The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Children

Once upon a time, picnics were the rage. Families, friends, company or church groups would count the days till P Day (picnic day) finally arrived. The day before the picnic was just as exciting; sandwiches were made, bottled lemonade kept in the fridge, games, mats and hats packed and finally the alarm would be set. While most families have replaced picnics with malls and multiplexes, Sunday School children from four congregations in Karnataka were excited about their picnic at Gokak Falls and Hidkal Dam.

A special picnic was arranged for 80 Sunday School children and 40 youth from the congregations Naganur, Ghodgeri, Melamatti and Belagavi. The chosen location was perfect and picturesque – a sandstone cliff, a rugged valley, the long and winding Ghataprabha river, the rustic bridge across the river, and six kilometers away, the Gokak Falls. The children were delighted to see and hear about the power station at Gokak where electricity was generated for the first time way back in 1887.

A generous home-cooked spread for all

The day started with the Sunday school children engaging in some drawing and colouring, and the youth attending a workshop. After both groups finished, they gathered together to partake of a potluck feast. Everyone carried their own home cooked neatly packed tiffins, which was then laid out buffet style so that all could share and enjoy each other’s food. After a satisfying meal, the group set out to do some sightseeing.

When a smile speaks volumes

Throughout the day the picnickers could be heard singing joyfully to the Lord. Games were organised for the children and youth so there wasn’t a single dull moment. For the adults who accompanied the children and youth to see some of them smile was so overwhelming that all the planning and coordination that went into organising the picnic was well worth it. After seeing how delighted the children were, they promised to have a picnic for the Sunday school children and youth every year.

The children and youth loved their day outing as they were returning home not only with new memories but many new friendships. As they returned home their voices and laughter was so rich and melodious that even the distant roar of the majestic Gokak Falls could not block it out.

Text: Fred Marihal / BBMH
Images: Bhairu Rawoot