Guest blog by Laurie Jeansonne

In Kolkata I’ve only learned a few things. Just how close you can get to a moving vehicle without being run over for instance. But I’ve experienced many things.

On our walking tour through the largest flower market in Asia (open 24/7, 365), we continued on to cross the Howrah Bridge (the busiest cantilever bridge in the world) over to the industrial side of the Ganges River. Even though the flowers were beautiful and make for great photos, it was the abandoned frames of idols on the industrial side that will stay with me.

As Christians we believe in a living God. A God who became flesh and walked this earth, sacrificed Himself for sinners and defeated death. The photos you see of headless, straw figures are the remnants of gods here who have been dipped in the Ganges and sent on to their heaven. These are idols made of mud and straw. They are built on bamboo frames, artistically fashioned with straw and clay and painted in bright colors. There are 33 million documented gods, and I heard the phrase “as many as possible”. I’ve experienced highly intelligent women instructing on how to better lead your NGO, felt a heaviness that is palpable and seen a darkness that is unavoidable. “As many as possible”? Our world doesn’t need more gods, more darkness, more void of hope. It needs the love of a savior.

The circumstances here will not change over night by 1 woman accepting Christ. But her heart will be filled with the truest love, light and hope and she will want to share that. The same with the children. And after time and maybe a few generations, these dark areas can shine in the Light.

As I have sat side by side and at the feet of many women and children I can see how special they are. How beautiful and gifted they are. But they need to know and feel that about themselves. These women and children need to know that they are each precious in His sight.

When we read in God’s word or hear our pastors/teachers say ”the one true God” and “the living God” let that set a little deeper in your spirit. I hope I never take those words for granted again.