July 26, 2013
July 2013 Student Trip
Wednesday we visited a Hindu slum village. In the heart of the village is a school run by Pastor Rudra and his wife Mita that truly brings New Hope.
Our students spent the morning walking through the village visiting homes and praying for their needs. They also spent the morning with the school children who laughed, smiled and listened intently as our students did Bible story skits.
In the afternoon the boys went off in the midst of a heavy downpour to play muddy soccer with some of the teens of the village. The girls stayed behind to share with women who come to the school building for sewing classes. When we were there in January, the ladies of the sewing center were so concerned about the safety of their daughters that they begged us to build a hostel for their daughters. Our girls each shared something that they learned from their moms in hopes of spreading the importance of growing up in the presence of one’s mother.
The people of this village live a hard life, even on the best day. The “better” homes have a brick wall or two. It is monsoon season and its never dry. The road is a rocky, muddy path and the murky river is used for bathing…for humans and animals. The moms of this village don’t know a life of “extras” or having coffee with friend at the mall. They sweep dirt onto dirt and sometimes sleep three in a hard square platform used as a bed. Yet over and over again they would invite us in, ask us to sit and were concerned with our comfort.
The girls of our team have spent their time here reminding others of Gods love. Many that we worked with are being already being taught about The One True God, our team was used to reinforce that teaching. They showed the beautiful women here that they have value and that God has not forgotten them.
July 22, 2013
July 2013 Student Trip
This morning we visited Freedom Firm, a new organization that teaches beading and gives jobs to trafficking survivors. Our students even got to try their hand at the difficult task of Aari beadwork. As always our students jumped right in and loved on their new friends.
This afternoon we returned to Mahima. It was a profound and very unique afternoon. We shared the story of the four friends who carried their paralyzed friend to see Jesus. We talked about community and how the friends cared enough to see and feel his need. We moved on to an activity that allowed them to write encouraging words on the papers taped to their friends backs. They were excited to know what others had written but even more excited to write things to encourage each other.
We had the privilege of having our Kingsland partner and friend Vinita Shaw with us from New Delhi. She has two radio shows on Air India. She knows the plight of women in India and cares deeply about helping all women understand that God has made them valuable. We decided to do an impromptu “talk show.” This opened the floodgates — the ladies shared deep heartaches about the way they and other women have been treated. They wanted to know why the government hasn’t helped. They wanted to know what they could do to make a change. Vinita boldly shared about women throughout the Bible and how God has given women the gift if influence. It was such a God moment. Their voices were heard and they were encouraged to continue to speak up and be bold women that follow hard after God. We were all amazed.
July 21, 2013
July 2013 Student Trip
Today the boys side of our team left for the Sunderban Islands for a great adventure sharing Jesus with the islanders. We girls are staying in Kolkata to continue sharing with ladies in aftercare.
Today at Mahima we shared the story of the pearl of great price. We asked the girls to tell us what the story meant to them. They understood about the kingdom of Heaven being worth everything they had. It wasn’t long before one girl realized that Jesus also paid it all for her, that SHE was of great value.
Our young ladies painted a beautiful picture of fellowship. They dove into fun, sweet, and deep conversation effortlessly. Many of them just months before had been living a life of abuse at the hands of a trafficker. I watched as the girls danced, hugged and laughed with one another, all the while learning their names and making them know how treasured they are.
We know our purpose here is to minister and to serve but as usual, we have gained much more from them than they have from us. Our new friends have such an abundant amount of joy that is truly inspirational and has impacted our team in a large way. We are so honored to have gotten the opportunity to be with these ladies. Our Kingsland girls have continued to show selfless love and incredible servitude. They are serious about making an impact not only in Kolkata but in Katy, Texas as well.