Holy Cross member Pam Cooper just returned from a mission trip to India where the team provided medical clinics, prayer, teaching ministries, and opportunities to share the Gospel throughout the Community. She visited with our friend Bishop Dutta who has visited Holy Cross on a number of occasions and visited Baldahar where Holy Cross is building a school for girls who are rescued from the sex trade.
Her mission diary is included below.
"After our tedious and long air travel to India (less one teammate, Art, due to a visa being expired), we arrived in Durgapur around noon. The next day we headed to Khedjuri for the first Festival of Joy ("FOJ"). After our arrival at Seacoast United Church we had "tea time". Tea time is served twice a day. I spoke on unforgiveness. We all had various topics to discuss. There were about one hundred in attendance. We offered prayer after the morning session, and many came forward. One woman was healed by the Spirit from constant pain. Lunch was prepared and served to all people in attendance. Part of our mission fees paid for this. In the afternoon we held the medical clinic where we saw forty-five people. I headed up the pharmacy along with Pastor Ben Akery. Some of them were identified by Dr. Mike as needing surgery. We prayed that they could get back to Durgapur for the procedures. We heard personal testimonies from many adults. They were praising God for what He had done for them.
We also heard that Art received an emergency visa in NY and would be arriving on Friday.
From Khedjuri it took five hours to get to the train station in Kolkata for our journey to Kunur which is in the north near the Bangladesh border. We had a sleeper car and this was an experience for us all. Lots of snoring from the men that night.
After the train, we headed to Kunur for the festival of joy and medical clinic. Kunur Hostel houses a couple hundred children. We were met with beautiful music and dance followed by a foot washing service and tea time. The crowd of about four hundred were fed twice today. We then had a time of prayer for all: mostly for physical afflictions, but also for happiness in the home, that fear be rebuked from their life and home, women wanted to be pregnant, blood issues, and school exams. About fifty-five presented at the medical clinic today.
We had early church at Kunur, Pastor Ben preached for a bit, we had communion, and baptisms. There was a much larger crowd today. FOJ & medical clinic, lunch for all again. Julie taught on the battle of the mind. Prayer for everyone. Many were slain in the Spirit. Sixty-eight attended the clinic today.
We had an all-day clinic at St. John's church in Rajarhat. There are thirty-five boys that live in the hostel. We were greeted with welcome songs from the boys. Foot washing. An older couple came from South India to give thanks because twenty years ago in Kunar their daughter was healed. We prayed over them in the mighty name of Jesus. One-hundred-twenty-six people were served in the five hour clinic. Mike said the clinic ran like a well oiled machine.
We left early for the Malda train station onward towards Baldahar (this is where the new building is being built that Holy Cross is sponsoring) and then to Durgapur in the van. The weather changed drastically from the north to the south, cold to very warm. Off came the coats. We traveled the back roads this time. Lots of agriculture. The Diocese shared their ministry presentation to us. Anti-human trafficking is one of their ministries. Our devotion time this evening was about what we had seen God do in the last couple of days. Reunited with Art.
Was a clinic in Baljora, a low caste Hindu village where no one wants to go. It was quite a ways off of the main road. We were greeted by the locals and given leis of marigolds. We were led through the dirt roads of the village with music. It felt like a little piece of heaven as it reminded us of when Jesus came through the towns long ago, everyone clamoring to see what was going on. The clinic served eighty-six persons in four hours. The team also gave out 150 saree's to woman of this village. They were very thankful.
At the Diocese we met a couple from Providence, Rhode Island at breakfast, John & Ginger. They are retired and are heading to the Purulia area to help with tutoring English (ESL). Surgery day at the Diocese and all patients were prayed for before and during the surgeries. Nineteen were scheduled and 13 were operated on. Dr. Mike was in the zone. Some did a bit of shopping and some experienced the slum prayer tour.
Today we're off to Raniganj for a medical clinic. There was a man in the clinic that was 100 years old and in great shape. Seventy-five patients were treated. Had a beautiful symphony (strings) and dance from the diocesan kids. The Bishop also attended. Some of the team went to Mothers Teresa's house in Durgapur.
Traveled to Bankura for a 2 day FOJ and medical clinics. Prayer in the am and in the pm. Many came wanting a blessing. A man who could not walk took two steps. A woman came with her family. They attended last year and had received prayer. She was pregnant and was diagnosed with a hole in her heart. She came this year to give thanks and let us know she had been healed.
Back to Bankura for our last day of the FOJ. We were greeted again with tea and song. Several Bankura attendees gave their testimony which greatly blessed our team. Broke for lunch at the Bishops house and held the last medical clinic of this trip. Enjoyed the evening program with Bishop Dutta. Prayed for hundreds of Hindus and Muslims that the Holy Spirit would rest on them and speak to their hearts.
Travel to Kolkata by van (3hrs) then fly to Dehli (2hr delay) for touring with a priest from the Diocese. We are staying at the National Church of India compound. Today we toured the D.C. of India in New Delhi: President's home, North & South Buildings, India Gate, and the Prime Ministers House. There were monkeys and a camel parade with Indian troops from the Pakistan border getting ready for the big parade on Thursday in honor of India's Republic Day.
Touring of Jaipur today. It took 5 hrs to get there. Amber Fort (very beautiful) and a most delicious lunch at Namaste restaurant.
Taj Mahal tour, 3.5hr to get there. It was beautiful, but not as opulent as I expected.
We are going to our home sweet home, the USA. Thanks be to God for this wonderful trip and using us for Your service."