Tag Archives: moving house

Post 154. Spacious place


When we arrived in India, we had four bags.  They all fitted into each other.  Our clothes were in the two bigger ones. Accessories, shoes and books were in the medium sized one and the girl’s special toys and books were in the smallest.  When we drove from Goa to Mussoorie, we had a jeep-full.   When we moved from Barlowganj to Dhobi Ghat we had a community of twelve, two big truckloads and a few trips in the jeep.  We had grown in more ways than one. 

We moved on the 2 Dec 1997.  It was cold but sunny.  The truck arrived early for it’s first load.  We could see it was going to be a challenge to get up it up the steep hill once it was full, so it parked twenty metres away up on the flat. 

When we had emptied the house, the kids and I went with the first jeep load.  We walked around our new place, deciding where everything should go.  It was so exciting.


Our house and uncle’s farmhouse- way in the distance on the ridge. (Pic not mine)

The road into Dhobi Ghat was too narrow for the trucks.  Everything had to be unloaded onto the Woodstock School field and the jeeps took it all from there.  They drove down along the steep, narrow roads, through the washer man’s village and stopped where the road ended.  From there, everything was carried along the narrow five to eight minute path to our house.  We were amazed at how strong the guys were.  Small built Jyoti, carried the generator all by himself.  Fridges, cupboards and furniture were no problem for the Nepalis.

Our place was on the first floor.  It had two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen (with cupboards!) and a lovely lounge and dining room.  The windows were big and when we stood on the balcony, all we could see was forest and jungle.  We were in our elements. 


I draped autumn coloured fabric over the curtain rods.  All our furniture fitted perfectly and it looked so pretty. Our favourite spot was the balcony where we hung our much loved and well-used hammock.

ImageThe trainees were downstairs.  There were five bedrooms, a kitchen, dining/living room and a beautiful courtyard. The trainees had three rooms and we turned the other two into a teacher’s room and a study for Tony.  We used a small storage room above the stairwell for the girl’s classroom.   There was another storage area under the stairwell; which we turned into an office.  It was there that Guy Emery taught us about computers.  We thought we were the bee’s knees. 


The bird life was amazing.  Our favourite birds were the Red-billed blue magpies also called Himalayan Pigeons.  Another little bird, which I nicknamed “Wagtail”, sang the longest and loudest songs in the morning. 

We couldn’t believe all the space we had.  Tony loved having a study and could walk out of the gate and into the forest to be with God whenever he wanted to.  Jordan would take his bow and arrow and walk with him, looking for leopards.  It was as if we had landed in Paradise and we wanted to live there forever. 

The kids woke up early the day after our move.  They wanted to make sure they hadn’t dreamt the house up.  We could hear them shouting on the balcony and went out to see what all the noise was about.  Everything was white.  It was snowing.

Post 153. Moving again


It was time to move from our house in Barlowganj.  Our landlord wanted to increase the rent and we needed a bigger place. We were sad about leaving it, especially the girls.

So much had happened there.  It was where the community started.  It was off the beaten track and we were surprised that so many people had come to visit us. 

We had really wanted to be in the centre of God’s will.  When we left South Africa all we knew was that we would be in North India.  When got to India, we felt we would be near the source of the Ganga.  Dehra Dun seemed to be the obvious town.  On a survey trip, Tony, Rigby, Phil and DJ all knew we were meant to be in Mussoorie.

When we got to Mussoorie, we stayed in a little cottage at the top of the hill.  We spent lots of time praying about which part of the town to stay in.  It was very important for us to know exactly where we should set up our home.  One day, while praying, God spoke to Tony, “I am going to take you to a place where you will put your feet in water.”  His first response was, “Yay, outpouring of the Holy Spirit!”  When we saw the house “Ebenezer” we had a good feeling about it.  Within the first week of moving in, the house was flooded.  Tony was upset until God reminded him, “See, I told you I would take you to a place where you will put your feet in water.”  We had no doubt that was the perfect house for us.

It was a full, happy house.  Every room had seen much laughter and many tears.  Jordan and Rebecca had been born there.  The girls had started home schooling there.  Sarita and Jugdish had Angie and baby Joshua there.  Two years of training had run their course and many experienced the deep love of God in that house. 

We heard about a place in the forest near the Woodstock dormitories.  The only way to get there was through Dhobi Ghat.  It was a pretty little washer man’s village.  There were just a few houses and I was amazed to hear that most of Mussoorie’s laundry was washed by so few people.  There were hotel sheets and towels hanging on lines and covering every bush available.  Woodstocker’s branded clothing hung next to salwars and pajamas.  The dhobis looked a bit suspicious when we drove past them.

We parked our jeep next to the house at the end of the village and started walking.  There was no road access, just a narrow dirt path along the hill.  Five minutes later we passed a little farmhouse and were barked at by “Johnny” the big grey dog.  Fortunately he was tied up.

The house was up the hill,  to the left.  It was in the middle of nowhere, perched on a ledge, overlooking thick forest as far as the eye could see.  There was a balcony around three sides and the view was spectacular.   The house was locked, but we fell in love instantly. It was so perfect that we laughed when we thought about living there.  That was a sure sign it was going to be ours. 

Post 87. A sign



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.


The road down to our house.

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.


Jason and the girls mopping up

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.