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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Days 4 and 5 in Kolkata

Today is Friday the 17th, and my stomach is not feeling so well. We had pizza for lunch yesterday, I loved the pizza but the pizza did not love me... Other than that everything is going great. 

Around 9:30 this morning the beautiful kids of Hope of Life came to the BMS and play with us. Hope of Life is a ministry started by a couple, (with 2 children) who have moved to Kolkata to start this home for children who were left to fend for themselves. Which means the parents may be dead, or the parents can't afford them, or simply don't care to love them as a parent should. Oh... My... Meeting with those special children was so joyful. They truly are full of so much hope. These kids are amazing as some prepare to go to Bible college, some see their futures in ministry, and some are just  looking forward to living life as a child should, with two of the most amazing parental role models. It really is amazing to see how much God's divine hand has been upon the ministry. Two years ago Nabin was so worried and having no sleep because he had no idea how they would have food for the next day, but everyday God provided.

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:33-34

After Hope of Life left we freshened up and left for the aftercare home, M. It was a sweet time. Brenda gave a talk on having organization skills for school and gave ideas to help the girls study. It was so cool that they were studying the same things as Lauren, who is the same age as the girls. With Brenda being a teacher, God knew she was the one to talk about these things because she knew exactly what the girls were learning. I was very encouraged to see how his divine hand had put this all together. After the talk we all went downstairs to learn how to cook American dishes. They were all very excited to learn and see how we do things in America. Sue showed them how to make biscuits (and yes we brought some of our own ingredients to India), Brenda showed the girls how to make salsa, and Kay showed them how to make gravy (that would go on top of their biscuit). The girls loved every part of it. They scooted as close as they could to the table to watch all this preparation taking place. It was so fun! The women preparing the dishes looked like they were on a cooking show and all the girls watching were the audience. It really was so cute. Then once the biscuits were done and the gravy was made all the girls got to sample everything and all the girls said "Very tasty!" After they ate we went back up stairs and we shared a henna Bible story and then worked in a mask making craft. They all broke up into groups and I sat with one group. In the group I was with was a young lady that two years ago when I was here was recently brought to this aftercare home. She was very angry and was like stone, but began to open up as we were there and lighting up the mood. This time she was totally different... I knew she was from Bangladesh so I started a conversation with her about how I was there last year and how beautiful it was. (this young girl will be returning home soon) Then another young girl heard the conversation and really started talking about her country she loved so much and you could tell she was very proud of being from Bangladesh. The end of our time together came to a quick end but it ended on a very awesome note. The girls made a mask, henna Bible stories were shared, and then Rachael shared her testimony. Perfect way to leave a sweet time with amazingly beautiful girls. We said our goodbyes and gave hugs and off we went.

To many wonderful things are happening over here and I can't seem to get them all typed out fast enough. Ha. So on this same post I am going to share the experience we had at Sari Bari. Today is Saturday the 18th and we had to split our team up to go to two different locations. Let me just tell you now... I have absolutely no words to bring this day justice or to even come close to sharing how awesome it was. The area I went to is a gigantic red light district. When we arrived it was early for everyone so almost all the men were out bathing and women were up cooking and getting there children ready for school. We walked through the dark streets and came to the house of hope. We went up the stairs and were instantly greeted with "Hello" by women and we then had a chance to shop. We shopped for items that are never available because there is such a demand for them, so it was an awesome opportunity! Then the 6 ladies on our team sat on the floor and "worked". We made tags for all the items Sari Bari sells. Our work we did is a very tedious and time consuming job for the Indian ladies, so it was a blessing to give them some relief from a task that isn't very much "fun". After we tagged 4 of us went with a young man, who works at Sari Bari, to get lunch. The area we were in was VERY large and we had to walk the perimeter. The young man we were with would stop occasionally and show us were young beautiful girls were kept and who were not allowed to ever come out, we saw Nepalis ladies in an alley showing off as night would be approaching. We were made aware of more than we could ever imagine. It was very sad. We got back with lunch and we all sat and ate, and then it was time to pamper our sweet friends. We gave them manicures and pedicures, and we had a fun little craft for them to make feather hair clip. They had so much fun, but they didn't like us washing their feet of course, but it was such and honor and a blessing to do that. But I secretly think they like it! After the pedis and manis it was time to sit down and share a couple henna Bible stories and then I had the privilege to share my testimony. I don't share my testimony very often but I will gladly if asked. I love sharing my testimony, because The Lord shows them that you don't have to be scared of sharing details of hurt you have gone through but what it a joy it is to share the healing and restoration we receive from our Lord Jesus Christ. Then the ladies all wanted to pray over our team and HOW AMAZING! If you have never heard a bunch of women praying together out loud in a foreign tongue than our own... then you are missing out! :) It is one of the most beautiful sounds! The sound of our prayers going up to heaven as a sweet aroma. We then had the opportunity to return the prayers. So much movement of the Holy Spirit happened... No words! Their were women sobbing from the very presence of our most High God. It was such a blessed day. We then left.

We made our way through the mazes of the streets as we followed one of the founders of Sari Bari and the young man, Sandeep. As we made our way to the meeting spot for the car to pick us up we realized we were in the middle of women working. It was a little before 5:30 pm and some women were already out. I have never actually seen the women out working until this day. As my eyes saw this I though to myself "Lord, you sure know how to awaken me with fresh eyes." No words to describe the sight of young girls on the street corner selling themselves because they have been told over and over again they are WORTHLESS! My heart is broken!

There are absolutely NO words to give you the full view of the hope and joy of Kolkata! I pray the Lord's love and presences rains down on such a beautiful place.

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