The next trip date is scheduled for November 2006. When more detailed information is available it will be posted.
Thus far Mission Calcutta has not grown into a full scale mission trip like Honduras or even South Africa. Rajendra has begun to lay the ground work for the trip to grow but, as of now, it is still a one man project. From March 20th to April 3rd 2005, Rajendra was in Calcutta working with our local church contact there. Below is a brief description of what was accomplished on his trip:
Damascus Road provided money for shoes, socks, and a small box of candies for all 500 kids at a school sponsored by the church there. Rajendra spoke to the kids about how outrageously and passionately Jesus loves them. Most of these children come from very poor families. Many students are the first generation in their family to get an education. Education is one of the primary ways many of these families can escape from the vicious cycle of poverty. Pray that we will find more ways to support these precious children and that the love of Jesus will become real to them every day.
We also have eleven businesses started among some of the poorest. Our hope is that in the next couple of years we will start 50 micro-businesses. Each potential business owner goes through a screening process and a training (the sewing machine training lasted six months). Then they have to attend a dedication service during which the machines are handed out after a time of prayer and praise. These businesses provide much needed employment to people who are mostly unskilled and illiterate. It allows them to work for themselves. The eleven businesses started help each business owner earn between $20 to $40 a month (it costs us about $100 to $175 to start a business). Pray that each of these businesses will succeed and the business-owners will not get discouraged.
Foundation for Children
We offered two sewing machines to a home for former prostitutes. There is also a home of children of prostitutes in Calcutta that is in the process of expansion. Right now there are eighteen children in one home. We are hoping to expand this to two homes with a total capacity of holding 50 children. The kids in these homes will get meals, education, clothing, nourishment and will also get to know the love of Jesus in a practical way as they attend regular Bible studies. It is hard to imagine kids coming from a more damaged childhood. Pray that each child would find peace, joy, and acceptance in the love of Jesus.