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Exploring Sri Lanka Week One

Exploring Sri Lanka for Kids

Have you ever wanted to search for buried treasure? I have! Our Sunday School teacher told us this morning that we’re going to spend the next few Sundays learning about an island named Sri Lanka where they really do have buried treasure!

Sri Lanka is an island just south of India. When you look at it on a map, you might think it looks like a pearl or a teardrop. We can use both pictures to help us remember how to pray for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka isn’t known for pearls, but it is known for having beautiful gemstones buried underground! There are mines where people can work and find rubies, emeralds, and other valuable treasures.

The country has also had its share of tears. The people who live in Sri Lanka come from many different places. Sadly, they don’t always get along with each other. From 1983 until just a few years ago, there was a terrible civil war. So many people died, and many of them left children behind without a mother or a father. Some parents, especially moms, have to work very far away from home to try to be able to take care of their families. These children miss their parents and worry that they have forgotten about them. Sometimes even the children work in very dangerous places to try to earn enough money to be able to eat and survive.

Missionaries have spent a lot of time in Sri Lanka, and they have helped many people find out about Jesus. But, a lot of Sri Lankans don’t trust people who have moved to their island from other places. Thankfully, God is helping the native Sri Lankan churches, the ones started by and built by people from Sri Lanka, tell many others about Him. The Christians in Sri Lanka have a big job to do, but they know that God is big enough to help them do it!

We need to remember to pray that each person in Sri Lanka will find out about the most valuable treasure of all, Jesus Christ. In the Bible, God even calls the news of God’s love the “pearl of great price.” We also need to remember to pray for the children who are sad and who miss their parents, that God would comfort them and help each of them know that no matter what, He is the perfect Father who will never ever leave them or forget about them.

“Dear God, please help every person in Sri Lanka. Please help them to understand that knowing You is better than finding buried treasure! Help those who are sad or lonely to hear and believe how much You love them. Help them know that they are never alone and never forgotten. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Scripture from Matthew 13:46 KJV

Click for a printable version of Exploring Sri Lanka Week One.

Sundar Singh: The Final Journey (Part Ten) With Printable

Missionary Story for Children: Sundar Singh The Final Journey Part Ten

Are you ready to hear more about Sundar Singh’s journeys? Our Sunday School teacher told us the rest of his story this morning. Sundar spent the rest of his life traveling wherever God sent him. He felt a special burden in his heart for the people of Tibet, and he tried to go there whenever he could. He knew how dangerous the trip was, but he was not afraid to die. He told people that one day they may hear that he had died in Tibet, but to not look at it as though he had died. He wanted people to remember that when his body had died, his soul would be alive with Jesus forever.

God had many places for Sundar to preach. As people in the West heard about this preacher who traveled the countryside on foot, wearing a traditional robe, and walking barefoot, they were curious. They wanted to know more. They wanted Sundar to come and preach in their churches. So, Sundar did. He preached all over India. He traveled to Nepal, Burma, Singapore, Japan, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Australia, Egypt, Israel, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. He wrote books and received countless letters from people who wanted to ask him questions and learn more about God.

Sundar knew what it was like to be poisoned, imprisoned, and tortured, and he knew what it was like to preach in huge churches to thousands of people who couldn’t wait to see him. When he suffered, he prayed and asked God for the strength to do whatever he had to do. When he was praised and honored, he didn’t forget God. He knew that God was the One who had sent him to the big churches, just like He had sent him to the tiny villages. Someone asked Sundar one time how he felt about all the honor and respect people showed him. He told the story from the Bible when Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem and the people praised Him. The donkey got to walk on the cloaks the people threw down because he carried Jesus. The donkey was treated special because of who he carried. Sundar said it was the same with him. People treated him special, not because of who Sundar was, but because of how special Jesus was, and that is the message Sundar carried.

In April, 1929, Sundar left once again for Tibet. He was thirty-nine years old, and he could hardly wait to reach Tibet and preach. He stopped on his way and asked the superintendent of a leper hospital to mail a letter for him. The letter was to a friend and missionary in New Zealand. In the letter, Sundar told him that he was traveling to Tibet and did not know if he would return. He asked his friend to come take care of his house if he did not.

