In June 1992 we found a two bedroomed house way down the mountain in an area called Barlowganj. It was called “Ebenezer”. There was an empty area underneath. The landlord told us he would make into another flat. It was built into the mountain and had a flat rooftop. Everything about it seemed perfect
We moved in just before the monsoon. Dehra Dun was the closest place to get furniture and household goods. It was an hour down the hill. Tony spent the first week driving up and down the mountain to order and pick up all the things we needed. He would go down to place an order and told he should come back in two days. There was no way to contact us so he had to drive all the way down only to be told that it wasn’t ready. It happened so many times and it was stretching and frustrating.
At the same time, it was exciting. It was a simple but new construction and we were the first tenants. We loved it from day one. It was right on the road, on a steep hill. There wasn’t much traffic but lots of drunken men who loved to sing at the top of their voices in the middle of the night on their way down the hill.
We had been sleeping on mattresses on the floor, waiting for our beds to be delivered. On the day Tony was going to pick them up, he woke up and looked into the eyes of a scorpion. It was on the floor right next to him. We were told it was a sign that the monsoon was on its way. We were also told that they were pretty harmless and no one had died from a scorpion sting. Still, it wasn’t the best sight first thing in the morning.
Tony arrived home from Dehra Dun with the jeep fully loaded. Most of our furniture was in and the house was looking lovely so we took a drive up to the bazaar to get something to eat. While we were there the sky turned a charcoal grey. A huge wind came up and down came the rain. We found shelter in a little shop but realised that we could be there all night. We got home happy and soaking wet. The laughter didn’t last long. Our stairwell was like a river. We walked onto our balcony and were ankle deep in water. Our entire house was flooded. The builder had forgotten to put drain-pipes on the balcony, so it filled up like a swimming pool.
My first thought was, thank goodness our mattresses were on up on the beds. After the initial shock, we got stuck in and started getting the water soaked up with towels and buckets. The girls stripped down to their panties and were skidding around on their bottoms and tummies and having a whale of a time.
I was out on the balcony squeezing out a towel and heard someone shout in an Aussie accent, “Hi, are you Linda Johnson?” I looked up the road and there was a really big built guy looking visibly shaken. He came up and told us about all the hellish things that had happened to him while travelling in India. HIs passport had been stolen and he had been ripped off left right and centre. He had tears in his eyes. He was in a bad place. Someone had told him about us and by some miracle he managed to find our house. We invited him to stay until he recovered from his culture shock. We gave him a bucket and towel and he got to work.
Tony was frustrated and upset. His first thought was, “God, this is NOT funny”. Then God clearly said, “I told you I would take you to a place where you would put your feet in water.” That changed everything. Suddenly, we knew that we were in the exact place where God wanted us to be; the town, the neighbourhood and the house. It was amazing. The flood was a sign and a wonder. We were thrilled that God was watching. He knew we were desperate to be in His perfect will. In that second, we had no doubt.