November 2014 Kimberly and John responded to two invitations to come to India to give programs on Natural Remedies. Mrs. Ellen John, our main host and guide while in India, met us at the Bengaluru (Bangalore) airport. From meetings in that city we drove 400 miles (15 hours) north to Vijayawada, drove 400 miles (36 hours) back to Bangalore, then 400 miles by night train (14 hours) to Nagercoil at the southern tip of India, then 400 miles back by night bus (10 hours) to Bangalore, and the second to last day drove 50 miles (4 hours) west and back to give our last presentation. In all 15 days of full presentations and 1,700 miles of travel. Kimberly is going to fill in some of the events along the way with a few pictures.
This was my second visit to India, John’s first, although, he had lived and worked in neighboring Nepal several years ago.
We do not do well with long flights and serious time changes. So we decided to leave a few days early so that we could acclimate for a couple of nights before we got started on our programs.
Jet Lag and Insecticide
Prior to landing, without any warning at all, the flight attendants charged through the plane spraying what we soon learned was an insecticide! We were prepared when we took off but not when we landed. Our Pure Non-Scents® facemasks were already put away in our backpacks. I tried to put it out of my mind, but with the 11½ hour time change, food changes, and no doubt the insecticide, by our second night I was extremely ill.
Remedy #1 - Hot Water and Charcoal Mud
My head was pounding, my throat aching and body felt strange. Fortunately, we had abundant hot water for a soothing shower, and then I drank two glassfuls of Charcoal Mud (thicker version of charcoal slurry). The charcoal mud really helped my throat and by morning, I was on the mend. This proved to be not our last natural remedy treatment we practiced on ourselves. Rested, practice session over – we were ready to go.
India is so colorful, spicy and exotic, but in the city it can be oh so toxic! Riding the three wheeled, open air taxis sounds charming, until you are just inches from the exhaust pipe of the vehicle in front of you. My recommendation? You guessed it - don’t leave home without a Pure Non-Scents® facemask! Which lane you choose or the direction is largely a matter of choice. Moving on......
We began our first series of programs at the Ecumenical Christian Center in Whitefield just outside of Bengaluru (Bangalore), once known as the ‘Garden City,’ but now as Silicon Valley, India. Thousands upon thousands are daily making their way into Bengaluru to find jobs and the city is overwhelmed with a population that has expanded far beyond its infrastructure.
John was the main presenter and activated charcoal was the star of the show. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with a good friend and former employee Carrie Beets (some of you may remember talking with her). Carrie traveled to India late last summer and joined us just before our first program. She accompanied us on all our travels and, as a registered massage therapist instructor and the author of Life-Renewing Water Treatments, assisted with talks and hydrotherapy presentations at each of our venues.
Hydrotherapy treatments can work hand in hand with charcoal, and as many of you know who have spoken to one of our team over the phone, we will often recommend them. We have posted some Home Remedies Demonstration that were taped while in Australia several years ago. This next year we hope to produce a new set of videos online so that you can easily see how they are done, instead of us painfully trying to describe them over the phone.
The interest was keen and the audience diverse with children, young adults and the elderly, doctors, nurses, ministers, nursing students, teachers, house wives, pharmacists, business men, laborers, policemen, even an engineer of a super tanker, Hindus, Moslems, Christians, all coming together because of a common interest in preventing and treating disease in as natural a way as possible, without resorting to poisonous drugs.
Because of India’s historical use of natural remedies, our audience was more inclined to the idea that something so black, so simple and common as charcoal powder could also be medicinal. However, in this fast age, the common people are losing a grip on their natural heritage and many are going the way of western allopathic drugs.
One young mother in her thirties, who attended our program, had a very swollen face, due to a diagnosed thyroid problem. After attending one of the programs, she left encouraged to try charcoal for herself along with some other things she had learned. When we met her again ten days later at another program, we were so surprised - her face was no longer swollen and she looked so pretty and refreshed! She excitedly shared with us that she was taking the activated charcoal on a daily basis and not only had the swelling gone down in her face, she had also lost weight. She was so happy!