In November, the papers reported that Sundar had disappeared. His friends went into the mountains to look for him, but they never found him. We don’t know if Sundar slipped and fell in the icy mountains or if perhaps a village leader got angry about his preaching and killed him. Today, only God knows what really happened to Sundar on his last journey into Tibet, but we can know one thing. We can know that Sundar’s body is dead but that he is alive with Jesus now and forever. That is the message he crossed the Himalayas and traveled around the world to tell people—that there is only one way to know for sure what will happen after you die, and that is to believe in Jesus, the only One who died and came back to life and can offer each of us eternal life with Him. All we have to do is ask.

“Dear God, thank You for the life and courage of Sundar Singh. Thank you for sending him to people all over the world to tell them about Your love for them. Please help me to go wherever You send me, whether it is to my neighbor’s or the library or even the grocery store. Help me show people how much You love them and tell them that all they have to do to be forgiven and for You to make them new people is to ask You. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Have some fun with a Travels of Sundar Singh free geography printable.


Meet the Sherpa

**We’ll hear more of Sundar Singh’s story next week, but this week, we have a special reminder to pray for the Sherpa people of Nepal.

Today in Sunday School, we learned about another group of people who live in the Himalayan mountains called the Sherpa. The Sherpa people are known for being kind, friendly, and welcoming of strangers. They are also known for helping people climb Mt. Everest. They cook for many of the mountain climbers, help guide them up the dangerous mountain, and carry much of the mountain climbers’ supplies.

Let’s imagine we are taking a trip up to the top of Mt. Everest. What sorts of dangers do we run into? Make a list of what you can think of.

Here’s what I wrote down: 1) it can get awfully dark up on the mountain at night 2) we can slip and fall 3) we can get very tired 4) we need someplace safe to make camp 5) we can get into dangerous places where we have to help each other 6) we have to trust each other because sometimes things don’t make sense and it feels like we are going the wrong way.

And you know what I realized? God helps us in all those ways. It’s true! Take a look at these verses and you’ll see what I mean. If you don’t have a Bible handy, check out www.biblegateway.com. God helps us …

1) When things look dark and hopeless

Psalm 119:105

2) When we feel like we’re slipping and falling

Psalm 94:18

3) When we’re tired and discouraged

Psalm 73:26

4) When we need someplace safe to rest

Psalm 31:3, 20

5) When we admit we need God’s help

Psalm 25:9

6) When life doesn’t make sense or seems unfair and we have questions for God

Psalm 73

I think if God helps us in all those ways, He wants us to help others in the same way. We can all be like the Sherpa guides and help people overcome whatever challenges they face. And, we start by asking God for His help and accepting His help. Then, we can ask Him how to help other people who need help. I’m going to go back through that list I made and write down ways I can help other people the way God has helped me. Give it a try and let me know what ideas you come up with!

“Dear God, please help the Sherpa people of Nepal. Just like they help so many people, please help them understand how much You want to help them and guide them. Help them understand that Jesus died to save them, so they can overcome every obstacle that comes their way, even death, just like Jesus did when He came back to life. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

If you’d like a copy of this post you can print, click here: Mt. Everest, Life, and Other Tough Climbs.

Sundar Singh: A Surprise Rescue (Part Nine)

Missionary Story for Children: Sundar Singh A Surprise Rescue Part Nine

I’ve been thinking about Sundar all this week, wondering how—or if—he would ever be rescued. We found out this morning in Sunday School what happened. He spent three nights at the bottom of that awful, dirty, well. Then finally, he heard someone take the cover off the top. Whoever it was lowered a rope to him. He clung to it with the little bit of strength he had left. The stranger pulled him to safety, put the cover back on the well, and disappeared. Sundar never saw who it was.

Sundar crawled to some bushes, hid himself there, and fell asleep. Hours later, when he was strong enough, he cleaned up in a stream and washed his clothes. He was so thankful God had sent someone to rescue him, and he wondered what God wanted him to do next. As he prayed and waited, he realized God wanted him to go back to the same people who had thrown him in the well and tell them more about Him.

