My first week in Kolkata is coming to a close. In many ways it has raced past. The city and the people are still full of wonders to me. Kolkata does not seem to ever stop. The sounds of bustling traffic, determined vendors, ceaseless car horns, and people in motion can be heard at almost any hour of the day or night. This city is alive.
It is the humidity, not so much the heat, that I am finding a challenge. In fact, rather than iron my clothing, I simply hang my clothes near an open window while I am out and they are perfectly steamed by the time I return! The monsoon season has also begun here. The heavy rains have begun in the south and the city of Mumbai has sustained significant damage and several fatalities. Kolkata will not feel the full force of the monsoon season for another week or two when the weather system travels up the coastline.
The people here are incredibly helpful, kind and servant-hearted. The church in Kolkata is strong and I was humbled on Sunday morning as the congregation sang of their blessings in Christ though living in a city well-known for it's poverty.
The work undertaken by Calcutta Mercy Ministries is almost indescribable in its breadth. There are literally hundreds of churches and pastors that have been launched from Kolkata. Within the central complex there is a six story hospital, a school, a feeding program (which feeds thousands of people daily), the central church, an accredited Bible College, and a number of ministry offices and hospital related medical branches. In addition to this, there are seven free-treatment clinics and additional schools in and around the city.
I have had the opportunity to assist with the free-treatment services, in the main hospital and three of the satellite clinics. I have met so many people with such genuine, and often very basic, needs. Each person that I have met who is connected to these ministries has exemplified what it means to LIVE the Gospel message.
Thank you for remembering me in your times of prayer. Please continue to pray for my well-being (I am feeling great). Also, pray that God would give me insight and creative vision in how to make valid contributions and worthwhile investments in the ministries I participate in and in the people I meet. Pray for those people who have suffered in the arrival of the monsoon season and for the safety of those who have not yet been affected.