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Messages from the Rest of World

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a contribution page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$ book. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ Online Book for Brother James Kimpton https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/roswithadavieslongtermsupporterandfundraiser
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/roswithadavieslongtermsupporterandfundraiser

    Roswitha Davies, long-term supporter and fundraiser

    UK | 8 Nov 2017

     

    Memories of Brother James I first met Brother James in 2003, after a ‘Triadcraft’ tour of India which had enkindled my fascination with this colourful, vibrant and in parts desperately poor country, and I had decided to return to India on my own. Ranjith, the tour guide, recommended that I go south to Tamil Nadu, where a British religious Brother was doing what his own Indian government should be doing, ie care for its own destitute children. That was all I knew about RTU when one August day I was sitting next to Brother James on the seat outside his office, having been taken by Manoba on a tour of the different departments. I listened to Brother James explaining that at this beautiful, peaceful place where everybody was playing his/her part quietly and efficiently, around 1000 children were being looked after, educated, loved and nurtured into adulthood. I must have asked about who was paying for this enormous project and I still hear Brother’s answer, "Where God guides, he provides"! This trust struck me deeply! On this first meeting I must have chatted to Brother James about what I was doing in my life at home, when at the end he said – in his inimicable and direct way, "And now you have got us"! This was not, "I hope you might consider supporting us". It was stating a straight forward fact. Brother James was a good ‘catcher’ of supporters! One could not really resist his call! I realised then that I had not just come on a visit, but that I would be returning again and that at home I would try to help this remarkable man with raising funds for his many children. And that is what I have done over these 13 years, returning regularly with money raised by family, friends and my church, enjoying the company of the children, playing with them and teaching them. But what I have enjoyed most is sitting with Brother outside his office after school, when the children would walk past, greeting their ‘Thatha’ and he would give some of them a little pat on the head or a small present on their birthdays. I could see that his love for the children was boundless, his heart big enough to love them all, and all I could do was thank God that he/she had led me to meet this exceptional man, father and grandfather of this big RTU family. I often thanked him for ‘sharing’ his children with me while I was staying at RTU. Brother welcomed everybody who came with the wish to bring love and happiness to his children. I spent a lot of time during my visits taking photographs of the children, at home and at playtime, and I also snatched the odd photo of him, which he always protested about, asking for payment! Because I was always the photographer, I have no photo of me with him. The children were happy to have their photos taken, surrounding me with pleas for a photo with all their friends. I was happy to oblige and squeeze in the photo as many friends as possible, but Brother told me off once for doing this, because, as he put it, I was disturbing their routine! At the time I was a bit taken aback, but then I realised that his ‘routine’ was important to guarantee the smooth running of all the activities of so many people which were going on every day in RTU. Without his organisational skills and the daily routine that everybody abides by, RTU would never have become the island of peace that it is , set apart from the sometimes chaotic Indian way of life. Another of my memories was to witness Brother James’s total acceptance and tolerance of people of different faiths and none. Deeply rooted in his own Christian faith, he accepted everybody as brothers and sisters, never tried to impose his beliefs on anybody. One day he invited me to accompany him on a visit to a remote village to inspect the progress of building new RTU houses. We made our way gingerly over rubbish and rubble to the centre of the village, where just at that moment a goat was being killed as a sacrifice to a local Hindu goddess. There was blood everywhere and people were prostrating themselves in the dust in front of the dead goat. I was a bit shocked, but Brother James just stepped around the scene and stated to me as a matter of fact that they were doing their regular puja and he moved on. No criticism, no negative comment, total acceptance of the ‘otherness’ of their beliefs and rituals. He then showed me a mud hut, a hovel, not fit for an animal, where in one small space a family of four had been living, but who would soon be moving into their own small house which RTU was building for them. I also remember seeing Brother James at ease and completely happy when he visited the children at RUADT - the therapy centre for disabled children which he had helped build - watching these children play, children who through their disabilities were even more ‘special’ than his RTU children. This image of him sitting amongst these children will stay with me forever. Another memory is of Brother James sitting all day in the boiling heat in a village by a huge ‘juggernaught’ boring for water to supply a village school with lifesaving water. He was in his late 80s then, plagued by severe backache, sitting all day surrounded by the village children. He was happiest amongst the people he had been serving all his life. Below I have posted my favourite photo of him, where he is sitting amongst his children, smiling at them and looking completely relaxed. It was amongst them that he was happiest. I have one other memory which relates to saying ‘good-bye’ to him in his office at the end of each of my visits. He had taught me two phrases in Tamil which I will never forget. At our parting I would say, "‘Poiettu varen", which means goodbye and he would reply, "Poiettu vanga", which means: goodbye and come back! This is what he wanted all of us to do: to come back and visit his children and be part of the big RTU family. I had the great privilege of meeting Brother James, learning from his example and becoming part of his RTU family. Roswitha Davies

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Messages from the Rest of World

  • Dear Friends/Family, I would like to share a contribution page with you which has been created in the $bookTitle$ book. To view the page please click on the following link: $findContributionLink$ Online Book for Brother James Kimpton https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/srjustinemulcahysisteratpresentationconventkodaikanal
    https://www.theonlinebookcompany.com/OnlineBooks/Kimpton/Contributions/Find/RestofWorld0/srjustinemulcahysisteratpresentationconventkodaikanal

    Sr Justine Mulcahy, Sister at Presentation Convent, Kodaikanal

    UK | 8 Nov 2017

     

    I have special memories of Brother James, especially when he visited the Presentation Convent up in Kodaikanal (PCK) each May when the temperature on the plains could be unbearable. He always stayed in St Benedict's cottage in our grounds as did many of the young volunteers he sent up to us for a rest. He travelled up the Ghat on his motor bike. Brother was a rather shy person but a very good listener. He was also usually in Koaikanal for Holy Week services and always took part in the readings. He had very clear diction and a very pleasing voice. The PCK Sisters often recalled a very special session he gave on Mary Magdalen. He loved the younger children and was often seen engaging in conversation with them or cheering up one who felt a bit lonely. Paul Abbot, a volunteer with Brother, also helped in the production of a shadow play on The Good Samaritan. The whole school enjoyed it. When I was teaching, I used to explain to the children that there were so many chidren all over the world who were living in poverty with no idea of what the future held for them. I had visited RTU earlier so naturally when they heard about these very poor children they were eager to help. Brother James kindly arranged for one of the foster mothers to bring a little boy to our class. The class was really delighted to see him and, from their pocket money, they bought milk powder and clothes and a warm blanket. When they went home they brought back other items for him and for the RTU children. Just yesterday I was just reading this little Gospel passage from St. Matthew Chapter 19: "They were bringing even Infants to Him that He might touch them, and when the disciples saw this they rebuked them [the parents]. Jesus however called the children to himself and said "Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen. I say to you, who ever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it . Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing His hands on them." I think that this paints a unique picture of Brother James Brother always inspired me by his way of life and all the wonderful work he accomplished for the poor. Quoting from last week's Universe, "A Missionary with no convert but who touched many lives". May Brother rest in peace while we remember him being a friend of the poorest of the poor. Sr Justine

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