Post 86. New friends


While we were walking around the property, we discovered a small hall attached to our cottage.  We asked Julia about it and she said it had been used for revival meetings in the sixties.  It was miffy and dusty but it was equipped with chairs and a piano and it was perfect.  We managed to clean it up, buy an overhead projector from Dehra Dun and we were set.  We had met quite a few people from the language school who were interested in what we were wanting to do.   The Bartons were really excited.


James (near overhead) Willi (in skirt) Sonam, Aman and Diane

We decided to start Sunday evening meetings and six people arrived for the first one.  At the end of six weeks there were about twenty people coming regularly. They were all from the international community including a Tibetan man, Sonam who was married to a German lady, Maria.   An Irish/Australian couple Stan and Gwen Hawthorne were also at our first meeting.  We were happy they were coming and we loved them,  but longed to get into the lives of the local people.  Lovely Lizzy Paul was the only local person who joined us.

Jason Shiels and Shaji Thomas

Jason Shiels and Shaji Thomas

Our friends at Woodstock invited us to their home group and we saw God doing some wonderful things in their lives.  I got on really well with an arty-art teacher, Diane Crawford.  She was a single mum with a gorgeous little girl Ashleigh.  We laughed a lot, especially when she told me about a flea infestation in her flat.  She was so animated and funny.  Then there was Shaji Thomas, who came with a young geography teacher, Jason Shiels.  The girls were convinced that  English teacher Liz Hart, was a real princess.  She told them the most amazing stories.


Maria Bhutia and Pam Sardar (who comes in later in our story)

We started to look for a big house in an area where there weren’t any foreigners.   We felt it would be good to make it difficult for them to come.   It was important for us to know from the beginning who was really wanting to be with us.

While we were praying, God told Tony, “I am taking you to a place where you will put your feet in water.”   We were excited and thought it meant an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  One day when we were praying and looking across the Doon valley,  I imagined lots of little lights towards the lower part of Mussoorie.  We had a feeling God was going to show us exactly where to go.

Things were going well, but for no reason,  out of the blue,  every now and again, a heaviness and discouragement would came on us.  We really had to fight it off.   One reason could have been that we were constantly explaining ourselves.  A lot of time was spent trying to convince people that we weren’t part of a cult.  We couldn’t find any common denominator.  They were trying to figure us out and when they couldn’t, they wrote us off as a cult.  They had no idea what NCMI was and had never heard of Dudley Daniel.  Our vibrant worship, lack of hierarchy in leadership and teaching on new covenant life, was way out there as far as they could see.  There was nothing in common, except they HAD heard about Billy Graham which was helpful.

I wasn’t missing South Africa but I did miss Sue.  One night I sat at our table and wrote a song for her.

Song for Sue

When I close my eyes I see your face

Sometimes lost in time and space

Then so close I don’t dare to breathe

For fear you’ll go away again

Thats when I know that I’m missing you

Do you know how much I’m missing you

You’ll never how much I’m missing you

It’s sometimes too hard to bear

I long to be with you, touch your hair

See your face so clearly

How I wish you were here with me

To see the changes I’m going through


Tony’s album “Off the Edge” was recorded in Joe’s Garage studio in 1992.  It is a compilation of the things we were going through at the time.  Lyrics by Linda Johnson.  Music and vocals by Tony Johnson.  Arrangements and backing vocals by J.B.Arthur.

I am trying to get some of these songs on my blog.  Hopefully soon.


About lindia60

I was born in Durban 62 years ago and lived all my teenage life there. I have travelled extensively, seen many parts of the world and have settled with the fact that India is the best place to be. My husband, Tony and I have lived here for 26 years with our three children and it's just the beginning.. . My dream has come true. It has been a lengthy process but I am now a naturalised Indian Citizen. This is our story from beginning to .....

2 responses »

  1. Lin, the first time we ‘met’ you was when you came to minister at Bryanston in the 90’s. Tony sang this song, and I never forgot it. He also said something ‘outrageous’ for us Bryanstonians, and it was hilarious watching the interpreter for the deaf trying to convey what he was saying. But now that we have been living in Asia or 10 years, we have changed and are a bit crazy ourselves 🙂
    Lots of love. xx

    • I remember that Jenny. The question was “So, do you want to grow up to be a boring old fart and then die?” He made such a fuss about the sign language hey? Hilarious. So glad you two aren’t boring old farts 🙂

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