Come Away with Me

I’ve been waiting for just the right time to tell you that I (Melissa) am going, along with four other bloggers, with Compassion International to Kolkata (Calcutta), India. The “right” time has quickly turned into “oh my word, SERIOUSLY, we are leaving Friday!!!” And so here you have it. The five of us will be led by a handful of staunch Compassion-folk on an exciting adventure; a journey I can only guess will be filled with moments of piercing sadness but also bursts of laughter and stimulating conversation. A journey that engages and confronts all of the senses in an unexpected way and that makes an impression that lasts not just a week or two, but for a lifetime. I will be attempting to put this journey into words for you straight from Kolkata on this blog next week, April 26- May 2.

The first day I learned of this opportunity to go along with Compassion to Kolkata, I knew I was supposed to go. Period. Sometimes the Lord makes something unmistakably clear. I won’t ever forget the seriousness in Shaun Groves’ voice as he said, “Take your time making your decision, Melissa.” He said, “I’ve never been to Kolkata but from what I’ve heard, this may be one of the more difficult trips.” Now, I’ve heard the dude speak and sing and I thought he was supposed to be funny. Well, he wasn’t throwing the jokes. He actually sounded really serious. Even so, I didn’t have to take my time making the decision. It was just one of those moments. I take that back, I did have to ask Mr. Fitzpatrick what he thought first and he said, “You’ve gotta go. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.” I was actually stunned by his absolute selflessness. Well, let’s just say that the closer it gets to Friday the less I am seeing him effuse this virtue. Actually he is getting quite controlling. Every time I so much as cough he looks at me like, “And you’re going to Kolkata?” *Grin.* I guess it was easier for him to imagine it all when it was still months away.

Let me tell you, over the past month I have gotten some crazy reactions from people about my going to Kolkata. Most people look at me like I’ve lost my mind and I know exactly what they’re thinking… “Why not Paris or Amsterdam or somewhere even slightly pleasurable?” I want to say to them, “Life isn’t all about fun.” But I don’t. I just keep my mouth shut. And anyway, they obviously haven’t met any of the team I am going along with. It’s an entertaining group of people. A group that I suspect could have a little tiny bit of fun even in the darkest of places. Can’t keep the sarcasm from dripping off my computer screen when I glance over their emails. Oh, and I even had one girl tell me that India is “impossibly filthy” and that I need to watch out for the rats. The negative reactions were becoming tiresome, so I was pleased when the popular, Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire” finally came out on DVD. The timing was totally ordained for us, don’t you think? I finally started getting some positive responses from people. You’ve gotta love pop-culture. I’ve been conveniently leaving out that we aren’t going to Mumbai and that Compassion International probably cares very little about us getting to meet the beautiful Latika in the flesh.

In spite of all the strange reactions I have gotten, there really are no words to express my excitement about going to Kolkata. I know that I am going to see poverty unlike anything I have ever seen before, but at the same time, who better to see it with than Compassion International – one of the world’s most effective Christian relief organizations? We aren’t going just to sit back and observe the poverty. We’re going with an organization that actually has the resolve to try and do something about it. I don’t know exactly what to expect and I’m trying not to assume much. My heart’s desire is just to go – to go with my heart and mind open. And by the way, I actually get to meet two of the children that Colin and I sponsor through Compassion. Like I actually get to have lunch with them.

I will tell you more about the details of our itinerary as next week unfolds, but for now I just wanted to tell you the news and ask for your thoughts and prayers as we prepare ourselves to head out this Friday. If you would be so kind and thoughtful to pray, here are my personal prayer requests:

1. Pray that my own cynicism wouldn’t rob me of a blessing. I’ve gotta be honest, I feel sort of faux for going on a trip like this. I’m not a missionary. I’m not an activist. And I’m certainly not a nun. I have the “comfort” (whatever significance that word really holds) of knowing I’m coming back to the United States in two weeks. That is the honest truth. And so I fight my own self-defeating thoughts. Thoughts like, “Melissa, you’re really nothing more than a tourist, nothing more than a weak poser wannabe missionary going over to Kolkata and acting like you’re some Mother Theresa type.” Since I have an all-or-nothing personality, I tend to feel defeated if I can’t go all out. For example, since I am not taking a vow of poverty or moving to work in Kolkata for the rest of my days, it makes me want to shrink back from doing anything at all. My own personal fear of false piety could keep me from entering into this experience and I don’t want it to. I want every fiber in my being to be impacted. Pray for me – that I’m not my own worst enemy.

