Mission trip from New Life Derby, Assemblies of God, to spend time with Life Connections & House of Hope in Kolkata, West Bengal, then on to the Lamb Hospital & School in Bangladesh, then moving on to minister at a leadership seminar of the Fellowship of the Free Baptist Churches of Sikkim.
What a great first-hand experience of inner city poverty in India. When I first got here, it was so difficult to take in, the number of homeless people living rough. While at Life Connections, the YWAM leader explained to me that children run away from village lifestyles to the cities, fleeing from being overworked, arranged marriages, abuse and assault, and most of the runaway children hang around the train stations collecting the empty plastic bottles to cash in the scrap plastic for money to live off.
What I found interesting was what they spend the money on! A day’s collecting plastic bottles makes enough money to buy one good meal, go to the pictures twice a day and buy glue to sniff! Yes these kids are living in poverty but they love the freedom of doing exactly what they want. And they eventually go on to create dysfunctional families who end up living in the streets. Life Connections is a project that provides showers, toothbrushes and a meal to encourage the children to go there and, at the same time, try and minister to them.
While we were there, I was given the opportunity to preach to them. It was easy to see that, once they had been cleaned up and fed, they were happy to sit and be entertained, even willing to receive prayer for the things that they desired. But, from my own experience, the idea is to be willing to throw off the old and put on the new man in Christ and enter into His perfect plan. So I shared my testimony to these children in the sense of surrendering their lives to Jesus to willingly accept His perfect plan by relationship and hunger, moving into a transformed new life, a fresh start.
I have to say that it was strange telling kids who looked like 8-15 year olds that God could set them free from drug addictions. I called anyone forward for prayer who wanted a brand new life in Christ and, to my surprise, all of them, about 50 kids, mobbed me for prayer. I had to shout over to the rest of the team to help me pray for them all.
Well, during the tea time afterwards, the YWAM leader brought three kids up to us and said that one of these kids had just told him that, as we prayed for him, he felt convicted by the Holy Spirit of missing his family and that he was going home to make amends with them, and the other two boys confessed that, while they had received prayer, they both felt their glue addiction leave them. Amen! I’m sure there would have been more testimonies from the other kids, but I’d like to think that, now they have access to His strength, they have the opportunity to break their routines and change their lives by yielding and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to work through them.