On Wednesday morning we left for the island of Gosaba. We boarded a public train that was completely packed. After the train, we rode a van. The boys got to ride on top of the van. We then boarded a boat that crossed the Indian Ocean Bay to the island of Gosaba.
We then arrived at Emmanuel Hostel Orphanage and Gosaba Friends Church. The orphanage and church were right next to each other. The orphanage was full of happy faces and kids who had a lot of energy. The boys of the Saltshaker team played soccer with the kids in a mud field and they made us look very bad. During the soccer game, the girls were attending a church service and speaking at a Twilight service for the elderly at Gosaba Friends Church.
After the Twilight service we cleaned up and started a night of worship and fun for the kids. We played many games including duck duck goose and other balloon games. We sang many songs both in English and in Bangla. We preformed a skit telling the story about Jonah, and the kids loved it. Bailey and I then presented short messages about Esther and Daniel. The kids loved our presence even though the language barrier was there. After the kids went to bed, we enjoyed dinner that included jackfruit, cucumbers, curry potatoes, and goat.
Even though most of the kids were orphans, they still had so much joy. They felt blessed to be in such a great place instead of being out on the streets. The kids loved everything we did and were especially happy when we preformed the famous “Boom-Chicka-Boom.” All of the people that worked at the orphanage were very kind and compassionate. The facilities were very nice and made a great home for around 50 kids.
That night, the boys endured a night of sleeping on the concrete floor of the church. Luckily, blankets and pillows were provided to make the night much more pleasurable. We enjoyed this time of bonding and we all got a decent amount of sleep.
On Thursday, we woke up to a ringing bell and very excited kids yelling our names. The kids soon left for school and we did our daily devotion led by Mark. After the devotion, we said our goodbyes to the orphanage and church and set out by boat for the island of Bali. Once we arrived, we rode a van and walked through muddy paths to Bali Friends Church. We met many happy faces and they actually invited us into their homes, and went from house to house. Their homes were all huts made of mud. Although she was too sick to speak, we got to meet the woman who was the first Christian of the Bali island. We blessed and prayed over all of the people and their houses.
After that, we started our long journey back to Kolkata. Again, we rode a boat, a 3-wheel bicycle van, and the public train.
I have learned so much about India and its culture. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to minister to the people of India. I respect all of the believers here because of their bravery and faithfulness to Christ. I want to thank Bethel Friends Church and Northridge Friends Church for all of the support and prayers. I am very excited to see what God has for us for the rest of the trip.
Bethel Friends Church/Northridge Friends Church