"Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name." - Psalm 86:11
Sorry it's been a while since my last blog. There have been so many things happening, but with the lack of my personal computer (still not working), and not having time and a desire to be in an internet cafe with teenage boys leaning over my shoulder watching everything I'm doing on the computer, I've been lacking in the blog department.
A major prayer request: one of our volunteers was severely beaten and found unconscious at a train station. She is in critical condition and is in desperate need of prayers. We don't know what happened since she is in and out of consciousness, but her family is here and she is able to recognize some of them when she is awake. Her name is Jungok.
Another development: The street family outside my guesthouse had a new baby on Sunday. I knew this because I walked by them a few nights ago and noticed a new little bundle on his own mat. I leaned in to look and Asmeirah, one of the daughters, came over and said, "New baby!" I asked his name. "Raju," she replied. Little Raju, from the hospital to the streets in two days. The family keeps saying they're going back to their village with the new baby, but the guard at my guesthouse said that will never happen. "They make so much money on this street they won't ever leave. They don't want to work for their money and they are teaching their children to do the same...poverty here is a business."
More prayer requests: I have two friends with scabies, and while they seem to be getting better, the down time is getting to them. Pray that they see God and grow closer to Him through their struggles.
It is a bittersweet time for me right now, as most of the people I met when I first arrived are now leaving. Every night is another going away dinner for some new friend. The other night we said goodbye to a few friends with a party on the rooftop-- ukuleles, Bengali sweets, egg rolls, good times. Pretty soon the summer will be over, and I will be left with a few straggling volunteers who are crazy as I am to stay in Kolkata. Some of them are staying a year or more on a student visa. One of the girls is here for a year because she used to be an orphan at Shishu Bhavan, Mother's home for children, and was adopted out to an Italian family and is now back to volunteer at the place she was cared for. So awesome!
I have gotten another cold, this one not nearly as bad as the other sicknesses, but more frustrating. I'm tired of being sick.
Today at orientation I will be asking Sister if I can begin volunteering for a few weeks at Kalighat, the home for the dying and destitute, in preparation for working at the train station. At the station is where you will find scores of elderly poor, sick, dying. They come themselves or are carried there in hopes that some good Samaritan will take care of them since thousands of people come through that station each day. The volunteer's job at the station is to bandage the wounds that can be bandaged, buy food for those who really need food, and take those who are dying to Kalighat to be cared for in their last days by the Missionaries of Charity. My friend who works at the station has told me stories of people who died the very next day after being brought to Kalighat. They died in peace, with dignity.
I am still volunteering at orientation, where I give the English speaking orientation to the newbies. I love this job and will hopefully be keeping it while I am here. There may also be an opportunity for me to volunteer at Mother Teresa's leprosy clinic, not the one most people know about located near to the heart of Kolkata, but one a few hours away, where I would be living with the Sisters while I serve the lepers by bandaging wounds. Please pray for this opportunity to remain open! It would be for a few weeks in September.
I am still trying to put up pictures, but it is proving difficult at this internet cafe. I want to write so much more as well, about the people I'm meeting, the conversations I have with the Sisters, the beauty God reveals to me through Adoration, prayer, and service. But there is limited time to write, and even more limited time to be on the internet at the cafe. Please keep praying.
Thank you all for your love and prayers.