Shine a Light – February 13, 2020

Leave a comment

Hello! My name is Kalie, and today I have the privilege of sharing a snapshot of our day. I want to start by saying that today, February 13, is Shine a Light on Slavery Day!  How fitting for the End It Movement’s special day that we are in India on one of the many days we are surrounded by women who have been rescued from human trafficking or are still victims in human trafficking. I can’t help but thank God for allowing our trip to fall on this day.

Today was a good day. Long, but oh so sweet. It all started at 4:50AM when my alarm went off for the service at Mother House (former home of Mother Teresa), which starts every morning at 6:00AM on the dot. After the service and during their prayer time, we quietly exited the room because our schedule was very tight today and could not be late to board the bus for our next destination. However, when we left, the front gate doors were locked, leaving our team stunned and puzzled. Suddenly, a nun approached us with the keys and long story short, we were yelled at by a nun in a whisper voice. It was something we will never forget. We quickly walked back to the BMS and of course, had to stop for a 2 minute chai tea stop!


After a bus ride to another part of the city, we walked about six minutes down a road in the Udayan Pally village where New Hope School is located. New Hope is a school that allows the poorest children in the village to attend school and receive an education. There were children as young as 3 ½ years old all the way to 14 years old.


new hope

We had a science lesson about electrical engineering by our very own electrical engineer on the team, Stephanie! She taught the kids wonderful things about static and electric energy, and then the kids participated in the coolest experiment! They each received a balloon and rubbed it vigorously in their hair, hovered it over a plate full of salt and pepper, and watched the pepper quickly rise to the balloon. The kids were overjoyed and wide eyed at the experiment! Then, they made butterflies as seen in the pictures and used the energy from the balloon to flap the wings! One child in my group asked “Gum?” and pointed to the paper for the butterfly to be placed on, so I asked him why he needed gum. He replied by showing me a gesture to show he needed gum to glue the paper down. This really tugged on my heart strings. We take so much for granted in America, even the simplicity of a glue stick.


Next, Stephanie taught the kids about circuits and each group built circuits by using a snap kit. They were able to see how the electricity flowed through the circuit to make the lightbulb turn on and the fan blow. Each time these happened, they would cheer loudly and clap with happiness. Stephanie really did an outstanding job planning the school lessons! Stay tuned for the description of the experiment tomorrow!


At the end of the school day, the children all lined up in 5 single file lines for chapel. Deanna gave a devotional about how we are lights for Jesus and a life without Jesus is darkness. The kids all prayed together and it was a sweet moment seeing them praying to Jesus.

Next, we hopped on the bus to travel to Mahima Ashaloy! This is a community center for women who live in Sonagachi, one of (if not THE) largest red light districts in south Asia. They have weekly medical checks, counseling, dance therapy, music therapy, just to name a few. Here, Danae and I spoke about anger and stress management and healthy ways to cope when feeling angry. This really resonated with the women and about half of them opened up with personal stories from their friends and families. They asked good questions asking for advice and I believe they took away important coping mechanisms. After this, the women made tassle earrings and had a blast. Our dear friends and translators, Zeenat and Anita, were a huge help today helping us communicate with about 30 women on the terrace. Of course, they blessed us with chai and samosas which were delicious.


To wrap up a very good but long day, our team had dinner at an American owned coffee shop and café named 8th Day which was delicious. On the way from Ashaloy to dinner, my mind circled thoughts about the day. I’m amazed at several of the women’s faith after all they have been through, they’re still trusting that God has great plans for them, which He promises in Jeremiah 29:11. As for me, I’m having difficulty believing God has great plans because of recent events in my personal life, even though I know it to be true. It’s amazing how some of these ladies and all of the staff are so strong. It truly blows my mind.  Our God is doing great things here in Kolkata, the city of Joy. Please keep praying for the people here who are living in darkness away from Jesus!



Touching His Robe – February 12, 2020

Leave a comment

My name is Sterling Greene and I am the guest blogger on tonight’s Kolkata Go Beyond blog!

This is my fourth trip to Kolkata and my ninth mission trip with Kingsland. If there is one thing I have taken away from all my travels, it is that a smile means the same in every language. A smile can go a long way between two people who do not speak the same language. So I smile a lot, because I only speak one language!

Today we spent the day with Destiny Foundation at two different locations.   Destiny was established about ten years ago.  Their mission is to empower women that have been trafficked by teaching them job skills.

