Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 16, 2011

Katy Teens in Kolkata

I generally read one or two books every time I travel. Just before leaving Jos, Nigeria in September 2008, I stopped by a bookstore to buy an additional book to read on the long flights home. That’s where I purchased a copy of Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, a biography based on a collection of Mother Teresa’s letters. I had been a fan of Mother Teresa since first reading about her in the December 29, 1975 issue of Time magazine (an issue I still have). So, I read her biography with great interest. Within the next few weeks I read seven more books about Mother Teresa. But it was not until I read Kay Warren’s book, Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God, that I sensed God calling me to travel to Kolkata to serve in Mother Teresa’s homes. Within a few short months I was on a flight to Kolkata to serve the least of these at Mother Teresa’s homes for the destitute and dying. The experience moved me deeply and stretched me in uncomfortable ways.  On the flight home I felt convicted that I needed to mobilize as many people as possible to serve the poor at Mother Teresa’s homes.

The past two summers I have been privileged to lead Kingsland’s high school graduates to Kolkata to serve the lowest and most broken segment of humanity. Our students have embraced the privilege of serving the least of these and faced every challenge in doing so with courage. Their experiences have caused them to think a little more deeply about their responsibility to care for those in need — to move beyond pity to practical and measurable acts of compassionate service. Even a brief season of service at Mother Teresa’s homes is enough to leave an indelible mark on the hearts of those who serve. The experience is one that will be remembered for a lifetime. This month’s issue of Katy Magazine features an article by Kingsland member Kelly Isenberger about our recent summer trip to Kolkata entitled Katy Teens Giving Back. I hope you will take a moment to read it and to consider what you can do to serve the least of these in our own community and beyond. I appreciate our teens and their service from Katy to Kolkata. I’m already looking forward to returning to Kolkata with our graduating teens in the Summer of 2012.


  1. This was definitely a life-changing experience for my son, Evan. I can tell the difference in him just in casual conversation–so much more reflective and considerate. He also is more open to trying new things and appreciating the blessings of simple things. Not to say it also didn’t have a profound and deep impact on how he sees the world and his place in it. Many thanks to all who made this experience possible!

    • I really am glad that Evan was a member of our team. He totally engaged with those we served and cared for them with such Christlike compassion. I am glad to have had the opportunity to serve beside him.

  2. Great Blog. Kelly’s article is well worth a read. Visiting Kolkata many years ago was life changing. The folk are so friendly and the needs are so great. I saw God in action more in Kolkata than ever in the UK. To anyone considering going to Kolkata I would say go for it & see what the Lord will do.

    • Thanks, Paul and Sarah. I’m glad that many people in our community will learn about Mother Teresa’s continuing legacy in Kolkata when they read Kelly’s magazine article.

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