Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 2, 2012

Bound for Kolkata

After my first visit to serve at Mother Teresa’s homes in January 2009, I returned home with a new resolve — to mobilize others to do the same. I noted in one of my first blog posts that the experience challenged and changed me because it forced me to close the distance between myself and the least of these. My travels to that point had taken me to places where I had seen the worst of human suffering — places like Darfur and Bangladesh and post-earthquake Pakistan. However, I had always been able to maintain a safe and sterile distance from the hurting and dying. Serving at Mother Teresa’s homes changed all of that. It only took minutes for me to realize that it is impossible to serve the least of these at her homes without coming into direct contact with broken and bruised humanity. The experience stretched me and did something good deep in my heart, the kind of stuff that can happen only when we close the distance between ourselves and those who are hurting.

I am excited to be returning to Kolkata with our high school graduates. I know that God is going to do really good things in and through them as they too close the distance in order to minister to the destitute and dying. Having mobilized many volunteers to serve at Mother Teresa’s homes, I am confident that the experience will change our students in good ways and that they will return home more sensitized and ready to serve others in their own community and beyond. I wrote the following in January 2009…

You don’t have to travel to Kolkata to serve the poor, but you must be willing to close the distance that separates you from the poor in your own community. Distance is what keeps us from looking into the faces of those in need and hearing their own distressing stories. Distance is what keeps us from holding dirty hands and connecting with hurting humanity in a personal way. What will it take for you to close the distance between you and someone in need? Take the first step and then add another until you begin to see people clearly and to hear them distinctly.

Thanks for praying for our team as we head to Kolkata. I will post updates on our adventure throughout the coming days.


  1. Hey Omar! Who is the real tall guy on a row by himself in the very back of the group photo? He is so distracted, he is not even looking at the camera. I can tell already that you are going to have to remind him often to “walk with a purpose!” Seriously, I pray for you, Amy, Doyle and all the others. No matter where you travel, you will NEVER experience another Kolkata. May God use you mightily! May the Holy Spirit allow each of you to see the awesome power of God and His love.

    • 🙂 Thanks for your prayers, Jeff. Hope you can return with us on a future trip.

      • Hey Guys, your pictures look so nice! The Lord has brought you all, in Kolkata. for His glory!!

      • Thanks, Mortuza.

  2. Praying for all of u & for Gina as she returns home. Tell Amy hi for me! Love y’all!

    • Thanks, Kristin. Glad to be in Dubai. One more flight. Gina is on her way home 🙂 and should land soon.

  3. Priase you Omar & the team.

    I believe the Lord is calling for prayers that people from many nations will come to bless Kolkata in prayer & meet the needs of the poor.

    So by going to Kolkata you & the team are part of the answer.

    For those who bless the poor & needy will be blessed by the Lord.

    God Bless you all

    Paul & Sarah

    • Amen, Paul and Sarah. Thanks for the good word.

  4. I have much admiration for Mother Teresa. It is groups such as your own which extend the legacy of her kindness.

    Warm Regards,
    Tammy Swofford

    • Thanks, Tammy. Just landed in Dubai. Looking forward to a great time in Kolkata.

  5. I am so Happy to have this web site Thank You. It is wonderful to hear the whole team arrived safely with all luggage. My prayers are with all of you for God’s Greatness to shine thru. May God bless the people of Kolkata and keep you all in his care.

    Best Regards,
    Sharon Taylor

    • Thanks for your prayers, Sharon. And thanks for following our journey.

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