2. Pray for Colin’s peace of mind. It is his responsibility to care for me; so naturally, he is a little concerned about my safety and whatnot. Please pray the Lord would have something unique in this experience for him as well, even though he will be in the States. He is, after all, as involved as I am with Compassion. He was actually the one who suggested that we sponsor our first Compassion child, Aimar, who lives in Colombia. It wasn’t even my idea. In that moment, I was actually more concerned about hiding our cash under the hardwood planks of our apartment. Right next to the one hundred pound bag of rice and ginormous jar of peanut butter. Kidding. Sort of.

3. Pray for my health. Please pray that my own physical weaknesses would not be a hindrance to me or to the team. I’ve had a series of intense migraines for the past few months, and while I plan to stuff Excedrin Migraine in every crevice of my suitcase, please pray for a supernatural release from these migraines. Even if it is only for this two week period. (Praise Him – He has given me a release in the past week, but I do pray that they will not return during the trip).

Oh, and I almost forgot, I need your advice. I am taking little care packages for both of our Compassion children in Kolkata. As you know, Colin and I don’t have our own kids, so I need your help. I have no idea what kids like. I consider myself an adult person and buying for kids does not come naturally to me. We have a nine-year-old boy named Manot and a twelve-year-old girl named Pramila. What do nine-year-old boys like? And what do twelve-year-old girls like? Now, I don’t want to rush over to India in a naïve Santa-Claus costume with a bagful of toys. I’m not going to put on a red superwoman cape and presume I could save their day. I can’t save their day. But at the same time, I want to make their day. I want to make their day special without making them feel overwhelmed or intimidated by too many gifts. In your opinion, where is the line? Do you have any thoughts? Ideas?



201 Responses to “Come Away with Me”

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  1. 101
    Tammie Head says:

    Lis, 3 words: I. Wanna. Go!

    Praying, praying, praying, praying!

    Love to you ♥


  2. 102
    Anonymous says:

    I am thrilled that you are going to India and I hope you will fall in love with this wonderful land full of contradictions. Recommendations: read “holy cow” by sara macdonald (warning: this secular book is considered offensive to those practicing hinduism and is at times irreverent but so eye opening), buy many small bags of snacks to give to begging children and women in lieu of money, and lastly- a cool “american” t-shirt, children’s bible, and bubbles for your kids. This is going to be a WONDERFUL trip-enjoy!!!
    Susan- Nashville

  3. 103
    Anonymous says:

    Anything sports like, or small brightly lit, battery operated throw-away type toys seem to enchant boys. For the girl – glittery faux jewelry??
    I’m always partial to puzzles.

    Don’t doubt your usefulness. If God wants you on that trip, He has some way He wants to use you !

    kae h

  4. 104
    Anonymous says:

    What about Crayola markers, crayons, side walk chalk (I don’t know if they can do that there). Girls like pretty things for their hair, maybe even a nice hairbrush. Have a great trip.

  5. 105
    Phyllis says:

    Melissa, I read this blog and study and pray along with you, but have never responded. The LORD sent me to India in March 2008 and we were there for a week. I know what you are going through and what your husband is also going through, but I learned and as you already know but may need to be reminded, our LORD is faithful.
    We went to pray and pray we did. The missionaries had not had any believers from their ministry. Ours was not the only teams that traveled there during this year but at the last report, they have 250 home churches and over 5000 believers. Since it is HIS plan for you, just walk in it as it says in Ephesians. God Bless, hope this helps.


  6. 106
    April says:

    I’ll be praying for your trip, Melissa. As for your gifts, I would suggest some art supplies (crayons, colored pencils with sharpener, and paper) for them both. My girls really enjoy art, and I would think a boy would like those things, too. Also for the girl, maybe some culturally appropriate hair things (brush, clips, ponytail holders, etc.) I’m sure she would like to feel pretty just like my girls do!

