Family excited about trip
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.