So what is it that we can say of our time here? It is always hard to tell about our time when we come on such a mission. Like trying to describe the color blue or the idea of soft. There just aren’t adequate words to describe the beauty of the people here and the bright light that God is shining in the midst of darkness. It takes more than words. We can actually feel God working and moving among the people here. We can also feel the darkness that exists in much of the city.
Monday we traveled to the slum village of Udayan Pally and had the greatest musical day with the children of New Hope School. Pastor Rudra and Mita were, as always, so inspiring to hear as they spoke about their passion for reaching the people of this village. They not only want to bring spiritual light to the darkness but they are meeting real felt needs. They are trying to provide every family with a clean water filtration system to protect from the high arsenic content found in the already polluted water. They provide healthy milk or protein once a day for the children that may not have another meal each day. The children came to school with their toothbrushes in their pockets. When I asked Pastir Rudra about this he said that the children were not brushing their teeth at home so it is part of their school curriculum that once a day they brush their teeth during school with the hope that they are building healthy habits with the children. These are but a few of the things they are doing to meet physical needs as they also share the answer to this village’s deepest need for the true light of Jesus.
Tuesday we celebrated the 8th birthday of Destiny with our friends, Smarita, Runa, Nandini and Shayoni. How do you have a celebration worthy of the heroic efforts of such a group? It just can’t be done… so we had cake, danced and played music instead! We prayed healing over sweet Smarita who is suffering from severe DVT. We asked that the healing hand of the powerful God above all gods would touch her and give her complete healing and rest.
Wednesday morning we finished our time here with lots of laughing through tears as we listened to the beautiful ladies of Jewels In A Crown. It was humbling and profound to hear their thoughts from our week of worship arts “camp.” We shared with them that there are more than a thousand people at Kingsland and beyond that had sent us to share this love of Jesus with them and that people they have never met are praying for them and that any blessing they felt had come for the Father who loves them and we were just the hands that were allowed to bring it.
Some of thoughts shared by the ladies of Jewels In A Crown”:
“I loved this week and felt so relaxed. I don’t know what it was that drew me back every day but I couldn’t wait to come back. There was so much joy and positivity. I felt so happy having art and music back in my life.”
“When you came to our home (Kalighat area) and worshipped God with the loud speaker it brough us much joy, our neighbors were so happy to hear this. Thank you for coming to where we live.”
“So many things you have taught us. We didn’t have a way to write things about God and now we have a way to express these things about God.”
“We felt so happy.”
“We have learned that Even trash can be made into something beautiful and so God can do something beautiful with us too.”
“I have learned that God sees the inside of me and that is what is important. It doesn’t matter what the world says is perfect. God has made me as I am and that is good.”
“You taught us to have no fear and to let God use us.”
From Monique and Nirupa (the lead staff of Jewels in A Crown)
“This has been such a Spirit led time and has produced much fruit. It has been an abundance of refreshment for our team. It has been above what we thought could happen in just a few days time. We have been blessed ‘bonkers-ly”
“To have Bobby here was such a blessing. Most of these women do not have husbands that treat them kindly and to see him be such a quiet servant and be so kind was a beyond what we could have asked for.”
And these words from our team:
“This has been so rewarding”
“There is so much value in encouraging those on the ground. Even though we are short timers this whole mission has been about encouragement.”
“Unhindered worship. Such sweet authentic fellowship. The people here go all in with their fellowship.”
“I have a new conviction about helping others. The women here go so far above and beyond to serve and help one another and be good friends and neighbors.”
“Such a blessed team…effortless to share time with the others on our team.”
“God is working here. He has champions working daily caring for these people and earning a right to speak into their lives. The servants here have worked years to develop this. They care so very much.”
“The colors and the joy here remind me that happiness is not found in our circumstance but in the people we love and have near us. It is found in having a purpose and caring for others. True joy comes from the Father and can be experienced despite hardships.”
“Our lives should be about caring for others.”
“When we rely on the Holy Spirit to direct us and work through us HE can accomplish great things and we are allowed to be a part. What a blessing.”
Our time here has come to an end but our hearts will forever be changed by the beauty that we have seen and the joy that God has brought to the hearts of the women here. God is resting on this city through the women here and the “hope bringers” that are willing to go into the desperate conditions day after day for many years. May we never stop praying for them and following God’s promptings to support them. Our privileges and blessing are not ours to keep, they come from God. Let us never close our hands around those blessings and hold them tightly as if they are our own.