Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Today we spent the day with our friends at Destiny Foundation.  They have 2 locations in Kidderpore and Lake Gardens.  One is a prevention unit in a red light area for girls that have been able to get out of the life and the other is a training center for girls hoping for a new life.  We gave all of the girls pedicures, manicures, Satin Hands hand treatment, and told the story of Rachel and Leah.  Seriously y'all if you don't have this book:

The Jesus Storybook Bible

please RUN to the nearest Christian bookstore and purchase it TODAY.  I LOVE the way this book tells the story of Jesus.  We have read this story in several safe houses that we have visited and it has opened up so much conversation.  If you are involved in childrens ministry at all you should really consider it.

Lauren and Allie also showed the girls how to do the cup song from Pitch Perfect.  The girls all thought it was really neat and they were able to teach them how to do it as well.  Then the girls did a dance for us and sang us some songs.  We had a time of prayer and then sadly it was time to leave.  We were able to do a little bit of shopping at Destiny's production/training unit.  Their products are beautiful and all made from recycled saris.  If you have seen my Destiny blanket and makeup bag you know what I mean!

Then we returned home to the BMS.  If you are curious about where we are staying here is their website:

Baptist Missionary Society Kolkata

BMS is a lovely oasis from the busy streets of Kolkata.  It is in a gated area with high walls with barbed wire at the top.  We feel very safe and comfortable here.  It is not a 5 star hotel but it is "clean enough".  Your standards lower just a smidge on a mission trip.  :)  By the way if you have ever stayed at the BMS you will be shocked to learn that THEY NOW HAVE AN ELEVATOR!  No more dragging suitcases up 4 flights of stairs!

We ate dinner at the BMS (it was Chinese noodle night and we don't want to miss that!) and then headed out for a little bit of shopping at Maleek Bazaar.  It was a fun, crazy adventure as everything else is in India.  One thing I will never get used to here is the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE.  I know people say that New York City is the city that never sleeps but seriously....I have been to New York and Kolkata makes NYC look like a daycare.  I have never seen so many people in my life.  The streets are always busy and crowded and full of such interesting people.  Never.  A.  Dull.  Moment.  Never.

Good night from Kolkata!

Monday, January 12, 2015


We just returned home from the Mukti Network Retreat.  We had such an amazing time!

What is MNR?  Mukti Network is basically a conglomeration of some of the biggest heroes in Kolkata.  All of the counselors, house mothers, trainers, etc that work with girls that have been rescued are part of a large network.  They meet monthly to fellowship, talk about what is going on in their safe house, share stories about the successes of their girls, etc.  Some of the ministries are not houses but more like training centers (ie sewing centers, jewelry making training, etc) that are housed at the safe houses.

The retreat is held every year in January when we come and we have the HONOR of being the host! To treat these women to a fun weekend is our absolute pleasure.  They deserve so much more than what we can give but if we can help them relax and unwind for 2 days we feel like we have done our jobs.  We provide everything from ziplining, bible training, prayer time, pedicures, etc.  It is SO MUCH FUN to watch them relax!  Many of the women took their very first bubble bath ever!  I love this retreat! 

I couldn't be prouder of my girl Lauren.  She wrote a series of monologues for us to use during one of our breakout sessions.  They were titled "One but Not Alone".  Basically she took 7 bible stories and turned them into monologues.  She used people like Rahab, Moses, David, etc that felt inadequate to fulfill God's plan and purpose and then told the stories of how God used them.  It was beautiful and in my humble opinion one of the highlights of the retreat.  She was amazing.  Proud Mom moment!

After we got home from the retreat we took auto rickshaws to Park Street and ate at a place simply titled "Barbeque".  It was Chinese food.  LOL  Yummy!

Tomorrow we head out to see our friends at Destiny.  For more information about Destiny visit www.destinyfoundation.org.  Can't wait to spend the day with the girls there!

Oh and we were in a car accident on the way home from the retreat.  Not a big deal here but it made for an exciting drive home! 

Friday, January 9, 2015


Another amazing day in Kolkata!  I love this city, love these people, love the amazing ministry partners we have here. 

We spent the morning at New Hope School in Udayan Pally in the New Town/Salt Lake area.  Today was our 3rd and final day to work with New Hope.  My friends Pastor Rudra and Didi Mita are the real deal, y'all.  They have dedicated their lives to serving the children at New Hope.  Talk about pouring your whole self out to serve.  They wrote the book on pouring yourself out. 

