Hello blog readers!  My name is Danae Patterson. and I am the guest blog writer today. This is my 5th trip to India with Kingsland. I first came to India back in 2011 and instantly fell in love. Kolkata truly has a special place in my heart and the relationships I have made here will forever be a huge part of my life.

Today was a very busy and exciting day for the team. We started the day off by going to a temple in Kalighat called Khali. Kalighat is the second largest of the red-light areas in Kolkata and the temple was filled with people looking to see and pray to the god. We had the opportunity to go inside and walk through the crowded place. Needless to say, it was an experience that really pulled at my heart. The whole time I was inside, I was praying to the Lord for strength and for the lost people inside. Afterwards, I was talking to a team member about how we were feeling, and she said that if she could describe the temple in one word, that word would be hopeless. I felt that this appropriately described the feeling inside of me.

From there we walked to a rooftop terrace where we were met with ladies from JIAC and their friends. For those who don’t know what JIAC is, it stands for Jewels in a Crown. This organization was started by a Canadian couple who would teach the women how to make jewelry and would give them hope, new life, and surround them with the love of the Lord. Unfortunately, JIAC shut down due to personal issues and the ladies lost their jobs. However, we still keep in touch and love on them when we are in Kolkata. So today we got to see about 5 JIAC ladies and 35 of their friends and family on this tiny rooftop terrace. We fed them biryani, made bracelets, told them a bible story, and washed the feet and gave pedicures to the women. For me, today was extra special because I got to see my friend Soma. She is a dear friend of mine whom I met at JIAC back in 2015 and I look forward to seeing her each trip.


After loving on old and new faces, our Kingsland team made our way to Sari Bari. Sari Bari is an organization that employs women who have been exploited in the sex trade or who are vulnerable to human trafficking and teaches them how to make handmade kantha products from recycled saris. Here one of our team members, Sydney, told a bible story and shared her testimony. Then she taught the women, and our team, useful self-defense training that could help in the future if ever needed. It was a joy to watch the ladies practice with each other. After that we had teatime and ate delicious samosas and visited with the ladies. We then were able to give them pedicures and teach them how to make earrings.

Today there were a lot of emotions felt and it was truly a day I will never forget. I am so thankful for my team and our amazing leader Brenda who works so hard and does so well.