One of the most important things Christians can do is reach out to people in need. For this reason, Joni Lamb traveled to India with her kids, Jonathan, Rachel and Rebecca, in the summer of 2010. They reconnected with missionaries Holda Buntain and Bonnie Buntain Long and spent the week assisting in the Buntain’s Calcutta Mercy Ministries.
Calcutta Mercy Ministries was founded in 1954, when Mark and Holda Buntain traveled to India to complete a year-long missions trip. They quickly fell in love with the people, however, and remained in India permanently. Bonnie Buntain Long, a baby when her parents went to India, developed her parents’ heart for the ministry and took over its daily operations when her father passed away. Today Mercy Ministries has expanded to include Calcutta Mercy Hospital, a nursing school, a school for the blind, the Slum Learning Center, Red Light Mercy Clinic, and numerous feeding centers, schools and churches.
“I think Bonnie’s dad would be really proud of her. He had a vision that he never really got to live out, but now she’s an extension of his heart. Everything he wanted to do, she’s getting to live out and do,” said Rachel.
Because of our partners, the Lambs were able to do a great deal of ministry while in India – both by giving money and needed items, and by providing hands-on help. They were deeply touched by their experience with Mercy Ministries. Said Joni, “You can’t go there and experience what we experienced and be the same. I understand a little bit about how the Indian people must have touched Mark Buntain’s heart because they touched mine too.”
To sum up the Lamb family’s experience in India, Jonathan explained, “I think it’s important we reach out to India, simply because we have a great ministry there and we’ve seen firsthand the things they make happen. To be able to get people out of the prostitution lifestyle; to help get them trained to be nurses; to help these poor, impoverished kids with different ailments and diseases – it’s just such a great organization that’s really making a difference.”
To learn more about the trip to Calcutta and Daystar’s involvement with Mercy Ministries, watch the special two-part episode of Joni at the links below.