We left Jivannadi Mission yesterday. Sniff. I think this is the first place that has tempted me to leave Cape Town as a base of operations. Let me tell you what won my heart: the people! They are a loveable bunch, I suppose because they are so loving. They welcomed us, gave us a nice place to stay (our house on stilts). I collected a few testimonies there.
One Indian lady who interviewed me for the radio station is such a honey. After the interview, we just sat on the lawn and talked and enjoyed each other. Yogie was from a Hindu family who turned to Christ when her dad died. She said the Christians reached out to her and her mom when the Hindus were leaving them alone. Her mother and brother began going to church, and she turned on the radio to hear a preacher from India. Her mom and brother were a little confused by different things they had heard at church, so as the three of them talked, she told what she had learned from her radio preacher. They all started listening to him, and were saved and baptized later.
Their family lived on a huge farm, but that ended abruptly shortly after her father died. Five men sneaked up on the roof of their home. They waited until my interviewer left for work, and then entered the house through the roof. Her Dad had made a bathroom in their bedroom and covered the entrance with a mirror so that no one who didn't know, would know it was there. