The Rt. Rev. Dr. Probal Kanto Dutta, Bishop of the Diocese of West Bengal, India, was our guest speaker at Tool Time last Sunday. He announced that after St. Michael’s Healing Prayer Mission at the Festival of Hope an entire village accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and asked to be baptized.
He presented two videos: the Anti-Trafficking program of the Diocese and highlights of St. Michael’s missions from the past three years. These are common pleas for help: “My son went missing three months ago!” “What happened to my wife and toddler?” “My daughter went to the market and never returned!” People of all ages and gender are being lured or stolen from their families, and trafficked for every unimaginable thing done to human kind. Can you imagine that babies are being stolen for harvesting organs and sex trade. Young girls are promised marriage and a good life in the big city, but they are groomed for prostitution. Boys, girls, women and men are passed from one “human” buyer to another, to another, etc. so that it is almost impossible to trace their whereabouts. What happens to these people? They are placed in sweat shops, or hammering rocks in a rock quarry, used in every sort of sex trading activity, and more.
Under the supervision of Bishop Dutta, the Diocese of Durgapur Anti-Trafficking Team is promoting awareness programs for villages, to curtail the abductions of the innocent citizens of their villages. The Team works with the West Bengal Government and the Police as they track one person at a time, crossing state and country lines. The Team members live under threat of their lives, but are committed to this amazing and complicated mission. The Team needs safe housing for the rescued, when there is no safe place for them. In 2014, St. Michael’s Safe House was built and dedicated to house ten rescued girls. Ten girls were placed there in 2015.
On Sunday, Bishop Alex Dickson and Bishop Dutta led a memorable Rite of Confirmation and Reaffirmation of Baptismal vows. Both Bishops laid hands on the Confirmands. Bishop Dutta prayed a blessing over each one in his native language of Bengali.
The missions to India have been life changing to the team members and absolutely astonishing to every sense in mind, body and spirit. The culture is rich in history. The people are welcoming and openly share their lives. God uses every opportunity to grow us. There are a couple of openings for the 2016 Healing Mission to India, Monday, November 28 – Saturday, December 10. For more information or an application, please contact Jean Corbett at 843-729-6423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings, Jean Corbett