Now we have no clear idea how charcoal was involved in this. Charcoal’s claim to fame is that it adsorbs toxins and poisons. Some will disagree with us, but more and more we believe charcoal really does not cure anything. As charcoal travels through the body from one end to the other, it “mops up” toxins and poisons and together they are voided at the back door. Because the human body is so fearfully and wonderfully made, when the poisons are removed, the body does just what the Creator designed it to do, and that is to heal itself. It is really that simple.
So we took this simple message to two hospitals, a girl’s boarding school, to remote villages, churches, and a fairly large meeting in a private home.
From Bangaluru it was a grueling fifteen hours car drive north to Vijayawada. We did take a few roadside food stops that were frequented by some hairy entrepreneurs. The year before, we were contacted by Pastor Samuel who had come across John’s book CharcoalRemedies.com and after reading it was inspired that here was a simple natural remedy he could use in treating some of the poor he often encountered. In a short time he had over one hundred “patients”. We were able to secure a good supply of charcoal powder for him and his hospital under the sky jumped to two hundred patients. He was anxious that we come and instruct more people. At the time he was the director for A.F.C.O.E. India, but then was invited to be pastor and chaplain of a large nursing hospital, which also operated a large academy. They would be our first class.
The 200 plus girls (from 6-15) were a lively and attentive audience. It was so enjoyable sharing about charcoal with them and we felt assured many of them would carry this simple remedy back to their homes and villages.
While spending the week at Gifford Memorial hospital, the largest hospital in that district, we met Dr. S Ramakrishna who invited us over for refreshments after one of our afternoon programs. She shared with us her personal experience how activated charcoal was the only remedy that brought her relief for her Endometriosis, which was so severe that the only way she could make it through the day was to give herself a needle with pain medication.
While at the nursing hospital we presented to both instructors and nursing students. A day-long program was also organized by Pastor Samuel for some ninety ministers from the surrounding area. At one point I invited Pastor Samuel to come up and share some of his amazing stories. He had invited some of his “patients” to come and they shared their amazing recoveries. He desperately wanted the other ministers to grasp how they too could use the simple natural remedies we were demonstrating to help the sick in there communities. In the audience were medical doctors who seemed equally amazed by the testimonies.
Not quite exhausted enough, Pastor Samuel drove us to a couple remote villages to give short presentations in very humble little churches. While only fifty or so men, women and babies could fit in, we knew many, many more were listening as the loudspeakers outside blasted the talk out into the surrounding countryside. At all these programs we took the time to invite ones from the audience to come up and practice some remedy on one another. Whether it was shy young girls or alert nursing students, awkward ministers or old grannies, all were clearly taken by the simplicity of the treatments.
After we had finished our very full week at the hospital complex, we thought we were done. Not yet. Pastor Samuel’s brother-in-law was opening a small natural health clinic in a very rural village and asked us to come and dedicate it.
The travel took all day through huge mango plantations, one very loud city, along canals and through vast forest of bananas, and only one flat tire (the same one that was repaired before we left). We arrived to the edge of the village close to an hour before sunset. To our surprise we were greeted with an oxen cart driven by a villager. Garlands of flowers were slipped over our heads as we climbed onto the cart. As we clopped, clopped along, to the tune of three enthusiastic drummers, people began to gather and children ran alongside.
Having arrived at our destination, we were escorted by a throng of villagers to the “new” health clinic and then welcomed by the village chief. John, as the token sponsor, gave an impromptu greeting to the villagers and cut the ribbon. We were served a variety of fresh fruit and then told to rest for a bit before…
The people at this village seemed more simple and down to earth than any of the other folks we had met so far. Their little village was relatively clean, their houses, though rude on the inside, were quaint and charming outside. They took us out to their fields and their tropical orchards, and it was truly impressive how they lived so simply and self sufficiently. On the way back, one of the women grabbed me by the hand and led me to her home where her husband was quite ill. John had followed and through an interpreter, shared with him how he could find relief through simple remedies.
