The Road to Kolkata
What happens when you take a motherly city girl, a loud Surrey boy, a pragmatic Scotsman and an eccentric French girl who have never met and send them half way across the world to spread the Gospel? Well, we are in the process of finding out. We are the 2019/2020 Kolkata Action Team and now 3 weeks into our training programme in Birmingham, we are almost ready to head out to India.
Originally, we were going to be spending 6 months in Mozambique in Africa. However circumstances have changed and God is now sending us to Kolkata, India. We will arrive on October 12th (after almost two days of travelling – including a short stop in Dubai) and will be staying in a guesthouse in a very central area of the city. During our 6 month stay the majority of our work will be with children in the city as well as in more rural areas. We are very excited to get immersed into the culture and get to know the children we will be working with.
But before we head to the “City of Joy” BMS had to make sure we could get along with one another and were properly equipped for the challenge before us. So we have spent the month of September together going through various forms of training. The majority of our training has taken place at the BMS house in Birmingham. During our training we have really bonded as a team as well as learning a lot of practical skills such as first aid, cooking and a deeper understanding of the local culture and how to adapt to living on the side of the planet. Training has been made even more enjoyable as we have spent it with all of the other action teams for the coming year and we have all grown together in a relaxed, sociable environment.
However, while our training has been full of high points, we spent 4 days being pushed out of our comfort zones in the valleys of Wales at a Christian outdoor centre called Min-Y-Don. This included many challenging activities which we have to keep under wraps for “security purposes”! However we can tell you that without that week we would not be anywhere near as ready for Kolkata as we are now. A special thanks to our Min-Y-Don leader Jacob for being absolutely amazing! He said that at the start of our week in Wales we were 4 individuals trying to work together and by the end of our stay we were one team working together and all pulling in the same direction. So, while it was physically and emotionally draining, Min-Y-Don was a real turning point for us in our journey from 4 strangers to a little family.
Meet the Team
Hey! I’m Zoe and I’m 18 years old. I currently live in Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire. I have been a Christian for nine years. I chose to do BMS Action Teams because I love mission work as well as working with children and young people. I am so excited for this year ahead and I can’t wait to see God’s work in Kolkata! I am going to be doing an Education Studies degree next year, so being able to teach the children in Kolkata is amazing and I am so excited!
Hi! I’m Lewis and I’m 19 years old. I come from Dunfermline, Fife in Scotland. I have always been very interested in travelling and the opportunity to go to the other side of the world whilst serving God is a dream come true! I am very excited to become immersed in a totally new culture and I can’t wait to get involved with the great projects we will be working on.
Bonjour ! I’m Naomi and i’m the french girl on the team. I come from the north of France from an AMAZING town called Lille.
I am 18 years old and I am so excited to be part of the Kolkata Team this year. There are a few things I am looking forward to this year, these being discovering new food, new clothing, seing a new culture and making up new nicknames for my team mates !! ( but nothing can beat the extraordinary nickname for Lewis that is Lewlew bear). On the other hand I am quite nervous about having a big culture shock and being able to share the gospel effectively .
I have loved this training month and getting to know my team more. We are already like a little family :))
Hello, I’m Tom and I am the southerner of the team from the nice Surrey town that is Guilford. I have just had my 19th birthday which happened whilst at the joyous place that is Min-y-don. I am very glad to be going to Kolkata with three other Wonderfull people. The things I am most looking forward to this year are living in a new culture, having Christmas in a new culture but I am a little scared to get sick often because of the food.
Please pray for us on our journey! In particular please pray for the following:
– That we respectfully adapt to the culture of Kolkata.
– That we would keep good physical and spiritual health for the duration of our stay.
– That we show God’s love to the children we meet and that we are able to connect well with them
– That we will learn Bengali (the local language) and be able to communicate effectively.
Our Bible verse for the year is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
We have one week left here in Birmingham before returning to our homes for a short while. We depart on 11th October. We are well on our way from growing from 4 strangers into a family and we cannot wait to get to India!