After the tour, we boarded a night train in Malada at 9 p.m. We slept through the night in the sleeper cars and arrived in Kolkata at 7 a.m. After resting a while and trying to recover from what we called “train lag” (like jet lag but from a train) we went on a search for breakfast. We found a street cafe and enjoyed an Indian “street taco” coupled with tea.
After breakfast the team took a bus to the convent where Mother Teresa lived during her ministry. Visiting her grave and learning about her ministry gave us a better understanding of how to more effectively minister to the poor around the world and the people of Kolkata. It was inspirational and moving to walk the very steps she walked and to see how simply she lived. The ministry she started is still alive and well.
Choity acted as our tour guide the rest of the morning as we were able to experience the Indian market and mall. Going out in public as a large group of Americans is always an event, although we are getting better at dealing with the crowds it is still disorienting. After an afternoon of shopping and touring the markets, we indulged in Bengali food for lunch.
Our next stop was a house church in Kolkata. Upon arriving we were welcomed and encouraged to take rest on the floor of the bedroom. After a quick nap, we woke up to the realization that the church members had also congregated in the room. The service began with shouts of joy and songs of worship. I had the opportunity to teach and spoke over the love of Christ and the forgiveness of our Father. Everyone in this church is a first generation believer and their new faith is strong and passionate. Their zeal for the Lord ignited and rejuvenated us. We heard many stories of their backgrounds and families, many came from a Hindu background.
There was a time during the service that the women shared their passion for Christ as Adam requested they answer why they want to follow Jesus. One women snuck in late, through Choity we came to know that this women comes from a Hindu family. She has to sneak out of her house to come to the service each week as to not let her husband know where she is going. The faithfulness of the women in this church is a testimony to the love of Christ in India.
I have felt implicated by the Lord to convey to these believers that the American church has not forgotten them. The Friends church in West Bengal is growing and has been found faithful to the Lord. I ask you to continue praying for the villages that we travel to, that they will feel encouraged and their hope would be found in the Lord. Safety for their churches as their faith is growing yet frowned upon by many in their communities. They send their greetings and ask for your prayers. The team appreciates and has felt your prayers from home.
Rose Hill Friends Church