Dear friends, thank you for once again reading another one of our blog posts, this week I, Cameron, will be writing a little about what The Lord has shown and taught me now we have spent half our time in India already.
If you spend any time in Kolkata at all you will quickly become familiar with the dirt, pollution and noise, certainly this has made me appreciate that we don’t have to worry about pollution or the possibility of our streets being filled with rubbish. Any person visiting the city, for even a short period of time, will notice these things, but it takes a little while longer to understand the full extent of the poverty in the city. All across the city are people begging for money; when visiting the local market there is normally at least one lady who asks people passing to buy baby milk, after attending a Sunday church service, or adoration in the evening there are normally people begging outside. The government doesn’t appear to have a way of dealing with the poverty, thankfully many organisations work here and provide care. We have seen some of the homes of some children who we teach, although very small and lacking much inside them the children are much happier than many at home, despite the lack of material possession. It has made me realise how lucky we are to have what we do, I have come to really appreciate the gifts God has given me. Many of the things we have at home as must haves, such as shelter, food, clothes and such, people here have to fight for every day. The Lord has taught me to have a greater appreciation of what I have, that I should always thank Him for what I have, but also for that which he has given others. More, much more than that He has shown me that true happiness cannot come from the fading material possessions of the world, but from Him.
Ø Please pray for the conversion of souls here, for the poor of the city and the children who we teach, especially that their Christmas Day will be one of happiness and joy.
Another important lesson the Lord has taught me has been about the importance of humility. I have noticed this virtue in many of the people we work with at our projects, as well as the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity. There have been a great many volunteers who we have encountered here who spend all their time serving others, in some cases that’s serving in the mornings and afternoons with the Missionaries of Charity, for others that is spending time with some local children from troubled backgrounds. In this modern age there is often a tendency to think that there are few willing to serve selflessly, however it has been wonderful to see how many people come here in order to help and show love to other people. Hearing stories about the friendships volunteers have built up with children and patients where they volunteer has also been a lesson in humility, spending time with people is sometimes enough, even if you don’t share a common language.
Ø Please pray for guidance and blessings for all those people who volunteer here, and that those volunteers who do not yet know God will in time come to do so.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, God has shown me the importance of prayer, reflection and open witness of the faith. In India almost everyone believes in something, for most people this is a pantheon of Hindu Gods, as well as many Muslims and a sizeable minority of Christians, in some ways it makes it much easier to speak about one’s faith and be more open in prayer. Certainly, at home this can often be a struggle. God has shown me the importance and value of being a more open evangelist of the faith, something I would appreciate prayer to improve in also, but in India it is much easier to speak about what you believe and thus be a better witness. I hope to bring home a renewed confidence and boldness as a witness of Christ. Certainly, the Sisters here are great apostles of prayer, with a daily Holy hour of Adoration which anyone is welcome to attend, no doubt this is the pillar and foundation of their charity and good works.
Ø Please pray that prayer may be the foundation of all our good works here, to the greater glory of God.
I am thankful for:
Ø Good friends, good Priests and good volunteers.
Ø That our Christmas programmes have all gone well.
Ø The opportunity for a holiday and rest after Christmas.
Please pray for:
Ø (The points mentioned in the rest of the text)
Below are photographs of *from left to right* the GNCEM Christmas programme (first two), us three at the guesthouse Christmas programme and the last one was taken with some of the children we work with.