I’ve been blessed to be able to go on a ministry trip to Korea for one week. From there I go to Calcutta, India for two weeks. In 2008 I spent 3 months in India and I’ve been praying almost every day for the last year for God to reveal how to partner more closely with some Indian friends I met in Calcutta during that time. God put it on my heart to do a scouting trip to India in mid-spring. Within a few weeks of that burden being on my heart, my friend Adam invited me to Korea with him to do ministry at a YWAM DTS.
I’ve been in Korea for four days and it has been an amazing, encouraging blessing to worship God with, and serve my, Korean brothers and sisters in the Lord. I’ll post more details on the events of this week soon, but for now I’ll post the text from my support letter that explains more about what I’ll be doing in Calcutta next week:
Five years ago I sat on a train chugging north toward Calcutta. In my 3-month stay in India I had ridden a few trains, but this one was different. First, I didn’t need to be on it any more. The pastor I was suppose to rendezvous with in Calcutta had to cancel his travel plans last minute. This train also was stuffed well beyond capacity – holding 23 people in a 9-person compartment.
I had an incredibly uncomfortable 18-hour journey ahead of me and nothing but a host family waiting on the other end. The host family had been arranged through an Indian ministry partner. I prayed and asked the Lord to confirm that I should remain on the train. In no uncertain terms he did. I would love to share that story with you in more detail sometime, but the reason I’m writing this letter to you today is because meeting that host family was surely a divine appointment.
Mathew and Abigail had moved to Calcutta as missionaries from another province 24 years earlier. During that time God had blessed them with three amazing daughters. Unfortunately, Mathew had some emotional and mental struggles that eventually caused him to abandon his family, leaving Abigail to fend for food and shelter for their three daughters. No easy task for a woman in India. After a year of eating out of the garbage, the Lord began to help them turn a corner.
What fascinated me was that Abigail and her three daughters – Sarah, Ruth and Rebekah – continued to grow their ministry during this time. When I met them it had been four years since Mathew left and the foursome had planted five churches in Calcutta. They took turns fasting and gave the food they saved to people poorer than them. Abigail walked many miles every day to check on all the churches. It was inspiring.
Enter John. John was a Brahmin Hindu. Top of society. Rich by Indian standards. Through the ladies’ ministry John met Jesus and gave up his status, career as an engineer and even family (they disowned him). Abigail discipled John to be a powerful evangelist and ministry leader and John has helped grow their ministry by leaps and bounds.
A lot has happened since I met the family in 2008. John married Sarah, the oldest daughter, and they have a beautiful baby. Some friends partnered with me to help put Sarah and Ruth through nursing school (via Tacoma-based Mercy Ministries). And it seems like every week or two I’m getting an update about baptisms, vacation Bible schools, healings, new churches, new disciples – it’s astounding what the family has accomplished in that city. And they do it all on $200/month.
I now have been called back to visit them and see how we might partner more closely together. During my 2.5 weeks there, I’ll be preaching, praying for the sick, and visiting all their various ministry projects. We will also be exploring the viability of starting an orphanage together in the city. It seems the family has seen firsthand the fallout from the rape epidemic sweeping through India. Many young girls are sleeping on the street and getting sexually assaulted at night. Sarah recently told a story of a 1-and-a-half-year-old coming into the ER, where she works, for surgery after being brutally raped.
I hope you’ll pray and ask our Father if he’d have you financially and/or prayerfully support this effort. Unfortunately, through various circumstances, my timeline is short. I leave in a little over two weeks and approximately $3500 is required to fund the trip. Because of that I’ll be following up with a phone call in the next weeks. In the meantime, refer to enclosed instructions on how to easily give online or through check. And please let me know if you feel burdened to join me in prayer through this time.