trip – three months in­stead of three weeks or three years – cre­ated ob­sta­cles.

At­tend­ing a talk from Mis­sion head Charly Tom in June, they were in­spired to go to Viziana­garam.

‘‘We re­ally wanted to go some­where as a family and we didn’t want to go as tourists for two weeks, but longer, so we could re­ally im­merse our­selves in the cul­ture and build those re­la­tion­ships,’’ Hi­lary says.

‘‘After hear­ing Charly speak, it just felt right, we felt like we could add value.’’

The Mercy Mis­sion tar­gets the poor and ne­glected, of­fer­ing spir­i­tual, phys­i­cal and eco­nomic sup­port. It com­prises an or­phan­age (with 110 chil­dren), school, bi­ble school and med­i­cal cen­tre.

It is not a cheap un­der­tak­ing for the Ken­dalls, with time off work, mort­gage pay­ments to keep up and hav­ing to pay their own way to In­dia.

They have not ac­tively sought spon­sor­ship or fi­nan­cial as­sist- ance but family, friends and the par­ish of Pau­ata­hanui have helped them raise money to buy cloth­ing for the or­phans and chairs for the school.

‘‘When host­ing a con­fer­ence [at the Mis­sion], they of­ten have to use the chairs from the school. They only cost $12 each, so we’ve had peo­ple mak­ing do­na­tions of $12 so they can say they bought a chair,’’ David says.

Lo­cal busi­nesses, such as Mitre 10, and in­di­vid­u­als have been ‘‘very gen­er­ous’’.

The Ken­dalls be­lieve they will be get­ting more out of the ex­pe­ri­ence than those they will be help­ing.

‘‘ It’s in­cred­i­bly hum­bling,’’ Hi­lary says. ‘‘ There are al­ways peo­ple worse off than you and we can do­nate money to causes but this way [go­ing to In­dia] we will know peo­ple’s names.

‘‘ I think as a tourist you’re pro­tected from poverty but we want to un­der­stand, so we know ex­actly how we’re adding value.’’

Wil­liam is look­ing for­ward to an­other ad­ven­ture.

‘‘ I’m go­ing to have lots of broth­ers and sis­ters,’’ he says of his at­tend­ing a new school in a new com­mu­nity.

The Ken­dalls will be blog­ging and post­ing video on mer­cymis­sionin­dia.com/

In­dia bound: Cam­borne res­i­dents Hi­lary and David Ken­dall, and 4-year-old son Wil­liam, will be off to south­ern In­dia in De­cem­ber to help at a Chris­tian mis­sion.

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