Greg & Mala Maltead

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Updated 12/2018

Dear Family and Friends,

We hope you had a joyful Christmas and we wish you a Happy New Year!

Mala and I are now based in Red River Gorge, Kentucky. We continue to wait for a decision from the Madras High Court regarding our status in India. It has been over 1 and a half years since the case was completed in court and reserved for judgment. There seems to be no way of putting pressure on the judges to issue the order. So we are trying to learn new levels of patience!

Morgan graduated from Hebron School in June and enrolled at Seattle Pacific University for the fall quarter. A number of factors led him to transfer to Wenatchee Valley Community College for the next 2 quarters with a view to applying at the University of Washington for the 2019-20 academic year.

Abbi continues at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK where she is studying Criminology. She was recently asked to become President of the Christian Union, a 1 year position that will involve coordinating many volunteers to carry out the CU activities on campus. She also works part time at a cafe.

Rachael and Sim remain in Berea, Kentucky where Rachael is studying English Literature and working in the Ceramics Department. Sim was recently offered a part time position as Assistant Coach to the college running team where both he and Rachael are very active. Sim has also spent a lot of time working at our cabin ... where we are spending Christmas. It is now 90% complete!

Kavi is in her final semester at Berea College where she majored in English Literature. She works as a Teachers Assistant for one of her professors and will be graduating in May, 2019!

Here is a Christmas poem Mala just wrote after a visit to Kalighat, Kolkata.


A Kalighat Christmas

The rouged women are out,
henna hands hold
the edge of
red saris shot with gold
and silver zari threads,
flickering in night lights,
headlights,
streetlights,
neon bar lights. We turn
onto Nepal lane,
barely as wide as
a wheelbarrow,
narrow doorways yawn eerie and dark;
these gaping holes
hold more waiting women,
even girls.
Gargantuan, immobile, old women sit,
guarding the shadows.
These are the brothel keepers.

We turn again, alley walls crowd closer yet.
A pencil thin path leads
to an underbelly maze of subterranean,
quarters and
independent rooms
free of the brothel keeper.
These women own themselves.
Removing our shoes, we step over
a high sill. There is no door, only a curtain.

She greets us.
A double bed, a one burner kerosene stove,
a grand total of 100 sq feet, we hoist ourselves
onto her bed of a thousand customers,
and drink tiny thimbles of chai
with hot fried pakora and marvel at our hostess.
Her welcome is warm; her hospitality humbles us.
This once brothel room is now a refuge. Listen.
Three young men push in, nephews
raised on money their aunt made 
sleeping with thousands of men..
Her sacrifice of body,
their gift of education. 
They bow in respect.

A younger woman enters,
a tale of woe emerges.

Hard earned money, in fact, 
exactly four-thousand men
four thousand times, four thousand ….
understand?
Her life savings, 
entrusted to a dubious credit union that went
belly up. Precious pearls to swine.
That money might have been
her ticket to another life. 
She contemplates it sometimes,

a change, a new start outside the entrails of
this catacomb.
She complains of excessive bleeding.
We place our hands on her and pray.
Our hostess is all light in this dark place
A beacon set in this ache of misery.
A mother to orphan girls. She teaches 
a different way, right there, right in the midst
of the filth, rats, garbage, sewage, lice, fleas,
disease, destitution.

He has heard the groaning of His people
He enters the stable
as a babe,
He enters the brothel,
she covers His feet with her kisses.
I know He is here
Emmanuel, God with us.

-- 

  Greg Malstead
  web: www.freedom.firm.in

Family photo 2018.jpg

Family Photo 2018