We were honored to host Huldah Buntain this weekend at Woodland Church. In 1954 Mark and Huldah Buntain and their one year old daughter, Bonnie, set sail from New York City for Calcutta. Three ships and two months later the young couple arrived in Calcutta as young evangelists. They had been told that Calcutta is hopeless.
Huldah will tell you that “impossible is one of God’s favorite words.” They believed that God had called them to love Calcutta and they planted the first church in over a hundred years in that city. Ministry in Calcutta was motivated by James 2:14-18. Today there are eight different language services and 5,000 people gather to worship God each Sunday there. That large number doesn’t include the daughter churches planted around West Bengal and other states. Additionally 32,000 children in their schools daily, feeding lines that feed 25,00 per day. Everything they do, whether it is educating or feeding it is to reach that family for Jesus Christ.
Five chaplains visit the patients daily in the hospital. The cleft palate patients (1 out of 700 children in India are born with a cleft palate), leukemia patients, thalassemia patients, over 30 specialty departments faithfully serving the sick. I’ve been throughout that hospital meeting the children, the parents, and many others. One of the messages that you will not miss is that Jesus heals. It is not just medical care but compassionate faith filled prayer for the sick.
Their vision was to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with Calcutta. It is the gospel that has the power to transform lives. It is the gospel that compels us to also feed the hungry and care for the sick and dying. With that God given vision the Buntains successfully planted a church that brings hope and health in a “hopeless” city.
When Mark suddenly died in 1989, Huldah was called upon to lead the construction of a new church and as well as lead a ministry that included a full service General Hospital, Orphanages, Schools and Feeding Ministries. She is truly a woman for a time such as this.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of preaching at that wonderful church, speaking at one of the schools and visiting orphanages, a school for the blind, a hope house for children of sex slaves. Today, my mind still reels at the scope of the ministry that this godly woman has led. In her eighties she still travels every week in behalf of Calcutta Mercy Ministries and spends several months of the year in Calcutta. I encourage you to visit http://www.buntain.org. Also you can download her message Sunday at Woodland at http://woodland-church.com/resources/messages.