  7. 107
    Sallye says:


    It would be an honor to pray for you and the rest of the “team” as you are getting ready, going, ministering, resting, and return.

    Could we ask that one of you post a picture of the team on one of the blogs, so that we visual people can have it to put on computer screens or print out and hold in our hands to pray over?

    I can not wait to hear all that God does to you and through you on this journey.

    I am seeing in my mind one of the final scenes from the movie “Mame” where Auntie Mame (Lucille Ball) and her great nephew are walking up the staircase to prepare for their trip to India, she has her arm around her nephew and is telling him all that they will see. I imagine that as your team and God, and all that He will show you on this journey.

    Oh the places you will go.


  8. 108
    Anonymous says:

    You are about to experience more reality that you have seen in the whole of your life. The rest of the world lives next door to life and death and no where more than Calcutta, named, I am sure you know for the goddess of death and destruction. May the Light of life
    go with you and illuminate your heart and mind as well as your surroundings. May the forces of darkness tremble in the face of love and compassion, and may your trip be fruitful to the precious people of Calcutta. These children I think would love posters, pictures, writing things like pencils and paper. Clothing is scarce and I would think a great luxury as well as needful. Take a colapsable bag or use the services of someone like FedEx to bring some things home. I know you are not going to shop, but everything you buy blesses a buisiness and family and these things will help you share, and remember. Go with God, dear girl and we anxiously wait for news from Calcutta. (wish I were going with you, you carry many of us in your heart) Shalom

  9. 109
    Sheila says:

    I can relate to you feeling like your own worst enemy and getting in your own way. My prayer for you, among others is that you can stay out of your way and leave ‘all or nothing’ behind. Sorry, but I’m not much of a kid person either, so can’t help with the gifts, but I do know you’ll find something perfect for both of them.

  10. 110
    Marilyn in Mississippi says:

    I emailed one of my best friends who is a MISSIONARY IN INDIA and asked her for advice on what you might take the children. I have just received her reply a few minutes ago which I will paste below. I hope you have a wonderful time….and free from migraines!

    (Here’s from my friend in India)
    Well, let me see…. Several of the girls coming here (to visit in our home)are 8 and nine years. Some of the things I’ve bought for them and they loved are:

    Toothbrushes and paste, flip-flops, color books and crayons and scissors, candies, jewelry (it’s really a big deal here to have it) soap and shampoo,

    Including lice shampoo and comb. I also bought my little girls calcium chewables b/c they don’t drink any milk. I give them each one a day along with vit. C if they have any cold, etc. The girls here love anything girly, like chapstick, hairclips,hairbrushes, etc. Clothes are very needed here but I’m advised not to do that just yet. I only have one 12 yr. old boy coming to my house. He took away his sister’s flip-flops, so I bought her some more. He loves candies and about the same as the girls except for the girly stuff. A nice shirt would be great (even just a “T” shirt), a wallet, a nice big handkerchief to carry around, a cap for the sun. Everyone here carries a rag of some sort to wipe the sweat with. HA! Having a nice,new one would be great for a boy or girl.

    I hope this helps some. I’m sure this lady will have a great time!! Giving is so much fun too!

  11. 111
    Anonymous says:

    It is hard when people don’t embrace the opportunity God has given you. This isn’t the same, but I’m getting ready to leave my sweet little kindergarten students to teach 6th graders reading and english in middle school next year. Before I announced it, I imagined the comments like “are you crazy?!” But you know, no one was really surprised except I got one comment that bothered me. When I thought about it, that person doesn’t know me very well at all. I realized the people who know me well, were NOT surprised at all!
    Have a great trip!
    Richelle – TN

  12. 112
    Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, and for the migrains which I have suffered with in the past, Excedrin Migrain worked as well as any prescription I ever took, and practice deep breathing and relaxation, it really helped me. Drink LOTS of water (bottled in India) as even slight dehydration can cause headaches and contribute to migrains. Sounding like a know it all so I will quit here. Shalom

  13. 113
    Joy says:

    Kids like love…which I am sure you will take lots of. I have been to Kolkata and I returned with new passion for the world. I will pray for you and also that you return with new vision on how to use your influence for taking the gospel of His Kingdom to the world. Bless you! Joy

  14. 114
    Anonymous says:

    Blessings on your trip.

