There are times in Kolkata that you feel like you could get lost and never be found. So many unmarked tiny side streets and alleyways that lead to more crowded tiny streets can leave you overwhelmed. The villages on the outskirts of town are no different.  We traveled to one of those villages today to teach school at New Hope School.img_2248-1

We are studying the universe at school this week and that there is a God who holds it in His hands.  Today we noticed three brand new children who arrived together, a 10 year old big sister with her twin 5 year old siblings.img_2284-2As we began to color paper suns and moons it was clear that they hadn’t even held a crayon before. Mita, the school’s director. told us that the children, before starting school, were left to themselves all day long while their mother worked outside the village as a domestic helper. The father had left years before. It is hard to imagine a 10 year old caring for two busy 5 year olds 6-9 hours a day, feeding them lunch and watching them as they play in the streets that meander off from the main road. But today they sat in school. Today they learned. Today they heard about a big God that is the King of the Universe.


The main path into the village is dotted with shines to gods of varying degrees and purposes. Morning offerings of fruit, flowers and incense lay before them in hopes of some kind of blessing. But in the midst is New Hope who, year after year, continue to share about the God above all gods. The challenge shows on Mita’s face, but so does the crazy peace of God that she continually displays to the villagers.

In the afternoon we went back into the city to visit an aftercare home that cares for minors who have been rescued from sex trafficking, some very young. The home is nestled into a neighborhood of narrow streets that could swallow you up if not for someone to guide you. Much can be hidden there, including a young teen who was recently rescued from an apartment operating a brothel. One of our team members shared her own story of how God transformed her from hopeless to hopeful.  A lot of what she said could probably be inserted into many of their own stories. God was glorified as she she told His story through the grace shown in her life.img_0171

There are a lot of ways to get lost in this beautiful city and there are even those that would take advantage of that. But the God of the universe sees each and every one. He has appointed strong believers at strategic places to carry the message of His hope and freedom by living in hard spaces and addressing difficult, tangible needs.  Tomorrow we will continue to walk alongside these heroes and offer encouragement and a reminder that they, too, are never out of God’s sight.