Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 10, 2012

Serving in Obscurity

Most of my heroes are ordinary people who live in relative obscurity — the kind of folks who are not seeking any kind of recognition but whose greatest joy is serving God’s purposes beyond the scope of any limelight. A few months ago I learned about a man and his wife in Kolkata who are doing just that, faithfully serving God’s purposes in a hard place — Kolkata’s railway stations. While in Kolkata last week, I had an opportunity to meet Navin. My friend Don drove me to Navin’s home, a humble place located across from a mosquito-breeding marsh. Navin invited us in and offered us a cup of hot chai. And then, he shared the story of how God led him and his wife to take ownership of caring for kids who live a “Lord of the Flies kind of existence” in the shadows of Kolkata’s bustling railway stations which are among the busiest in the world.

I am always curious about why a man or a woman will forsake any prospects of comfort and a normal life in order to do something hard. When Navin and his wife became aware of the plight of the railway kids, they prayed and fasted as they sought God’s direction about what to do. Ignoring the problem was not an option. They felt they needed to act in order to make a difference in the lives of these kids. And, they did not allow the magnitude of the need to discourage them. They understood that they could not do everything but that they could do something. So, they decided to start by opening their own home to these kids who lived like animals, sniffed glue and paint thinner, ate from garbage bins, and picked pockets in order to survive.

The first year was the toughest. Navin said, “The kids would not sleep and constantly fought with one another.” But Navin and his wife continued to patiently love and work with these kids. I had an opportunity to meet several of the boys and a couple of the girls. They were polite and courteous and calm. Today, these kids attend a Christian school and have a hope for a brighter future. Since starting their work in 2006, Navin told me that they have been able to reunite three kids with their families. And at a recent church service, one of the boys asked for prayer for his mom and dad because he did not know where they were. Like others Navin and his wife have helped, this young boy became separated from his parents amid the hundreds of thousands of passengers that pass through the railway station every day. Perhaps one day he too will be reunited with his family. In the meantime, he has a safe place to live and will get a good education because one man and is wife could not ignore the plight of children like him.

My friend Don told me that although he has many needs, Navin never asks for anything. Instead he prays and trusts God daily to make provision for their rent, food, clothing, medicines, school tuition, and other needs. Navin and his wife can testify to God’s faithfulness in giving them their daily bread. After leaving Navin’s home, God impressed upon me to do something to help. So, on behalf of the people of Kingsland, I was able to purchase mattresses and a water heater for the kids. We had everything delivered the following day. Navin was overjoyed and filled with gratitude. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet Navin and look forward to seeing him again when I return to Kolkata. He and his wife are officially on my list of unsung heroes. They are making a difference.


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing that inspiring story Pastor O. The matttresses and water heater; what a beautifully practical use of Kingsland’s missions funds!

  2. Wow! What a couple? I am challenged by how they are living out their faith! Thanks O! I’m praying for you and your family.

  3. That’s wonderful! Thank you for representing Christ and Kingsland so beautifully.

  4. So glad you represent KBC and thankful you stayed on for a few days when the 12 ladies from KBC arrived in Kolkata. That gave me some peace about my daughter and granddaughter being on that trip.

  5. They both are very wonderful people… my life has been changed because of their faith in our Savior. What a blessing they were to me and a piece of my heart still remands in India.

    • Welcome home, Sterling. So glad you were able to join our women’s team to India.


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