Monday, May 08, 2006
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Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:46 PM
Sunday, May 07, 2006
The older girls of Miracle Garden. L to R - Sathya, Ponmoli, Lalitha, and Mohana. I put these pictures first because I was able to upload pictures of her funeral to the blogsite and I don�t want anyone to be shocked at seeing those photographs first.
BE AWARE - the funeral pictures follow. But they look like she is asleep and are not graphic. I just thought it a good idea to tell people, so that if they are viewing the site with young children, they may want to view the picture by themselves first, and then decide if it is appropriate for their children to view the funeral pictures. The first one you will see is a picture of those who had gathered outside the hut and the second one shows John praying for Ponmoli on the bier. The second photo has John�s account of his experience.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:54 PM
December team member Charlotte Emonde bought bangles for all the girls. Here Ponmoli helps the girls through the line.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:50 PM
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:49 PM
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:48 PM
Here is a picture of Ponmoli�s funeral. John sent me these after he arrived in Tharangabadi on Sunday morning. Here is an excerpt from his email:
�Ponmoli had just passed her 8th grade exams, and all she was talking about for the past few days in her village was how happy she was at Miracle Garden and how she could not wait to get back to Uncle and all the kids...
They did hold the body for me, I drove all night and got there in the morning and was able to pray for her...I could not stop crying, just looking at her I thought she would sit up and talk to me...Many women around there were beating their heads and repeating all the words she had spoken the past few days...all about her happy life at Miracle Garden...I just am so broken...She escaped the Tsunami, but now this...�.
Although you can see they put the Hindu �puttu� mark on her forehead, John did say he convinced the villagers to give her a burial in a casket instead of a Hindu cremation ceremony.
The circumstances of her death are still suspicious. But John is not going to press for an investigation. It would strain relations between Hindus and Christians in this sea-side town and we don�t want to jeopardize the future of the other children at Miracle Garden who are from this village. She is at rest in the Lord. In that we find peace.
Please continue to pray for the other children at MG as they struggle to make sense of all this on the eve of John�s visit to America. May they know our love and thoughts are with them even though they may be feeling alone. Thank you all for your loving and supporting words and prayers.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:47 PM
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 9:23 PM
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 9:22 PM
Big Sister Ponmoli in blue with white headband. To the left is Elakkiya and to the right is Nithya and Priskilla.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 9:13 PM
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 9:01 PM
Ponmoli's drawings of her favorite experience of 2005 (playing in the wave pool at Kovai Kondattam water park) and her impression of Miracle Garden - she loved the playground and has drawn the see-saw with the neon cross in the background (which is really on the top of the Mayfield Towers Girls Dorm.)
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:59 PM
Here are Ponmoli's drawings of what she experienced in the Tsunami and what she wants to be when she grows up. We will be posting other pictures also in her memory.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:57 PM
Urgent - NEWS FLASH
As you know, several of the children went back to their hometown during the school break. 16 year-old Ponmoli was one of those children. Her family called John this afternoon (5/6/06). Ponmoli was involved in a swing accident and she died. It is not known at this point whether she fell off the swing. Her relatives told John that she was �twisted� by the swing. Other people from the town have also called John, however, and told him she was alive after the accident - that her relatives allowed her to die out of jealousy. Ponmoli arrived at Tharangabadi beautiful, in good health, and with the hope of Christ. The neighbors heard her relatives commenting negatively about this, and they are not sure that what happened was an accident.
John is on his way to Tharangabadi now, to talk with her relatives and try to find out what really happened. As is the custom in India, the child is already buried. Her relatives are poor and cannot afford embalming services, so she was buried within hours of her death. Thus, an autopsy is not probable.
The entire staff and family of Miracle Garden are shocked and deeply saddened at the loss of this beautiful teenage girl who had dreams of becoming a police officer. The other children were notified in a special meeting, and a prayer vigil was held before John�s departure. Ponmoli had become a �big sister� to all the girls at Miracle Garden. She will be missed dearly. Our only consolation comes from our confidence that she is on the playground in Heaven with Christ our Lord.
A memorial garden of fruit trees and flowers is being planned in her honor for the new dormitory compound. Donations for the garden in memory of this vibrant girl are welcome. Donations will be collected at the graduation party, Saturday, May 27th, at Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1010 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607. If you cannot attend, please feel free to mail your memorial gifts to Michelle Pandian, 128 Fairview Ave., Rochester, NY 14619. All donations should be made out to Jesus India Christian Schools, and are tax deductible.
Any new information we receive will be posted on the blogsite. Please continue to pray for the children of Miracle Garden as they deal with this tragic loss, for John and the staff as they try to bring comfort in this time of grieving, and for Ponmoli�s relatives in the wake of her untimely death.
God bless you.
Posted by Tsunami Kids at 8:53 PM