    I, too, have served on a short term missions trip…expect to SEE and HEAR more from our Lord more than you’ve ever experienced. You will come home, changed…you will reflect the Son, because you’ve spent so much time depending on Him.

    I’m a mom to four little blessings. Ages 10, 9, 7 and 6. They love those flashlights with no batteries…the crank style. I’m going to guess they will be fun and useful.

    Amazed by the Mightiness of God in Minnesota!!

  15. 115
    wannagrowwannago says:

    we have learned in the past when taking toys to children in other countries not to take things like jump ropes…..they are seen not as toys but as useful tools needed to do work….makes sense to them and to us after we thought about it so don’t take anything that could be taken away from them to do needed work… what we thought would be for fun the dads promptly confiscated and put to “good use” dolls are always popular! and yarns!! for the girls. bouncing balls, balloons, racing cars! Soccer balls seem very popular, more so than footballs but they are popular too. wiffle ball!!frisbies!! some of those giant bouncy balls you can take and inflate there if you take a pump along. we had a young man along with us who just kept small entertaining things in his pockets at all times just to grab the attention of the kids, he was great…..he would just pull out a bouncy ball and toss it toward a youngster and soon he had a whole crowd of children around him wanting to play, coloring books, crayons…..they love all that stuff. and the girls like the pretty things we like too…..ribbons, combs….they like the attention and hugs so much also even when they seem shy at first. we realized too that they like tee shirts!! little flip flops!! it’s amazing! have a wonderful wonderful time!!!

  16. 116
    Momtotyandow says:

    I will definitely keep you and your travel mates in my prayers as well as your husband.

    Most have mentioned balls and gloves. My 8 year old loves those things but also loves new notebooks and pencils and pens and erasers. They are great for him at home and at school. He loves to draw and write things down. He has a spy book that he looks for clues and things. Not sure what the clues lead to, but he just loves it.
    Be safe!!!

  17. 117
    Esabelle says:

    God has called you to this. He has His own purpose for your going and it will be wonderful in His way. I’ll be praying for all of you. Can’t wait to hear what He has in store for you.

    1 Peter 5:6-7
    Therefore humble yourselves under the might hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him,
    for He cares for you.

  18. 118
    Anonymous says:


    I will be praying for you and I so love you transparency and authenticity.

    🙂 Joy

  19. 119
    Audrey says:

    Thanks for clueing the rest of us in and for the opportunity to pray for you, Colin and the rest of the team.
    For gifts, I definitely agree with cars/hotwheels–my husband went to So.Africa last January with a box of about 50 and handed them out to the 15 children they saw–however once he began handing them out children began crawling out of the mud (I would say woodwork, but I don’t think there was much of that!)–they had a blast! Also, he took a soccer ball to one of the boys we sponsor (the only one he got to meet that trip) along with a pump and spare needles to air it up again–Thabo was thrilled!
    May God be continuing to work wonderfully in all of your lives through this trip and speak clearly His purposes of using this to His glory!
    Audrey in Illinois

  20. 120
    jessie says:

    Two out of my 3 children have been to India. My daughter lived there for thre months. My son went over, at age 15, right after the Tsunami, helping with clean up. They have a heart for the people like never before. Just show them Christ through your love and who you are in Him. The ones here in the states will have a peace that only comes from the LORD knowing this is where you need to be at this time of history. You will be changing the lives over there for eternity!!!

  21. 121
    Anonymous says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog and just love your family! Coming from a Tween business, I would recommend crafts for a 12 year old girl…play doh is great, pipe cleaners, yarn, popsicle sticks…endless creative fun for a girl! And nothing beats a good game of soccer.

    Best wishes to you and the team as you embark on this wonderful adventure!

  22. 122
    Anonymous says:

    I have an 8 year old boy and he loves Legos. He also loves to draw – so some paper, pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils – may be good. Just a thought. Hope this helps.

  23. 123
    Anonymous says:

    I so wish I could come with you.I do sponcer a child from World Vision ,got Hanna when WOF came to Greensboro last year.I love doing it.God bless love s sister in Christ victoria Reidsville NC

  24. 124
    allison says:

    What exciting news. We will be praying for your trip overseas! It’s my dream to meet my first sponsored child in Tanzania! And as far as care packages for the girl go, two words: NAIL POLISH! 🙂

  25. 125
    Barbra Keeler says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I’m so excited for you! My husband and I would dearly love to go to Kenya and meet our Compassion kids someday. We just wanna love on them in person, and I know that is what you are going to do in India.

    You’re not a poser, if God clearly told you to go, that makes you obedient. Just this morning at our Esther Bible Study, we talked about the homework that encourages us to do “God things” even if we think we can’t do it perfectly.

    I can’t wait to see how God works in you during this experience. Thanks for sharing it with us!


  26. 126
    Anonymous says:

    We here at Compassion we will be praying you have a life changing experience. Thank you for going. As to gifts, whatever you give, be sure to wrap it in a nice kitchen towel. That makes a great gift for the Mom. Also put each gift in a zip lock freezer bag (quart, gallon,or bigger) For some reason the good, reusable zip locks are expensive or not available in developing countries. They can use these to keep so many things clean and dry. I always fill the corners of my bag with them as they weigh nothing and don’t take space.Give your children tooth brushes and lots of paste. That can be a luxury. School supplies and hair things for girls are great. Older boys and fathers love jack knives. I hope these ideas are useful.

  27. 127
    Cindy in Ferndale says:

    Melissa, I count it a privilege to pray for you and your team.
    Sometimes we THINK to much, and our mind is the battlefield. When I get so overwhelmed on thoughts before the event. I just remind myself to be like Christ when I get there, and all things will be taken care of. I love your heart!

  28. 128
    Anonymous says:

    check out the gift ideas on samaritan’s purse website for the operation Christmas child boxes–some really good ideas–

    Blessings as you go

  29. 129
    Miss Debbie says:

    A few things I wanted to share with you but didn’t include in my earlier response. I was totally blown away by the poverty of Cambodia. Tears just flowed…in this country there maybe a section of the city that is poorer but there it is never ending. I had heard the term culture shock but had no idea what that meant. The reality of it was life changing for me. I will be praying for your heart to see the precious people there with His eyes and His compassion. The sister that mentioned that kids like Love couldn’t have been any truer. Your time and attention is a gift to them. We took along with us a bingo game with laminated cards to pass out to all the children at the orphanage. The cards had pictures of animals, cars, things the kids could recognize reagardless of language barriers. We would hold up the card with the picture of the car and they would look at the picture and put a dot on the picture on their card. The kids loved playing bingo and when they got a bingo we gave them candy. They liked to be read to and the chicken dance was a big hit, if you could take over a CD and then teach them the movements to that song…that was a lot of laughing and so much fun. The little girls just wanted to sit on your lap and hug…we played ring around the rosey one night until we couldn’t do it any more..that might have been the night we played bingo and the kids were on a sugar high!! You could give something other than candy 🙂
    On another note I wanted to tell you that your transparency and vulnerability is a gift from God, embrase it and use it for His glory. You are loved and cherished beyond your imagination. God has plans to use your life in ways your have not even dreamed of. Love you and will be praying that He gives you His vision and the sweet fragerance of His presence in every thing you put your hands to. Sorry this is so long.

  30. 130
    Samantha says:

    My 11 yo daughter can’t get enough shiny, glittery, plastic jewelery! She loves sunglasses, hair accessories and music. Colored pencils and paper to make things, stuffed animals and cut clothes, just to name a few more options.

  31. 131
    Joanne (The Simple Wife) says:

    Hey Melissa,

    Oh I am so excited for you. And can’t wait to hear all you have to share when you get back. Praying for you, my friend (just ’cause I don’t know you face to face doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, right?!).

    We have four Compassion daughters–two each the same ages as my girls, and one of them asked us when we were coming to visit her in the last letter she sent. Someday…

    And since you’ll be on a travel roll, wanna come to LPL in Laramie in WY in May? My finals will be done, my papers turned in, and I may be able to make coherent conversation at that point! Plus, I’d love to just sit and chat about things theology!

    Have an amazing, amazing trip. And take notes to tell us all about everything when you get back.

    Much love,


  32. 132
    Anonymous says:

    Hey Melissa,

    I will be praying for safe travel and the GA weather to be great so you can leave on time. For the boy I recommend hot wheels they are cheap so you can get a lot and he can use them with his friends plus boys never get to old for cars!!! I would get the girl some fun hiar and makeup stuff like little nail polish, chap stick and things like that. Hope this helps. I know God will be watching over you all.
    Christi G
    Atl Ga

  33. 133
    Anonymous says:

    I will be praying for you and have already.

    I have not a one in the suggestions department. You think I would with 3 girls and 1 boy between the ages of 19 to 11. Maybe it is the breakneck speed of life we have been living or something. Sorry.

    Kim B. in AZ

  34. 134
    Anonymous says:

    WOW! I am so excited to read about your experience EVERYDAY on this blog. I remember when Boomama went and I felt like I was living it through her.
    Truthfully, I am scared out of my wits to do something like this but I know that God knows that. I will be praying for you everyday and Colin who trully is a partner in it all. Thank you for taking us with you!!
    Love, Jenny from VA

  35. 135
    Journey On says:

    What an amazing opportunity!

    Several years ago we had several orphans from India stay in our home for a few days as a part of their choir tour of the US. Out of all the toys in my brother’s room, they were most fascinated with the Beanie Baby type stuffed animals and boxes. We gave them several of the Beanie Babies and they asked for some boxes too…and seemed just as happy about the boxes as the toys!

    God go with you on your exciting adventure!

  36. 136
    Laura_Primus says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such negative reactions! How sad! I think you all ROCK! What a selfless thing to do. We all need to be giving of ourselves in that way . . . whatever way God calls us.

    The 12 year old girl has entered that “tween” place in life. She’s no longer little, but not very grown up. She’s beyond dolls but still too young for makeup. I find that age HARD. I hope someone else has ideas.

    The 9 year old is still a young boy and might like something like an action figure. You might find out if there are any superheros that are popular here as well as there.

    Have a great, safe time.
    Pleasant Hill, CA

  37. 137
    Laura_Primus says:

    A little idea on the migraines.

    I used to get horrible headaches – not technically migraines but so bad my vision would be impaired. started taking larger amounts of magnesium when my friend who is a naturopath suggested it and it has been like a miracle. My mom has been helped by it, too. I can totally tell it makes a difference. The B vitamin combo makes sense, too. B-12 has many amazing attributes.

    Another friend of mine had migraines that’d put her down for days. She read a book on changing her diet and it changed her world.

    I feel for ya on the headaches! NO FUN! Saps the whole day.

  38. 138
    Bethany says:


    I have been in Kisumu, Kenya for the past 2 months and I will be here for another 4 months. I have never been to India, but imagine that the poverty there is very similar to the poverty here. So, I think the best way is to think SIMPLE. I have found that the kids ((and even the adults)) LOVE stickers! Especially ones with crosses and the fish symbol; and they like the scratch and sniff one too. Also, one day we made jumpropes out of some old rope that we had, and the kids went crazy over it. And they are fasicnated by mechanical pencils, I dont know why, maybe because they don’t have to be sharpened?

    My mom sent me Legos for the little boy of the family I am staying with and it went over well, but I would suggest that if you decide to get legos for him, put it together before give it to him. I spent 2 hours putting 2 race cars together. 2 hours that I will never get back! But once they were done, he loved it! Also, nerf footballs are great to have around for boys, they last longer because they do deflate.

    I don’t know what to suggest for the girl as far as something to play with. But alot of the girls here that are around that age do not have adequate under garments to hold sanitary napkins. I don’t know if you want to buy underwear or not, but it would be something practicle that she could use. Just a thought.

    I will be praying for you as you travel and as you minister to the children there.



