The owner of the Naaz Bar decided he wanted to make more money. We arrived one Sunday to find he had built some rooms in the hall we were meeting in. The walls were made of plywood and didn’t go all the way to the ceiling. We could hear everything that went on in the rooms, including the clearing of nostrils and throats. In the middle of our meetings, someone would shout out for “chai!” or “garam pani!” The hall was way too small with the additional rooms. One Sunday, when it got really bad, Tony announced, “I’m not sure where we will be next week, but we aren’t coming back here.”
During that week, we met Ajay Mark (Head of P.E at Woodstock School) who introduced Tony to the Mayor of the Town Hall. He gave us permission to use it on Sunday mornings. It was old, dusty and HUGE! We got in there, painted it and made it look nice with banners and flags. Our first meeting was a real celebration. We had so much room to dance around and we loved that the overhead projector didn’t bounce up and down when little Bhimla did her bouncy bunny dance. There was just one restriction, which we kept forgetting about. When we danced in the back right corner, debris would fall into the room of the lady who lived below. She would come up during the worship, quite irate, with her head covered in dust and tell us AGAIN not to dance on her roof.
A few Sundays before we moved, James Barton (Doctor of Science) and Chandra (a “coolie labourer” with one year of education) were ordained into eldership. It was amazing. It was a beautiful picture of God’s call being on level ground. Education and background had nothing to do with it. Both were qualified in character and call and we were thrilled. It was the beginning of a wonderful eldership team.
” Community of Nations” was growing in number and in passion and it was looking like its name. We had no idea where the people were coming from. It wasn’t just unusual to have so many nationalities together. It was more unusual to see people from different castes of India, loving each other with no barriers or bars. The rich and privileged served those who were untouchables and those from much less privileged backgrounds served with no sense of obligation. It was amazing for us to watch.
Something we learnt very early in our journey together was this : The only difference between the rich and the poor, is money.