When Sundar appeared back in the village, the people were shocked. They thought he was dead. The leader grew very angry—someone had betrayed him and rescued Sundar. They arrested and questioned him again, but Sundar didn’t know who had saved him. The leader was furious—the traitor had to be punished. All of a sudden, one of the men realized there was only one key to the well, and it hung on the village leader’s belt. The leader knew he hadn’t rescued Sundar, and he hadn’t given the key to anyone else. The only answer was that the God Sundar served had real power.

That scared the village leader very much, and he ordered Sundar to leave his town and never come back. Sundar left and continued preaching until it was time to leave again for India. But it would not be Sundar’s last journey to Tibet. A few months later, he would cross the mountains to preach once again.

“Dear God, please help us be brave and trust You no matter what. Thank You that You are stronger than anyone and anything else and that You will never ever leave us. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Sundar Singh: What Else Could Go Wrong? (Part Eight)

Missionary Story for Children: Sundar Singh What Else Could Go Wrong Part Eight


Finally, it was time to find out at Sunday School what happened to the man who was caught telling people about Jesus!

The religious leader ordered that his assistant be beaten very, very badly. When the men were done, they threw him outside on a pile of garbage to die. But that’s not what happened. God made him strong enough to crawl off of the garbage pile and get away. After his body had healed from the beating, he did something no one could have expected. He went back into the town that had tried to kill him. The people were so scared—they knew there had to be a reason that he hadn’t died like he was supposed to, but they didn’t understand who or what could have healed him. So, they decided to stay out of his way. He was allowed to keep traveling and telling people about Jesus.

Sundar was amazed by the story and asked the visitor if he knew how Sundar could meet him. The man announced—it was him! He showed Sundar and Tarnyed Ali that he still had Kartar’s Bible with the verse written inside of it. They talked and prayed together all that night. The next day, Sundar and Tarnyed Ali began walking back to the missionaries’ village where Sundar and Tarnyed Ali had met. When they reached it, Sundar left him with the missionaries and began walking again.

He met another man named Susil, who convinced Sundar that he needed to go to college. Sundar went for a little while, but he didn’t like it. He knew that was not where God was calling him to be. Soon, Sundar was back on the trail that would lead him to Tibet once again. One day, when the people of a village got angry with him for preaching about Jesus, they told him to leave. Sundar asked a woman which way he should go, and the woman told him. Sundar started walking that way, but a few hours later, he realized the woman had lied to him. There were no more villages in the direction she’d told him. There was just the trail he was walking on and a dead end at the edge of a huge, icy river. He could not get across.

Sundar collapsed. He didn’t know what to do. The people of the village behind him didn’t want to listen to him, and there was no way to get across the river. He felt like no one on earth cared if he lived or died. He prayed and cried, and the next time he looked up, he saw a man on the other side of the river. The man was sitting by a warm fire. As Sundar watched, the man stood up and stepped into the icy river. The water was freezing and it was moving so fast, but the man didn’t slow down. He kept walking across the river. The cold water grew higher and higher until it was up to his shoulders. The man stepped out of the river and told Sundar to climb up and sit on his shoulders. He reached out his hand and pulled Sundar up. Then he went back into the river. When they reached the other side, he helped Sundar down. Sundar closed his eyes to pray, and when he opened them again, the man was gone. There was nowhere the man could have gone so quickly. Sundar knew that God had sent him to help and to let Sundar know that he was not alone after all. God never forgot about him, and He always cared about what happened to him.

Sundar traveled further into Tibet, but he found that many people didn’t want to hear about Jesus. Then, in one town, the people did listen. They asked questions and let Sundar answer—until their religious leaders showed up. The leaders told them not to listen to Sundar, and the people started yelling at Sundar. They arrested him and took him to their chief religious officer. He was accused of preaching a different religion. Sundar could not deny it; the reason he had come to Tibet was to tell people about Jesus. The leader sentenced him to die. They took Sundar and threw him into a dirty, filthy, well. Then they left him there.

One day went by and then another. Sundar wanted to give up. God hadn’t sent someone to carry him out of this awful place, like He had back at the river, and he didn’t know why. What if this was the last village he ever got to tell about Jesus?

“Dear God, please help us to trust You always, even when things are terrible and we want to give up. Please help us remember that You always have a plan, even when we cannot see it. You promised in Romans 8:28 that You work good out of every situation, no matter how awful. Even when Jesus died on the cross, You had a plan. You knew He would come back to life and save everyone who trusts Him. Help us trust You today. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Sundar Singh: Norbu and Kartar (Part Seven)

Missionary Story for Children: Sundar Singh Norbu and Karter Part Seven

This morning, our Sunday School teacher told us what happened to the man who hit Sundar in the head with a rock. Sundar knew the men thought he would be angry and wish for something bad to happen to them, but he knew that wasn’t the right thing to do. Instead, he prayed and asked God to forgive them and then he washed his face and sat down to wait for the blood to stop running from his head. Not much later, the man who had thrown the rock at Sundar fell to the ground. He had the worst headache he had ever had! Sundar knew that everyone would think it was because Sundar had wished something bad to happen to him, so he decided to do something the men would not expect. He went over to where the farmers were working and started doing the other man’s job. He worked alongside of them the rest of the day.

When the day was over, the man who had hurt Sundar invited him to his house. He brought all of the farmers together and Sundar got to tell them about Jesus. The next day, Sundar started on his way to another village, but the man told him to please come back and tell him more the next time he was traveling that way.

Sundar kept walking; he knew God was calling him to preach in Tibet. He met some missionaries in a village who started teaching him the Tibetan language, but it was a hard language, and Sundar knew it would be very difficult for him to learn enough of it to preach to the people. He was so happy when the missionaries decided that another man names Tarnyed Ali who translated for them should go with Sundar on his journey. Together, Sundar and Tarnyed Ali set off for Tibet.

The people in the next village they reached were not happy to hear about God at all. They were angry. They would not let them stay, and they even chased them out of their towns. One night when Sundar and Tarnyed Ali needed someplace to sleep, they found a little hut that appeared to be empty. It didn’t look like anyone was living there, so they went inside for shelter. Not long after they started to settle in, a man appeared at the door. Sundar thought this man must own the house and he quickly apologized. The man explained that the house was abandoned; he just stopped for a rest and some shelter sometimes while he was traveling, just like Sundar and Tarnyed Ali were doing. They all sat together around the fire and began to talk. Sundar hoped he could tell him about Jesus.

The man said his name was Norbu. He told them he had known another man who used to be a Sikh and had left his family and everything he had to follow Jesus and tell others about Him. His name was Kartar, and just like Sundar, he traveled from village to village. Many people didn’t want to listen to him and chased him from their villages. In one village, they arrested him and sentenced him to die. They treated him terribly and he suffered a great deal, but no matter what they did, Kartar kept praying and singing to God. He wanted to use every last breath to tell people about how much Jesus loved them. Just before he died, he wrote a verse in the front of his Bible. Later that day, he died.

But because of the way Kartar had died, not afraid and not wanting revenge on the people who were hurting him, the personal assistant of the leading religious man in the village—the leader who had sentenced Kartar to die—took the Bible and started to read it. Then he started telling others about Jesus. The religious leader was so angry! Killing Kartar was supposed to end all this talk about Jesus, but instead more people wanted to hear. When he found out it was his own assistant who was spreading the truth about God, he was really angry!

We have to wait until next week to find out what happened to the man!

“Dear God, please help us to have good friends who love You and want to obey You, like Sundar did. Just like he and Samuel traveled together for a while, and Sundar and Tarnyed Ali walked and preached together, please help us to see the friends You have sent to us and please help us to be a true friend to them and to others. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Sundar Singh: Paying Off a Debt (Part Six)

Missionary Story for Children: Sundar Singh Paying Off a Debt Part Six

Today in Sunday School, we learned about what happened next to Sundar Singh. God kept him safe that night in the wilderness, and the next night, and the next. Sundar kept walking and telling everyone he could about God’s love.

