Team India (May)

by Rhoman Goyenechea '07

This summer, God gave seven individuals the opportunity to go to India for a mission trip. These chosen seven were Jamie, Greg, Priscilla, Lindsay, JP, Christina and I, Rhoman Goyenechea. The focus of our trip was to go to Calcutta and help serve the Missionaries of Charity started by Mother Teresa. She set up seven shelters for dying patients and children with diseases, autistism, and physical disabilities. These homes are Kalighat, Prem Dan, Shishu Bhavan, Daya Dan, Shanti Don, Nabo Jibon, and Titagahr. Once we all were informed about the specifics of all the homes, we decided where we were going to serve.

A typical day for us began with awakening to the sound of the Musilim call to prayer that at around 4:30 a.m. We would then attend mass at about 6:00 a.m. in the mother house where all the nuns would gather to pray. The mother house is the place where all the sisters live and serve. It is also the burial place of Mother Teresa. The seven of us would walk there to meet up with other volunteers from all over the world. From there, we would go to our designated homes to complete various service tasks as needed. The morning shift was from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and then we would go back to our hotel to rest and eat until we’d leave for the afternoon shift, which started from 3:00 p.m. to about 5:30 p.m. at a different home. We served in Calcutta for two weeks and then took a flight to Bangalore, India.

We went to Bangalore to see my orphanage because I was born there and then adopted at the age of three. Our time in Bangalore was only four days, but seeing my orphanage was a very special moment for me. I was able to see three ladies that actually took care of me when I was one year old. From Bangalore we took a train to a village by the name of Bethel.

Bethel Fellowship is a Christian organization which was started by one of the current vice presidents of World Vision. This organization has churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages around India. There is also a Bible school for those who want to be involved in biblical studies. The main objective of Bethel Fellowship is to raise kids of all ages to someday have a job and a life that God has planned for them. These kids come from broken homes and some were even abandoned. The goal of Bethel Fellowship is to allow God to work in their lives. We were in the village for about nine days and what an experience it was for those nine days! Adapting to the heat, giant bugs, and the fact of having nothing else around was interesting. We lead worship every morning and one of us either taught a lesson or gave our testimony. Some of us also helped in the hospital as well as in the schools. The village people were very nice and so grateful for our help. This trip gave us the chance to see and understand what it really meant to put God First.