The Destiny women are always so happy to see us! We have continued to go year after year, and as a result we have built relationships with them because of our consistency. When we enter the facility it is always such a precious time as we have all longed to see each other. We are always welcomed with huge hugs and joyful smiles.

I had the privilege to share the Bible story about the bleeding woman from Mark 5:21-34, and Danae shared her testimony. The women were intrigued. The majority of the women at Destiny are not Christians, but they are always so receptive to us and the words we speak about Jesus. They always have so many questions and amazing discussion. They always bless us with their questions and their desire to want to know more.  Today after the story, one girl asked, “I wish Jesus were still alive so I could touch his robe and He could heal me.”  That swung the door WIDE OPEN for a conversation about how OUR GOD is not dead.  He is alive and active and working in our lives every day.  When we speak to Him, He hears us.  He sees every tear that falls. These women sometimes feel forgotten by their gods that they worship as Hindu followers.  What a contrast!


After our Bible time and testimony, we taught them how to make threaded earrings.  And of course we have our signature activity, pedicures! Feet are a big deal here and no one wants their feet touched. It is a cultural taboo that 1. They feel like they are sinning by having their feet touched and 2. Someone younger washing the feet of an older person is not okay. So many ladies were uncomfortable having their feet washed and cleaned today, but they allowed us to bestow our crazy American ways on them. It was such an amazing day full of so much love. 


Ten years ago, I would have told you I would NEVER go to India! NEVER! It was the last place on earth I ever wanted to go. Today, I can tell you it is my second home. The hospitality of the Indian culture is such a heart warming quality that we as Americans have lost. I have a family here that is always welcoming. This city of Kolkata is amazing and full of so much good that we tend to forget because of the great darkness, but our God is BIG and is in the business of transforming hearts with His crazy love.

Abundant Touches of Love – February 11, 2020

1 Comment

Today’s guest blogger is Sydney Farquharson, the Missions Intern for Kingsland Baptist Church.


Today was an incredibly special, significant day. It was a day filled with heartbreak, laughter, meaningful conversations, delicious chai, and lots of hugs. As we spent the day in one of the darkest regions of India, I was reminded of Jesus and the genuine compassion that He had for the lost people around Him. “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest”’ (Matthew 9:35-38 ESV). I can only imagine how deep His compassion ran. I can only imagine how beautifully He loved those people. Today, I feel as though our team got a glimpse of the deep, heartfelt compassion that Jesus felt for the people around Him. Our hearts were stricken with grief as we encountered a group of women who live in the midst of darkness. At the same time, our hearts were filled with much joy in knowing that organizations like FreeSet prove to be a radiant light throughout the city. Thank you, Jesus!


On this trip, the Holy Spirit has continually led me to pray for my team members in this way: that the Lord will grant us compassion for the people around us and that He will teach us how to love and cherish them well. I firmly believe that He is actively answering these prayers! Today, we were so privileged to be the only foreigners to enter “The Cup”. The Cup is a local coffee shop ran by FreeSet. We spent the majority of the day here. We gave women pedicures, engaged in conversations, and made sweet crafts with them. The Cup is located in a red-light district, and only women are allowed to enter. We heard numerous stories of hope, and this brought our hearts much joy! I was able to witness one of our team members, Sterling, give a local Hindu woman a pedicure. They laughed and talked as Sterling spent a substantial amount of time washing her feet. She proceeded to paint her toenails and put stickers on them. The woman delighted in these meaningful moments. She never ceased to smile! After this, Sterling found someone to translate, and began to talk with the woman. The woman mentioned that she prayed to God every day that she would lose her life. Wow – this broke my heart. Sterling’s heart was broken too, and she began to cry. She then shared her personal story of how Jesus changed her life, and shared the Gospel with this woman. They hugged and the woman mentioned that she did not want to leave. This was a moment that I will never forget! I am looking forward to the days to come. I am looking forward to see how the Holy Spirit continues to move in this beautiful city filled with many colors!

