India Vision Trip | Matt Reed
In 1954, Mark and Huldah Buntain arrived in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) and God began to stir an intense passion to reach the poor of the city. The needs seemed overwhelming. Poverty was rampant, medical care was sparse, and access to quality education was limited. Yet, in faith, they saw what no one else could see and started to meet the needs of the city.
They opened a school for 200 children in 1964 and started a feeding program a year later. A small clinic grew into a full hospital in 1977. Mark passed away unexpectedly in 1989 and under Huldah’s leadership, they continued to expand their reach. The early endeavors are thriving and now include over 100 primary and secondary schools, Bible and vocational schools, and Sunday worship services in multiple languages. The hospital now serves over 100,000 people every year, and 40% of those patients receive free care. All of this is happening under the banner of Calcutta Mercy.
I had the privilege of traveling with our Superintendent, Mark Dean, and five lead pastors to tour the sprawling city and the programs that now flourish. We heard story after story of incredible faith and miraculous moves of God.
It was incredible to see these programs in person and each day was an experience that moved us in different ways. Our passion to reach the lost was reignited exploring the area surrounding the Kalighat Hindu Temple and Ganges River. Our heart for children was stirred hearing blind school children sing “Amazing Grace” for us. And our dreams to make a difference in our own Minnesota communities expanded as we saw the expansive outreach and God-given favor Calcutta Mercy has in their city.
It’s exciting to a part of this Minnesota missions movement, and I can’t wait to show you a short video of our experience at the Connect Conference later this month.