Sometimes he would meet very religious men who were trying to do lots of “good things” to earn God’s grace. Sundar tried to help them understand that no one can ever be “good” enough on their own. God is the only One who is always perfect. We can never be perfect all of the time, no matter how hard we try. We will make mistakes, and God knows that. He wants us to do our best, but He knows we can’t make it to Heaven on our own. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for our mistakes. God takes Jesus’ perfection and credits it to us. It’s like if you owed a huge bill and couldn’t pay it. What if you owed someone one trillion dollars? Could you ever work hard enough or earn enough allowance money to pay a bill that huge? Probably not, and even if you could, the debt we owe God is even bigger. So when we ask Jesus to save us and trust in His love, God marks our bill, “Paid in Full.”

Sundar traveled over the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, then back to the Jammu and Kashmir region of India. He met another Christian named Samuel Stokes who dressed like a sadhu as he did, and they traveled together all through the winter. When spring came, Sundar got very sick. Samuel found an Englishman who owned a home and offered to let them both stay with him until Sundar was well. The Englishman didn’t really care to talk about God or sin, but as time passed, he started to listen to what Sundar and Samuel had to say. The more he listened, the more questions he asked them. By the time Sundar was healthy again, the man had decided to believe in Jesus!

Sundar and Samuel worked and traveled together for a while longer until Samuel decided to go to the United States. Samuel wanted to talk to people about joining them in India and helping people hear about Jesus. Sundar kept walking from village to village, telling people about Jesus. One day he was telling some farmers about God when someone threw a rock and hit Sundar in the head! The man’s friends were scared—what would Sundar do?

“Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus to pay for all the things I do wrong. Please help me to do my best for You because I love You, not because I’m trying to work my way to Heaven. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Sundar Singh: A New Idea (Part Five)

Sundar Singh A New Idea-Missionary Stories for Children

Finally this morning at Sunday School our teacher told us what happened to Sundar Singh that night he lay sick from the poison. Sundar had just heard the doctor say that there was nothing else that could be done for him. The doctor was sure he would not live through the night. But Sundar didn’t want to die. He knew there were things God still wanted him to do. There were people he needed to tell about Jesus and His love. So whenever Sundar was awake, he prayed and asked God to heal him and make him well again.

When morning came, Sundar was still alive. Not only that, his stomach didn’t hurt anymore and he didn’t feel terrible like he had. People could hardly believe it! The doctor came a few hours later to plan the funeral and instead found Sundar healthy and sitting outside in the sunshine! Sundar knew God had healed him.

Sundar went back to school, but when the people who had poisoned him found out that he didn’t die, they came and caused trouble at his school. So Sundar left again, this time going to a hospital for people with leprosy. The hospital was run by Christians and Sundar was happy to help. While Sundar was there he realized something important. Most of his people looked at Christianity as something that was just for Westerners, people who came to his country from Great Britain, the United States, and other countries. They didn’t think Jesus had anything in common with Indians. Sundar needed to find a way to change that. He wanted to show people that Jesus loved everyone—whether Westerners or Indians or anyone else. Just like Jesus had followers from many different lands, Jesus wanted people in every town and village to know that He loved them, that He died for them, and that He had risen again.

So Sundar decided to do something he didn’t think anyone else had ever done before. He decided to dress like a sadhu. A sadhu was a holy man in the religion of many of the people. They wore saffron (orange) robes and taught the people about religion. But Sundar would wear the saffron robes and teach the people about Jesus. He purchased the robe and started out on a journey, walking from town to town.

Now when Sundar started talking to people, they listened because he looked like a sadhu. But when they found out he was a Christian, most of them wouldn’t listen. Still, some did, and that encouraged Sundar to keep telling everyone he could about Jesus. He never knew who would listen and choose to believe in Jesus.

A lot of times Sundar was kicked out of the villages. No one would give him a place to sleep or anything to eat, and he spent many nights cold and hungry. Sometimes people got angry with him. One night when Sundar had found an abandoned hut to sleep in, he had an unexpected visitor. A villager came and warned him that there was a plot to kill him. He couldn’t stay in the hut any longer. Sundar picked up his blanket and set off into the wilderness. He knew what kinds of animals lived out there. Just one bite from a dangerous snake could kill him. And there were always the tigers. But it wasn’t the first time that he needed to risk his life to tell people about Jesus.

