This is a picture of Nicole In Africa (A Diffent Mission trip) but she is currently in India and here is her last e-mail to us:
Subject: Kolkata, Jan 28 “I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship towards Your holy temple, and praise Your name. For Your loving kindness and Your truth, for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Ps 138:1
The anecdote of the day: I made a child cry - and not in a good way. This five year old boy started crying when I sat on the ground next to him. In Hindi he cried to his teacher: “who is this white person? She is too white, I am scared!”
Always winning over the children...
With wonder and amazement I write again, overwhelmed by the goodness of God. It seems He has flung wide the portals and is accomplishing His work regardless of what we have humanly seen as impasses.
In the past three days I have already seen transpire what we had planned two weeks to complete, and the Maity’s (the Indian missionaries I am working with) are filled with such excitement to see things unfold before us.
It is one of those very pregnant moments in life when you are used as the instrument of hope in other people’s lives. And I am thankful for it.
We have determined that starting a trade school right in the heart of the red light district is not feasible right now. However, another place nearby has been provided at no cost, and it now appears that it is the wiser and safer place to conduct the work.
In addition to this, I visited a slum children’s ministry this morning that is in an area of low-end prostitution (both women and children) and the building that is already being rented out and used for the children in the mornings is available for use in the afternoons.
Though it would be a smaller school (~10 women/girls), it now appears that we might be able to open the doors of two trade schools (they will be called “Asaha Neketon”, “Shelter of Hope”).
Instead of making jewelry, we are exploring making shawls/scarves for an international market. Cloth is in abundance here, and very cheaply bought, but sewing machines are not, so I am thinking through anything that can be made with beautiful fabric by hand. Scarves with beaded/braided ends was my first thought, looking into some others, but if any of you have some ideas regarding handcrafts with cloth that are easily taught and learned and don’t require machinery, please let me know! I would appreciate any input.
Would that I could recount the many stories that barrage my ears, eyes and soul every hour! The forgotten of the world surround me, and in the midst of the darkness the only true Light becomes increasingly the only beacon of hope, the only answer, the only redemption I can share.
I will try to write more regular updates, and attempt to keep them short enough for you to read. At the end of the week I will make a decision regarding the length of my stay. This will give the medication time to be in full effect and my body to be more adjusted.
It is, however, nearly certain that my time will be shortened due to the air quality (or lack thereof). Thank you for your prayers, your faithful petitions are coming to fruition before my eyes in wonderful ways.
In Christ’s strength, Nicole