The night had fallen when we left the home. Out on the street someone brought a few chairs for us to sit on and then served us steaming hot milk from a freshly milked cow. It was quite lovely and yet surreal, as the villagers smiled on, asking us if we liked the milk.
Having said goodbye we slowly worked our way to the car, as we still had many hours of road travel ahead. BUT, they wanted John to talk, as they had expected us so much earlier and had been told he would speak to them of health that day. Once again a loudspeaker was set up at the village center and many gathered. At last we were on our way, BUT the night was young… we won’t bore you with the details, only to say it was after midnight when we finally found rooms to stay at that had HOT water.
Remedy #2 Charcoal & Hot Water
Due to the full schedule, unfamiliar food, the time change, the excessive traveling, and intemperate hours, John, Carrie, and I came down with a respiratory bug that was quite nasty and draining to our energy level. But with the use of charcoal and some simple hot water treatments, God in His mercy gave us the strength to keep all our appointments.
Having arrived back at Bangalore, three days of meetings were arranged in Mrs. John’s spacious home. Though small it was a thoroughly mixed group. One Moslem family traveled four hours to participate and were so taken that they invited some of the students attending from another natural medicine health center to come to their community and give them further instruction. After a large communal meal we had to say goodbye and rush off to catch the night train to Nagercoil.
We had been invited to a hospital at the most southern tip of India, but at that point we thought that we should just say no, that we needed to rest. Thankfully we did go. While on the train, before we knew it, John was putting on an impromptu charcoal program with his laptop to a small gathering of people in the aisle, while one of the passengers interpreted. Why I did not get a picture of this, I do not know! After twelve hours of clickity clack the next morning we looked out the windows to granite island mountains rising abruptly from a vibrant sea of green vegetation. Breath-taking scenary! We arrived numb mentally, but it certainly turned out to be a most amazing visit.
Dr Enoch and his wife Dr Marika Sundaram established a small private hospital (A G Hospital) in the middle of Nagercoil that also serves as a training center for young people who come from across Asia and even America to receive a 10-month comprehensive training program in Lifestyle Intervention and Simple Natural Remedies that equips them to serve anywhere. To learn more check out AGHospital.org.
These doctors were very progressive minded and believed strongly in natural medicine. The classes were also available to the community. One Hindu man, an engineer, in particular came to every single class and we could tell that he was thoroughly enjoying them. After the classes were over, he thanked John profusely for his lectures, and, to honor him, placed a prayer shawl over his head, Indian style. It was a humbling experience.
While there, one of the young workers who came from a high class Brahmin home, approached me about her serious eye problem. In our programs we intermittently share charcoal testimonies and I shared a testimony of a young woman who had Pars Planitis, a rare eye disease, and how she had used charcoal poultices along with hydrotherapy.
After the program the young women came up and talked with me at length of her eye problems. She had seen a doctor and he had given her steroids, but it did not help and she went back to him the last time that she had been home in Pune and he had given her another prescription which she had filled, but she could only take it with these special eye drops. Well, she had lost the eye drops and though she had the prescription to get them refilled, she did not have the money. She was upset with God, as she had been praying and praying for relief for her eyes and all she needed was some money to get the drops, but none was to be had.
Then she came to our program and she had a glimmer of hope, could charcoal work for her? I said that she had nothing to lose, if it did no good, it would do no harm. I showed her how to make a poultice and sent her to her room with it.
Two days later she shared her testimony. She had gone home and put the poultice on her eyes all night long. In the morning when she took it off, she quickly looked out the window to see if it had helped her any. To her amazement, she could see blues and greens distinctly and her eyes were in sharper focus. Not only that, after two days, her eyes were clearer, much less red and were not aching. She was so happy and realized that God in His mercy, had heard her prayers and answered in an unexpected way, as He so often does for his dear children.
