Spreading the Christmas Spirit from … St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope to India

The Spirit of Christmas

Dear Reader:

Yesterday I heard from Ambika Murthy ( now Dr. Ambika) and Christmas came early. I had been wondering what happened to Ambika because she came into my life so suddenly… and had she disappeared just as suddenly? I was concerned about her.

It had been almost a decade ago that I awoke one morning to a most touching cry for help and hope ( email to the Chapel of Hope WordPress home site) from a young girl named Ambika, who had left her home in Bangalore, India to study dentistry at the Krishna Devaraya College of Dental Science. The coursework was difficult and Ambika was stressed and worried about the final exams approaching.

She had literally sent out a plea for hope and of all the millions of sites she could have been sent to… ChapelofHopeStories.com popped up. She felt that this was where she could talk to someone about her anxiousness and loneliness.

St Jude’s Chapel of Hope-Trust NC

I remember after she commented on one blog post … I inquired about her name and it’s origin. The English translation, she told me, in Hindu, meant ” mother and compassion” and ” moon goddess.” It must have been around 2013 or 2014 because the moon gate to my garden had just been put in and that connection surprised me.

Over the next few months Ambika shared with me her dream to find love, a caring husband, and have a family… it all soon came true!

Married with first son-Ajay

We continued corresponding through the blog as Ambika returned home to India , began working, married and continued adding onto her family. She kept the readers abreast of the drought in India and other environmental issues plaguing her country.

Then a few months back…I realized one day I had not heard from Ambika and was concerned something might be wrong … I was right.

Two days ago Ambika reached out to me again…. she and her dad had just lost her mother , at 63, to a sudden heart attack that took her immediately. Neither were prepared to let her go so soon.

She wrote: ” My mom has not only been my closest friend, she was the main foundation of our family’s faith in Christ. We got that biggest strength from her.”

She ended with a heartfelt request: ” Becky, I just want all of you ( at Chapelofhopestories.com) to remember us in your prayers… please help my dad and I get over this huge loss.” Loads of love and prayers… Ambika ( ” Keep shining through your blogs”)

So until tomorrow… We all know how difficult that first Christmas is after losing a loved one. Some of you readers might be going through something similar this Christmas as well… so let’s take a moment to remember and pray for families going through difficult holidays and pray for God’s Christmas spirit to bring ” peace and calm” to those who mourn… to restore hope and faith.

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

Just got home Sunday from keeping Eva Cate and Jake Saturday night… Eva Cate put a Christmas Lego North Pole set together in minutes… not hours… her brain is wired to Lego… she can put any and all together-a gift-Jake and I watched… clueless.

Winnie is one happy dog… sleeping between her two favorite toys-Tigger and Santa Claus/time for a holiday haircut Thursday!

Even with two cold nights and a potential record-breaking cold Christmas this year… look at the flowers still abloom.

Morning glories
Encore Azaleas

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Spreading the Christmas Spirit from … St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope to India

  1. ambikasur says:

    Thanks a lot Becky.. I still had difficulty uploading my family pic attachment to the email.. will try and send ASAP…

    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am having trouble on my end too-there has got to be an easier way to send a picture… could you put it on FB and I could pull it from there?

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Deb Clayton says:

    Your garden is lovely. I see you have a red azalea blooming. My neighbor has three still blooming since around September. What’s the name of that amazing azalea? Also, I have a caution to give you, since I’ve seen two grandsons grow up. NEVER GO BAREFOOTED in a lego home! Merry Christmas, Becky!

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Too funny and true… about the Lego’s! The winter azaleas are called Encore Azaleas because they do a double performance -spring and winter! They are more beautiful I think… in the winter-especially at Christmas! Have a wonderful Christmas -you and your loved ones!!!

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Prayers for Ambika and her father…prayers touch hearts everywhete… ❤🙏❤

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