We had a great morning at the school.  We continued our lessons on the Fruit of the Spirit.  Our chapel time was led mostly by the children.  Have you heard 50 little Indian accents reciting the Lord's Prayer?  You are missing out.  "May your (may your) holy name (holy name) be honored (be honored." (the younger kids repeat after the older kids...talk about the Titus teaching!

We left the school and headed to another one of our favorite places, an amazing aftercare home that is an amazing place for trafficking victims to begin rebuilding their lives.  We visited here last year when the home was under construction and we wrote scriptures on all of the walls before it was painted.  The walls are now covered with a fresh coat of paint but we all remembered where we had written the scriptures that claimed peace, protection, healing, rest, and hope for the girls that now reside here.  It was so refreshing to see the girls laughing and enjoying the day with the crazy ladies from Texas.  Our partners at this aftercare home are so innovative and give their whole heart to this life changing ministry.

The ministry partners at this aftercare home tell us that the girls struggle with conflict resolutions skills. Today's lesson was about identifying your personality and then processing through how different personality types get along (or not). I had them identify with different candies (Red Hot - fiery personality that is fun to be around but sometime says too much, Good and Plenty - hard to get to know and don't let people see your heart easily but then very sweet on the inside, Hershey Kiss - very sweet but avoids difficult conversation that sometimes need to be had, etc.) There was 6 different candies and they had to choose 1 - 2 that described their personality. It was so much fun! Thanks Barry Debor for the great descriptions of the candies! They were spot on! Have I mentioned that my hubby is just as much of our team as I am? I couldn't travel halfway around the world without him on my side and without all of his help with prep.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day Four - New Hope medical clinic

First of all I apologize for the late blog and the discombobulated thoughts (apologizing in advance for the discombobulated thoughts.....trust me.....they're coming.  paired with bad grammar, poor sentence structure and jumbled ideas.)

Today was our first full day of ministry and it was AMAZING! 

We left the BMS around 7:30 this morning and headed for Udayan Pally/New Town area for a medical clinic that was held at the New Hope School.  Normally we just teach school at New Hope so to have a medical clinic was fun and different.  Our team is 8 members strong including an EMT as well as an audiologist.  God truly handpicked each of us for the team and it came together today. 

First we ran each of them through a triage; we wrote down their name, made a list of their medical issues, took their temperature, etc.  Then we had different stations around the room that they would be sent to based on their needs.  It was so great to have my new friend Heather there as she is an audiologist.  She performed hearing screening on the kids as well as looked at dozens of ears to determine ear infections, perforated eardrums, etc.  We are going to look for amplifiers (apparently it's kinda like a general hearing aid) later this week for a few of the older patients that are experiencing hearing loss.

Another new member of the team is my new friend Brandon.  He is Indian but was born in the United States.  He had never been to India but has always wanted to see it.  He is an EMT in Katy.  He will be with us for a few of our stops but mostly he is here to serve at Mother Teresa's.  He was amazing today!  I have no idea how many patients we had but he spent time with each of them and gave them different medications, etc.  Pastor Rudra had arranged all of the medications ahead of time and we were able to send all of them home antibiotic, worming medication, ibruprofen, etc.

In between patients and during our break for lunch we hung out with several of the kids from the village playing Jenga, coloring, and talking.  I LOVE those kids!  So sweet and eager to learn.

We spent the afternoon with the ladies from the New Hope Sewing Center.  We started out our time by pampering them with a Satin Hands treatment and the proceeded to do facials with them.  It was a hoot!  We did those peel-off facials and they thought it was fascinating to peel that off their face.  I had to tell one woman several times that it was NOT her skin because she was freaking out just a little.  Ha!

While they waited for their mask to dry we had 10 minutes to kill.  We brought a Proclaimer (solar powered audio bible) in Bangla so they listened to scripture while they waited.  Then we told the story of Rachel and Leah as well as shared a testimony.

Well I just hit a wall and have some preparation to do before tomorrow so I must close.

Love you all!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Here we go again!

Lauren and I are so excited for our 4th trip to Kolkata, India!  We just returned from a whirlwind trip to Dallas to celebrate the New Year with my parents and the Taylors and also to drop off Elijah.  He will spend the next week with the Rothell/Taylor clan while Carter and Barry hold down the fort here at home and return to work and school.
Our plane leaves on Sunday evening and there is still so much to do before we leave.  Tomorrow I will post a Prayer Guide for our trip.

More later!