He took his blanket and headed out into the wilderness.

“Dear God, it hurts our feelings when people don’t like us because we believe in You, and it makes us sad that they don’t know You yet. Please help us to keep learning all we can about You so that we can share it with others. Please help us to remember that You are always with us, no matter who likes us and who doesn’t. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.

Sundar Singh: Will Anyone Be His Friend? (Part Four)

Sundar Singh Missionary Story for Kids - Will Anyone Be His Friend

Have you ever felt like you didn’t have any friends? Even though it is never true because Jesus will always be your friend, it’s easy to feel lonely when you don’t have anyone to hang out with or do things with. That’s how Sundar Singh felt after his family and friends got mad at him for believing in Jesus. Our Sunday School teacher told us more of Sundar’s story today.

With his family and his friends all angry with him, school became the only place Sundar enjoyed. His teachers prayed with him and helped him learn more about what it really meant to be a Christian. They told him not to give up and to keep standing for Jesus.

And do you know what happened? The other boys began to notice. Some of them were angry, like his old friends who bullied him because he was a Christian now, but three boys decided to believe in Jesus, too.  Sundar was so happy! But now that there were four Sikh boys who had chosen to believe in Jesus, the town got really angry. It had been bad enough that Sundar had chosen to believe in Jesus, but they would not put up with four boys believing in Him. The townspeople forced the Christian school to close and convinced two of the new Christians to give up their faith in Christ.

One boy named Gurdit wouldn’t stop believing in Jesus. He ran to a mission far away where he could be safe. But later, some people Gurdit knew convinced him to come back to his home town. When he did, someone killed him.

Sundar couldn’t believe how many awful things had happened. He must have wondered if things would ever get any better. He took a train to another city and started going to a Christian boarding school where he lived while going to high school. Then he got a letter from his family. They wanted him to come home. He didn’t know what to do. He was scared. When Gurdit had gone home, someone had killed him. Would someone kill him to?

He prayed a lot and finally decided that God wanted him to go home and see his family. While he was there, his uncle showed him a treasure of money and jewels that he said he would give to Sundar if he would quit following Jesus. Sundar said no. Then an important leader offered him a very special job that would pay a lot of money and would make him look very important—but only if he stopped believing in Jesus. Sundar said no again.

There was one more thing Sundar could do to let the people know that he had no intention of giving up his love of Jesus. Sikh boys were not allowed to cut their hair. It grew long and was twisted up inside the turban that they wore. Even though he knew what it would mean, Sundar cut his hair.

When his father found out, he was furious! He said once and for all that Sundar was no longer part of the family. His family would pretend he had never been born. Sundar was thrown out of the house and told to never come back. It would be like he no longer had a father or brothers.

Sundar was so sad. He loved his family, and he didn’t want to leave them, but he loved Jesus more. Jesus had told His followers in the Bible that sometimes following Him would mean their families would be angry.

There was only one place left Sundar could think of to go—back to the boarding school. He bought a train ticket and started back. But he started to not feel very good. His stomach hurt, and he threw up. But it was different than when you throw up from having the flu. This time when Sundar threw up, he realized what had happened—someone had poisoned him. Someone was trying to kill him, just like they had killed Gurdit.

He knew he would not live long enough to make it back to the boarding school. He prayed that God would help him. That’s when he remembered that the very next stop the train was scheduled to make was in a town where one of his Christian teachers from his old school lived. Sundar got off the train, went to the teacher’s home, and collapsed. When he woke up later, he heard the doctor telling the teacher that there was nothing else to be done for him. Sundar would not live through the night.

I couldn’t believe it when our teacher told us that we have to wait until next week to find out what happened! Does she have any idea how long a whole week is?

“Dear God, please help us obey and follow You, no matter what. Thank You for the friends and the people in our lives who love You and believe in You, too. Please help us when we feel lonely to trust You, and please help everyone whose family and friends don’t know You yet to be patient and to keep praying and trusting in You. Please help everyone to trust in You. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

You can print today’s missionary story about Sundar Singh here.