  39. 139
    Farmgirl Paints says:

    Thanks for sharing your real thoughts about feeling inadequate etc…It’s so nice to know that others feel that way too. I will be praying for your health and that you have a life changing week filled with great memories that will stick with you forever.

  40. 140
    Anonymous says:

    when we go to Haiti, I always bring a backpack with “school supplies” in it as well as toothbrush and toothpaste for each of the kids we sponsor. kids in 3rd world countries don’t usually have “toys”. They make their own. We also give them some cash, which the family uses for food most likely. Hope that helps! Loved your transparency, as well.

  41. 141
    valerie says:

    I will be praying for your trip.
    I experience headaches quite often and can certainly relate. I am praying that you will feel better than ever and that you won’t have a single headache.
    God is going to use you in a mighty way.
    God bless each of you and I can’t wait to hear the reports as they come in.

  42. 142
    Leigh Ann says:

    I have to admit, I’m commenting before reading any of the others,so I hope I’m not being repetitious, but I think that the children would like something to remember you by. Just knowing and remembering that you are loved by someone is very powerful. So, something personal of yours or something to remind them of you and your love and prayers may make their day.
    Praying for you,
    Leigh Ann Long
    Macon, Ga.

  43. 143
    Anonymous says:


    Wow… wow.. I was crying before I even got through the first paragraph. You inspire us. Thank you for sharing this. I know how hard it can be to share:-)

    You are my fellow sweet Siesta from GA and I will be praying for you and the group every day you are gone. I am setting a reminder in Outlook to pray twice a day.

    May God impact you in ways only He can. May your journey continue in your heart forever.



  44. 144
    Brynn says:

    I’m trying not to be jealous you get to meet your kids. One of the best ideas I heard was a backpack filled with stuff.

    Jump rope
    Ball with hand pump
    Photo album/picture frame

  45. 145
    Anonymous says:

    Our missionaries take soccer balls and dolls or hair brushes when they go…

  46. 146
    Anonymous says:

    I have a wonderful family in Kolkata. They have a lovely home and quite powerful. If you go and have a problem, there is help. They are wonderful Christian people and you would find hospitality like none other. Please keep this email and my address incase you need assistance while there….

  47. 147
    Laura Forman says:

    I have had the opportunity to go to India a few years ago. I visited all over India for a month, and who it was life changing. I live in Asia already, but India is just so much different than any where else. We also had the opportunity to meet with a compassion child while there. It was amazing!! She was a 10 year old little girl and we brought her a few toys but one that stands out is jacks. We played and played with them, she lovd them! Just a thought….

  48. 148
    Wendy says:

    My friend just came back from a missions trip to Africa where she met our Compassion girl and her Compassion boy. We sent a little bag that included a small doll with clothes and a stuffed animal. She loved it! I have pictures of her changing the doll’s clothes.
    Our friend brought a toy truck for the boy and he loved it too.
    Just some ideas I’ve seen work!

    We also gave her a little photo album with our pictures in it. 🙂
    I will be praying for your trip.

    Jax, FL
    Jax, FL

  49. 149
    Keri says:

    Ok, so I totally submitted my name to go on this trip before I read the fine print about having to have over 1,000 hits a week on your blog…..or something like that. I have a huge heart for missions and can NOT wait to go sometime soon.

    The deal in our house is when our boys turn 13, they go on a mission trip with mom. My reasoning is that it will be about that time they really need to realize that the world does not revolve around them. They are very excited about it!

    BTW, I don’t know if you remember me telling you at the LPM Open House about my sister teaching at Jerusalem College after getting her Masters in OT studies, but because of visa issues, she’ll be here in Houston for about 6 months. It would be fun to hook you guys up some time if you’re in town. I’m assuming you are one person who can understand when she tells me that “N.T. Wright is her scholarly crush”.

  50. 150
    Victoria says:

    I went to Malawi, Africa 3 summers ago and all I can say is that it was my life that God changed dramatically… not sure if I had any effect on the malawians…but my life will never be the same…I still find God uses the short 10 day experience to teach me things after 3 years…
    May God bless you and those going on the trip!!!

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