Tag Archives: Called to India

Post 73. Leave the girls with me.


Life was busy.  Rigby and Sue introduced us to Dudley and Anne Daniel.  Dudley had formed a team called New Covenant Ministries International. They helped pastors and leaders all over South Africa.  Tony was the new kid on the block so he went along and sat quietly listening to everything that was going on.  It was all really helpful for our future and there were many friends made along the way.  Those who knew of our plan to move to India were supportive and it was comforting to know we weren’t alone in the decision

The movement got bigger and bigger and the first few couples left South African shores to start communities in other countries.  We knew our time was coming soon.  It had been almost six years since Tony had arrived in S.A.  He had learnt so much from Rig and other people in his life.  We read lots of books on parenting, marriage and missions.  One story we cried through was the story of William Carey.  We were so challenged by his life and perseverance.  He just never seemed to give up no matter what happened to him or his family.  We wondered if we would be as brave.

Asha was besotted with her baby sister.   Zoë was chunky and strong and able to put up with all the affection.  They were best friends from day one.  Zoë started walking at 9 ½ months.  She insisted on pushing the limits and was prepared to risk her life for anything she felt was worth it.   She was given a little brown monkey with a pointy finger that was supposed to go into its mouth.  Zoë used that finger to touch all kinds of things she wasn’t allowed to touch.  If we asked her if she touched the stereo, she would just say, “Monkey touchdit.”   When she was 2 ½ I told her I was going to smack her for something.  She looked at me and said, “You smack me, I smack you.”  Another time, she ignored me when I was calling her over and over again.  When I went to find her she looked at me and said, “Talkin a me?”  She had a twinkle in her eye and was full of spunk.  The Bum Woody worked over time.

Asha at 2 ½ was a sweet tooth, “admin” type.  During a ladies bible study she was paging through the Bible as if she was reading it.  I asked her what she was reading.  She ran her finger along the line and said, “God said, you must eat sweets.”  Once when we were on holiday down the coast, we visited a church. Nothing had been organised for the kids so they were all at the back on a blanket.  Asha got them all to sit in a circle, opened her little brown suitcase, handed them each a toy and came and sat down next to us on a chair where she could watch them.  They were all way older than she was.

When people heard we were moving to India with our girls, we got different responses.  Most of them were positive, but Wilf and Val were very concerned.  They suggested we leave the girls with them, go do our thing in India and then come back when it was out of our system.  More than concerned, they were sad.  They had already said goodbye to Ryan and Leigh.  Another friend from Brazil, wrote a very angry letter to Tony, telling him how irresponsible he was, taking his little girls to India.   She didn’t mince her words.

It was a bit scary.  Before Tony’s survey trip, we had very little idea about where we were going.  We didn’t know what we would do about schooling.  We knew very little about anything.  What we did know was that our girls were going with us.  God spoke to us about the children of Israel.  He didn’t tell them to leave their kids in Egypt.  He didn’t say, “Leave them in Egypt and when you are well settled and safe in the Promised Land, you can go back and get them.”   If that had been the case, the kids would never have seen their parents again.   Staying behind wasn’t an option.  They had to go with their parents.  They had to see the wonders of God.  They had to see His wrath against sin and they had to wander in the wastelands to see how He could provide food, water and everything else they needed.  They had to be there.

Reading about how William Carey had lost two wives and a couple of children in India wasn’t much comfort to those who were already concerned.   I knew there would be huge adjustments. As mother of two little ones, I knew that I would be stretched beyond anything I had ever known.  I knew I wasn’t going to cope with starving people and dying children if I didn’t have the means to help them.  God knew the many needs would overwhelm me; and I knew He wouldn’t put me among people to be devastated by them.

In all of the questions and wonderings, there were a few things we knew for sure.  We had friends.  We were going to India.  Our girls were coming with us.  So was God.

Post 72. The Call


A lot had changed.  Tony was working at Waverley as a salaried pastor, we sold our VW Golf, got a second hand Renault and we had two children. Our biggest surprise was when two businessmen from the church told us they wanted to build us a house.  One of them was a builder and the other owned a hardware store.  They insisted that they didn’t want us to pay a cent towards it.  It was a gift for us.

We couldn’t believe we were going to have our own home.  The church property at Linbro Park was the perfect place for it.   We watched the foundations being dug and the building going up.   We went to the hardware store and selected light fittings, kitchen cupboards and paint for the walls.   It was amazing.  In the back of our minds we knew it wouldn’t be ours for long but we were determined to enjoy it to the full while we had it.

For our house warming party, our friends brought plants for our little garden.   We had shovels and spades ready and we all got our hands dirty.  We loved showing them around and having people on almost every corner of our wall-to- wall carpet.

Just as we were settling, Tony felt it was time to make a survey trip to India.  Dudley Reed was quick to volunteer to go with him.  They had sent their passports to a travel agent to get visas.  On departure day, we left the house for the airport but the passports still hadn’t arrived.  They were apparently in the belly of a plane, which was landing just before theirs was due to take off.   We were all at the airport ready to say a teary goodbye to the two brave men about to embark on their first trip together.  Departure time came and went and we were left standing in the departure lounge, stunned that they had missed the plane.  The travel agent really got it from all sides.  We went home, had a good sleep and the next day was like déjà vu, except they had their visas in hand.

There was a big trip planned all over India; first to Bombay where they met up with some of the leaders of New Frontiers who were doing some great things.  They became good friends.  From there they travelled to Chennai, Delhi and were making their way to Mussoorie, Bihar, Varanasi, Kathmandu, Delhi and then back to Johannesburg.

On the way to Mussoorie they stopped in a small village called Kotdwara.  Tony went up to the flat roof to worship and pray about our future in India.  He was looking over the village and singing an old Keith Green song,

“I pledge my head to heaven for the Gospel,

And I ask no man on earth to fill my needs.

Like the sparrow up above, I am enveloped in His love,

And I trust Him like those little ones He feeds.

Well I pledge my wife to heaven, for the Gospel,

Though our love each passing day just seems to grow.

As I told her when we wed, I’d surely rather be found dead,

Than to love her more than the one who saved my soul.

Well I pledge my son to heaven for the gospel.

Though he’s kicked and beaten, ridiculed and scorned.

I will teach him to rejoice, and lift a thankful praising voice,

And to be like Him who bore the nails and crown of thorns

I’m your child, and I want to be in your family forever

I’m your child, and I’m going to follow you,

Oh no matter whatever the cost, I’m gonna count all things lost

I’ve had the chance to gain the world, and to live just like a king,

But without your love, it doesn’t mean a thing.

Well I pledge my son, I pledge my wife, I pledge my head to heaven for the gospel.”

As he was singing, God spoke into his heart; “I want you to give me your children; whether they live or die.” Then, “I want your wife, whether she lives or dies.”  Then, “Now I want you, whether you live or die.”  Dudley went up onto the roof to find out where he was.  He found him on the floor in a fetal position, weeping in agony.

While I had agreed to going to India and was really happy to go anywhere, I still hadn’t felt my own personal call.  I was very aware that India wasn’t just “anywhere”.  While Tony was away God did just that.  I put the girls to bed and sat listening to “Let me be a shining light to the nations.”  When the line “Let me be a healing balm to the nations” played, I started crying.  My heart filled with an overwhelming desire to bring healing to India and her people.

A week later some insurance salesmen came around trying to make us scared for our future.  “What if something happens to your husband?  You could end up in a tiny flat in Johannesburg with nothing.”  My reply was, “If something happens to Tony, I will be living in India.  If I have nothing, that’s also ok.”  I meant it with all of my heart.