Dr. Enoch and his wife, graciously invited us to take our meals in their apartment. Many of the staff, including the doctors, lived in the small hospital in humble quarters. The doctors’ apartment was more spacious and had a private kitchen. Here, Dr. Malika, Dr. Enoch’s mother, and a local cook prepared the most wonderful vegan food. I can still almost taste the carob cake we had the last night we were there, it was so delicious!
Night Bus Trip
The train ride down was a bit much for us, so we decided to take what we thought would be a relaxing sleeper bus back. It turned out for John to be a very uncomfortable one-stop 10-hour bladder-bouncing race back to Bangalore. No one warned us to be sure to empty our bladders and not to drink fluids before boarding. There was no toilet on the bus!
What I shall never forget was where the bus dropped us off in the morning to catch a taxi – at the off ramp in the middle of the 12-lane freeway! In the middle, not the shoulder, but the middle of the freeway. There we were on not even a median, with our luggage, with cars zooming past us on both sides. Now there is a reason I do not have a picture of this. I was simply too terrified to pull out my ipad from my backpack to take one!
The three-wheeled open air taxis were waiting on the side and the drivers carefully dodged their way across to the middle of the freeway. One of them grabbed my arm and pulled me across the road, and here I am, alive and writing about it. Unfortunately, in our rush to leave I forgot our Pure Non-Scents® masks and we desperately missed them, as we traveled for a good hour in thick traffic, drinking in the nauseating fumes.
We eventually arrived back to Mrs. Ellen John’s home. that evening, a man who had heard about us came over to pick John’s brain (but John was almost brain dead and still recovering from a near ruptured bladder). The rest of us wisely said, “Good night”.
Early the next morning we drove four hours (one hour of it in the wrong direction) to our last meeting at Jeeva Jyothi health center. A vanload of students had come to a previous program and the pastor/director wanted the rest of the staff and students to hear. Just as John got up to present his PowerPoint program, the power went off, but he just kept going and soon the power came back on and we were able to finish and bid our new friends goodbye.
Rageless Road Rage
Traveling in India is interesting, not only because of the cows that wander to and fro throughout the city streets and sometimes bed down in the middle of busy intersections, but because of the way the people drive. I never had the sense that I would get to our next destination alive. I was on the edge of my seat, exhausting my body’s supply of adrenaline. The best I can describe it is, a combination of the Indi 500 and bumper cars. It was each man for himself and the only law there seemed to be was how to get in front of the one ahead of you. How many times, I do not know, when I would say to the driver, “LOOK OUT!!!!!” they would reply casually, “I know.” Sigh…..my heart starts racing as I think of it.
After bidding Ellen John goodbye, wishing Carrie a safe trip back to northern India, a last minute 24-hour cancellation (we were put up at a 4-star hotel), and a lost bag (of dirty clothes :), we were finally in the air and on our way home. This time we were ready with our PNS Face Masks at hand when the attendants marched through spraying their “harmless” insecticide.
Here we are again safe at home sweet home, and India is still a vivid memory. We are keeping in touch with India, including the Doctors Sundaram who are doing a valuable work as they prepare to move their health and education ministry out of the noisy city to a quiet country retreat near the mountains. Looking for a valuable health training in another world – look them up AGHospital.org.
We want to thank Ellen John and Pastor Samuel for their invitations to come to India and for working hard to organize the meetings, accommodate and feed us, and usher us from place to place. We are also thankful for the other hosts along the way, and the many, many people we met who made the experience even more rewarding. Thank you Sister Carrie for joining us. Of course, what would this trip have been if God had not moved us, pushed us, out of our little space? What did He save us from if we had stayed home? One thing for sure, many lives were affected and probably ours the most. For those of you who are reading this, God may be asking you to “Go into all the world…” It may be to India, it may be across the street. God says, “I will go with you.”