Now for the rest of the story. . .
After coming down out of the mountains and back into Siliguri, it was time to readjust ourselves to the heat – the very hot humid temperatures. A trip of this nature can be exceptionally difficult on you in many ways, add on top of that the very hot, humid conditions, it just wears on your body.
Brother S. had a very busy schedule for us in Kolkata, so before heading to Kolkata we needed some rest. We took a little time to relax and catch up on several things like sleep, rest and journaling. Later that day Sister S. prepared a great dinner for us, after dinner we had cake to celebrate Denny’s birthday.
Sunday brought a great time of worship with the local congregation in a Siliguri church. The church had asked us previously for each one in our group to participate in the service with them, graciously and with honor we accepted and shared what the Lord had laid upon our hearts.
As soon as our plane landed in Kolkata and we gathered our luggage, we went directly to a church service where 28 new believers were baptized! It was an awesome time to be a part of this service and witness these new believers in Christ following Him in baptism. Then we walked to another church, where a few hundred had gathered for an evening service; including more worship, more preaching, communion, food and awesome fellowship.
We had experienced issues with the heat in Siliguri and Bangladesh being so hot, but compared to Kolkata they were cool! Kolkata was hotter and it was even difficult for some of our group to merely function in such sweltering heat. The hotel that we stayed in had AC and it was very much appreciated by all of us . . . at times some dreaded the time when we were to go places because it meant leaving the air-conditioned rooms. Not all of us felt that way, but the heat was intense, immersing yourself out in it was more than one or two could physically handle at this stage of the trip. Plus it seemed like we all took our turns of staying in the rooms just to cool off.
Let me share what we did do during our days in Kolkata. Brother S. had a full schedule for us the next 5 days which included: time with his staff, visiting a few local village churches and a training time with some of his leaders.
Our first trip out of town took us several hours in the heat and 9 of us in the vehicle. Our first stop was at an orphanage that was reaching out to some very needy children. We stayed there a short time, took a short rest, then most of us headed out to a village church. We drove until the road ended and then we walked – it seemed a couple of miles. There they had set a tarp up over a few chairs where we would have the service. After our arrival the news went out that we were there and people started coming from all directions. After we waited for just a short period, we had a time of worship, singing and praying before one of our National leaders spoke and then Denny shared.
Afterward we headed back to the orphanage where we met up with the few we left there to minister and play with the children, and we all shared a meal together.
The day before we left Kolkata, I had asked if there were any needs at the orphanage and found out that they did not have any games, toys or sports equipment to play with. A few of the National Leaders’ wives and a few of us went shopping to purchase the items and then to carry them to the orphanage.
Upon arrival at the orphanage we first shared a meal, and then they wanted me to present the gifts to the children. It was such a special time to see these children excited about the new games and equipment they now had to play with!! Because of time limits, we didn’t have the opportunity to play with them as they enjoyed the new sports equipment and games, so we had a time of prayer, then back into the car and headed back to Kolkata.
The next day we went to another village church. Because of some not feeling well, there were just three members of our Team that went: Abby, Will and myself – along with one of our National Pastors and the driver. The car was not as full now – only 5 of us in there instead of 9. We didn’t travel as far on this day, as Brother S. wanted us to get back early for some other activities.
We drove through several parts of Kolkata, then off the main road, down a smaller road and then it seemed we were out of town. They stopped the car and off we were again walking through rice patties and past fish ponds to a village church. As we walked to the village, they told us during the rainy season the only way to get to the village where we were now going was by boat.
We were told on our way to the village we would be walking across a bamboo bridge, but it was safe. Then the local pastor said, no we would not have to walk across the bamboo bridge they had a new concrete bridge. When we made it to the bridge the new concrete bridge was a narrow concrete telephone pole laying across the water for us to walk over. Abby and Will are younger and did well; me – being older, I did have a little difficulty, so I used the old bamboo bridge which had a handle to hold onto.
Finally we made it to the Pastors house and had some time of fellowship before the worship service. Those who gathered were believers; and it was an exceptional time to encourage them. They sang a few songs and even did some culture worship dance to a few songs. Many of those who gathered were younger, so I asked Abby to share something, she did a great job. After she shared, I spoke with them about being a light to there community.
After the service, you guessed it . . . a meal was served. We ate, had a time of prayer and headed back. This time when we came to the new concrete bridge we all walked across it – including me. I wobbled a little, but made it fine. Back to Kolkata, the hotel and the air-conditioning, to get ready for the evening gathering with some of National Fellowships Leaders. During this meeting, we had time to relax, play a few games, and of course, share another meal together.
The next day was where a select group of National Fellowship Leaders came together for training. As would be our last day with them; we spent the morning in the training with them, Pastor Denny lead one session on “Obedience”.
The afternoon was spent shopping in Kolkata purchasing souvenirs and gifts and making memories, we had a great time. Our last evening in Kolkata was with Brother S. and his family for a final meal together, prayer and a send off.
We had to travel back to Dhaka for our flight back to the US. We had several hours lay-over in Dhaka, so I had planned some time to visit Dhaka one last time and shop for Bangladesh souvenirs and gifts before we all headed home – back to the Good Ole’ USA!.]]>