Twenty-two brethren from India and the United States observed the Feast in Hyderabad, India. This was the first time for the United Church God to hold the Feast of Tabernacles in India. The Indian brethren were excited and inspired to have this opportunity to be together. Three of our brethren attended the Feast for the first time. Due to the distances involved, our Indian brethren cannot congregate for the Sabbath through the entire year. Since several of our members were meeting each other for the first time, and for some this is the first time to ever meet another member (other than their pastor), it was a most joyous occasion. The messages, several of which were given by Doug Horchak, were inspiring and focused on the Kingdom of God. Also many members commented on the inspiring message of the Festival video.
We had several afternoon outings during the FOT visiting places of interest in the city of Hyderabad. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, culture and architecture representing its unique character as a meeting point for North and South India. It is also known as The City of Nizams and The City of Pearls. The brethren visited the Salar Jung museum, exhibiting the priceless collection of antiques acquired by Nawab Mir Yousuf Ali Khan Salar Jung III (1889-1949), former Prime Minister of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad. We also visited the Golconda fort, the 16th century capital and fortress city of the Qutb Shahi kingdom and the Chowmahalla Palace, the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty and the official residence of the Nizams. During the visit to the palace, Dr. D.S. Ali, a member since 1960, explained that her grandfather had served as a physician to the sixth Nizam. Although her grandfather would have visited the palace in service to the Nizam, Dr. Ali made her first visit to the palace during the Feast.
After returning to the hotel from our afternoon excursions, the brethren reconvened in someone’s room by 6:30 p.m. for more fellowship which was then followed by dinner which lasted until bedtime. We became a family of 22 by the end of the Feast—fellowshipping, worshipping and dining together each day. By the end of the Last Great Day it was really difficult to say goodbye without becoming misty eyed. This Feast provided a wonderful spiritual boost for the brethren.
—Reported by David Baker