By: Sydney Farquharson

God Appointments – February 8, 2020

1 Comment

Have you ever had a schedule that didn’t go as you had planned?  One of the lessons I learned early on in planning foreign mission trips is to be as “flexible as a pipe cleaner” (thank you Kay Foos!).  Two years ago in Kolkata, the team learned this very lesson.  One of our ministry partners had to cancel our plans with them at the last minute because of major road blocks due to a political rally that made traveling around the city nearly impossible.  We obviously did not want to forgo an afternoon of ministry, but we really didn’t know what to do.  We asked Anita (our longtime translator) if she knew of anyone that we could see that wouldn’t mind a last-minute appointment.  She said that yes, she knew of an orphanage that, as far as she knew, no other church or organization had ever visited.

We arrived at this small orphanage without a real plan other than to hang out with some kids for the evening.  Our team always has a “little something extra” up our sleeves, and we whipped together a craft project and a few bible stories.

When we arrived at Pranjal that fateful day in 2018, little did we know that we would be forever changed by the kids there.  We started our time with them by exchanging names and playing an icebreaker game.  We all noticed how sweet the kids were right away, but we also noticed that they spoke enough English that we could easily engage and get to know them.  As the team hung out with the kids, I spoke with the director to hear a little bit of their story.  She said she had never really intended to start an orphanage, but God certainly had other plans.  She and her husband were both psychiatrists and were running a drug rehabilitation facility in the northern part of the city.  They realized that sometimes parents weren’t coming for much needed treatment because there was nowhere for their children to go while they were there.  They began started taking care of a few children for that reason.  Then they heard about a few girls that were in high risk situation; their moms were working in the red light district.  It is very common that mothers that work in the sex trade will also have their daughters working there eventually, usally around age 12.  They began gathering children from situations like this, and eventually they realized that they had started an orphanage.

Pranjal has a very small staff, but they are all so gifted in working with the children from these situations.  At one point during the afternoon, one of the kids asked if we knew any praise songs.  We told them to choose one, and if we knew it, we would also sing along.  What happened next was the closest thing to heaven that I have ever experienced.  The children all closed their eyes, lifted their faces to the heavens, and sang, “The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.  It’s time to sing Your song again.  Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul.  Worship His holy name.  Sing like never before, oh my soul.  I’ll worship Your holy name.”  From there we sang several worship songs.  By the end of our “worship service”, there was not a dry eye in the room.  The Holy Spirit was on the move in this place, and the joy we all felt from singing praises to our King was exhilarating.

Last year we visted Pranjal again.  This time we knew we had to plan something musical with these kids, and thankfully we had a musical team.  We had so much fun with the kids!

This year as we were planning our time in Kolkata, we knew we had to visit Pranjal again.  We started the afternoon by picking them up in a bus, which they thought was really cool.  Then we went to Eco Park to see replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World.  As we walked around and saw the Taj Mahal, Great Wall, etc, the staff member told me that the reason why they chose Eco Park was because he knew these children would never otherwise see these types of places.  To top off the night, we took them to Kentucky Fried Chicken.  American kids should take note of how these kids eat chicken.  They clean every bit off that bone!

We climbed back on the bus to head back to the location to drop them off.  As we were driving, the Lord clearly spoke to me that I was to speak a blessing over them.  I asked the kids if they knew what the fruit of the Spirit was, and they were able to tell me.  I told them that the FRUIT was evident in their lives.  It was very obvious that they received so much LOVE from the staff, and that they loved each other so well.  We could also tell that they were PATIENT and GENTLE with each other.  The staff have a unique policy to pair each child with a “big brother/sister”.  That means that a 14 year old boy may be responsible for a 6 year old boy.  They hold hands when they walk through the park, they sit together on the bus, they make sure they are served food.  You could also see them taking pictures as a pair, helping them up a slide, and generally looking out for their safety and well being.  I also encouraged them to continue showing JOY!  They really are some of the happiest kids I have ever met.

After I spoke with them, several of the older kids also wanted the opportunity to speak.  They each stood up in that bumpy, loud bus, and shared what they were feeling.  They all said how much they had looked forward to this day every year when their Kingsland friends would come, how much they talked about our times together, and how appreciative they are that strangers from around the world would come and spend time with them.  We reiterated that everything we did was for Jesus, and His great love for us has spilled out of us.

And just like that first time we met two years ago, our time ended with singing.  “Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down.  Here I am to say that you’re my King.  You’re all together worthy, all together lovely, all together wonderful to me.”

Our bus could not make it down the narrow alleyways to the orphanage, so they had a little bit of a walk until they reached their home, and we had a long bus ride back to the BMS.  I’m pretty sure we were all thinking the same thing….God appointments are the best.

%d bloggers like this: