Jim and Sue have 2 kids. Jim was high on heroin today. Jim had been a heavy drug user when Stewart and Monique came to Kolkata. Over time, Jim got cleaned up and became involved in the work that Stewart and Monique were doing. He got married to Sue and had 2 beautiful kids. He made a mistake several weeks ago. He got high and threatened his wife with a knife. What we witnessed today was tough love from Stewart as Stewart explained to Jim and Sue that Jim must go into detox for 6 months to a year. He must rebuild once again if he is to have hope in life. Sue will have an option of going with the children to the children’s home where she will be looked after.
I met Steve just before the meeting with Jim and Sue. Steve is a recovering drug addict. He has been to detox 17 times and now has been clean for 2 months. He is a nice man who grew up in the church but got involved with the wrong people. He explained to me that there are thousands of people just like him and Jim who are on “brown sugar” (heroin) all around the building we were all meeting in. Steve took Jim from Stewarts downtown office to the detox centre.
These are 2 stories of the pain of drugs in Kolkata. It’s everywhere and it’s from 5 or 6 year olds and up. Kids get high on glue, adults use heroin. It takes a unique individual with a passion to make a difference.
Stew and I then went down to the Howrah Train station where they provide a feeding program. These kids just need hugs and love. The people who operate the program for Stew and Monique are wonderful and the kids….well look at the pictures. I was swarmed in a good way. These kids need to be loved and they are receiving just that. I sense we will be spending a lot more time with these kids. The children that come to the feeding program get breakfast and lunch and have schooling in between breakfast and lunch. Today they were learning the english alphabet. The local language is Bengali and they will remain where they are if they just learn Bengali. English will prepare them for life outside of Kolkata.
We have realized that we are here to help Stewart and Monique get rest. Sylvia has not left the side of Monique as she trains her friends from the Kalighat area. It is a 40 hour per week commitment in addition to the other ministries Monique is involved in. Here’s an image of the jewellery piece as it’s being made.