We were struggling. We had written to our many international team friends a few times to ask them to help us with our training. One or two responded but we still needed so much help. It seemed that people had lost interest in what we were doing in India and we felt a bit let down. We wondered if what had happened with Rig and Sue had affected people’s attitudes toward us. We also wondered if people felt we weren’t doing things well or quickly enough. Things felt a bit strange and we had no idea why.
There was so much talk about friendship and support but we weren’t seeing it. We were disappointed and didn’t know what to do. It had been going on for some time and we had tried to overlook it.
Old friends from our Waverley community were solid in our lives. We regularly got letters and calls from the Currins, Jeannots, Gill McClaren, the Fouches, Bromleys and others. Derek and Di Hohls were amazing at getting our news out to our long list of friends. There was no issue with them. Dudley and Margi Reed were always there as were Rig and Sue.
Locally, things were good. We had amazing friends who were supportive and loving. They sent us birthday cards and called us for our anniversaries. They knew and loved our children and our community. There was an interest in our lives and what we were doing. We knew we could call them at any time and they would hear us out. There were many sleepovers and weekends together and there was no lack of love.
Arun and JoyAnn were in Bombay and just a phone call away. Duncan and Vasanti were also our good friends. Vasanti would call me and greet me with, “Greetings, mighty woman of God!” I was always so encouraged by her. We felt locals could identify with us. They knew the culture and the issues we were facing. It was so easy. We didn’t have to spend ages explaining things to them. They just knew and they knew how to encourage us.
That was what we were missing. People who weren’t so concerned about what we were doing but about how we were doing. We needed people who would challenge and be with us when we were walking through difficult times. We never wanted to do our own thing and knew how important it was to be in close relationships with people who could really watch over us. We wondered what would happen if the wheels came off for us. Would anyone come at the drop of a hat? Was it practical to be accountable to people who were so far away?
Financially we were really strapped. There were a few friends who sent us gifts when they were able to. We really appreciated it. The community was growing and people were giving as much as they could but most were living on daily wages. Our friends who were connected with another team were surprised we weren’t being financially supported. We started to question the reality of the relationships if no one was asking how we were doing. Some asked, but weren’t able to do anything about it. Others seemed able to help but for some reason didn’t feel they needed to. We were confused and in a quandary.
We had sleepless nights wondering what we were going to do. It seemed logical that we should have stronger relationships where we were, with people who were living and working with us. We needed input and encouragement regularly. Was it realistic to expect people living in other countries to be interested in what we were doing and how we were doing? They were busy with their own lives There was so much going on all around the world at the time. Everyone seemed stretched beyond capacity. Everyone seemed tired from all the travelling they were doing.
How did India feature? Was it too far away? Too difficult? Too uncomfortable? Were we doing something wrong?
We had no idea, but we knew we had to talk.