I apologize to my regular readers for the long gap between post. No excuses! Most of these India installments are only around 500 words in length. If you would like to go back and read them and are not on that page now you can click HERE TO READ PREVIOUS POST.
I’m not sure exactly what time it was but I think it was around 3am. The streets of Bangalore were quite. There were some street lights and the roads were paved. We arrived at our motel. It cost us $75 per night. The same hotel in an American city would have been much more. We drove up to the front door under a covering that was supported by huge marble pillars. A door man dressed in what to me looked like a safari outfit, cleaned, pressed with hat and everything bounded down the marble steps to open the door for us. As we exited the car, bell hops grabbed our four heavy suitcases and the door man opened the entrance door for us to step into the lobby. The lobby was spacious with fountains, marble pillars and a marble floor. We checked in and one bell hop helped us to the room. After our luggage was placed in the room and as he left I handed him a US five dollar bill. He seemed very grateful. I later learned that the average income of middle income Indians at that time was about three hundred dollars a year.
We fell into the bed. It was hard as a rock but it had sheets, pillows and blankets and we were beyond exhausted. It was about four in the morning and we had been awake for more than two days. We had no problem going to sleep.
The telephone shook me out of my sleep. It was 6:30am. I’d never heard a telephone ring so loudly. After about two full days with no sleep and then only three and a half hours of sleep before being jarred out of bed it was horrible. I had to get awake enough and my head cleared enough to answer. I picked up the phone, “hello..” I said with a hoarse frogieness (not a real word) in my throat. The room was spinning, the bed seemed to bounce like there was turbulence.
“Praise The Lord pastor Scurlock,” the cheery voice came across the phone line. “This is pastor T.C.George. I am in the lobby of your hotel and have come to make your aquaintance.” It was 6:30 in the morning. Why in the world was pastor George here now? I knew I would be meeting him, that he would be our contact in Bangalore, but at 6:30 in the morning? T.C. George was the General Supt. of the South India Assemblies of God.
“Brother George, I will be down in just a few minutes.” I said
“Wonderful, I will wait for you.”
I quickly threw some clothes on, wet my hair (I did have some then) and brushed it, brushed my teeth, washed the sleep out of my eyes and exited the room with Felicia already back asleep. It was peculiar to me that the same bell hop that helped us to the room at 3am was standing directly outside of my room facing my door. “Good morning sir,” he said with a smile.
“Good morning.” I said with a forced smile.
When the elevator door opened in the lobby I immediately heard his voice again. “Praise the Lord pastor Scurlock.” At six feet tall and more weight than I wish to give details on I was easy for pastor George to spot. Three steps of the elevator and he embraced me with a welcoming hug then while holding my had walked me to a sofa in the lobby. It was a much nicer welcome than the one I had received in the Bombay airport.
T.C. George was a small man. Maybe “5’6″ and about 150 pounds. Maybe. His skin was dark and his thinning hair was gray. He seemed so genuinely pleased to see me. He welcomed me to India and shared with me some technical things he knew I needed to know. Things like ‘make sure if you drink water it comes from a bottle with a government seal or stamp on it. He shared with me that he had arranged many preaching opportunities. “But first” he said. “You and your wife take a couple of days to rest. You will need it after such a grueling trip.” Boy did I! We talked for about forty-five minutes. Brother George left and I was back on the elevator just hoping I could go back to sleep. I turned the corner from the elevator toward our room. The cleaning cart was outside of the room next to ours and that same bell hop was outside of my door. “Good morning sir,” he said and I was back in our room. Why was the cleaning cart outside of the room next to ours at such a early time, and why was that bell hop outside of my room?
In a matter of seconds I was out of my clothes and back in the bed. Felicia grunted something that wasn’t coherent, I fluffed up my flat pillow the best I could and……….
The telephone shook me out of my sleep AGAIN. This time it was about 8:30am. I had been back asleep maybe an hour. I answered the phone. It was the gentleman at the front desk telling me that our car had arrived and wanted to know what instructions he should give to the driver.
“We’re sleeping! I said. “I don’t know what to tell him.”
“I will have him park in the garage until further instructions,”
“Good! park in the garage.” I’m pretty sure I sounded delirious.