I can’t sleep. It’s well past midnight, and I can’t shut down my mind. For the last few nights, I have been dreaming about the slums of Kolkata. I have been seeing images and remembering the difficult things I saw back in 2009.
I am leaving Tuesday for India. I am taking a church group to a Compassion project in a town called Kalimpong, which is situated in the northeastern part of India, up in the foothills of the Himalayas. We will spend three nights in Kalimpong and then I will fly back to Kolkata and stay there by myself, while the church group flies on to another destination in India to meet another ministry partner. I will spend about 30 hours in Kolkata…. by myself.
So, I admit, I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Actually, this is my third time to India, and each time I have traveled to India, I step out of my comfort zone.
It is tempting just to stay locked up in the hotel all day while I am in Kolkata, but then it feels like a wasted day.
Therefore, I got in touch with a woman who runs a ministry in one of the poorest slums of Kolkata. I will be delivering shoes to women and children who need them desperately. Many of the people have skin diseases because they don’t have shoes. I will be in the slums of Kolkata next Monday….out of my comfort zone, but delivering shoes to make happy feet!
I know what the slums are like in India. I have seen them before and I know it will be hard. I know how dark the slums feel. I have seen evil in the slums, I have seen despair. Part of me is excited at the opportunity to see this ministry and drop shoes. The other part of me feels a bit anxious to be without a group of Americans to process and share the experience with.
I find comfort in being with others. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Have I said that enough?
I laid in bed tonight and remembered some children I had met the last time I was there. My heart was broken; my mind was overwhelmed with the sights and sounds of Kolkata’s slums and the mass of humanity. I saw joy in those that had faith, in the midst of the deepest darkest poverty. I experienced spiritual darkness similar to Haiti. It’s hard to describe. Am I scared?
Spiritually, I have been preparing.
India is so far from home; the mother in me feels the heart tug. It’s hard leaving the security of a husband and three beautiful girls.
It’s exciting to travel.
It’s a wonderful experience to be with Compassion kids and I love this ministry.
It’s a long flight!
I wrote another post today that I never finished. It had nothing to do with India, but since I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I just needed to get this out and share my soul a little bit.
Thank you Lord for always being with me and never leaving me. I love you so much, I love that you watch over me, you are my Constant Companion. You are faithful. I praise you Lord, I pray you remind me of your presence daily, especially when I am alone.
We need you God.
I pray for our sisters and brother in India who serve you. Give them their daily bread for strength. Thank you Lord.
I think I can sleep now… Goodnight.
(forgive all my typo’s please, it’s late)
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
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Debbi, I was thinking the same thing about remembering to lift Patricia up in prayer; but you said it better than I could.
Thanks for your example and thoughts…it will help me know how to pray.
Thanks so much for the prayers, it means so much to me. I wish you were coming too!
Praying for you this week. Your name is going on my fridge! Right there with the Compassion kids! Yep! So we will not forget to lift you up as you make, yet again, another journey into the heart of Jesus. I wish I were traveling with you, having some ugly cries and holding some precious old, wrinkled hands that have stories to tell. (Not yours, the elderly from India!) I could imagine sitting for all thirty of those hours with some of those people and hearing of God’s story in their lives…. or sitting alone for thirty hours and begging God to write His story in their lives. I will be praying for those hours to be some of the most meaningful of your trip.
I pray that your time there will be new and unlike any trip before. I pray that you will see God’s hand in a new place and His hope in new faces. I ask His blessing on those precious feet that these shoes will cover and the hearts that He will make happy in the process. I pray that He will protect you from all harm and deliver you from all evil. I pray that He will carry you to India in the way that a mother carries her child and that you will be comfortable and rest well in order to have the strength and mental energy necessary to lead the church that you are with.
Go and be Gods.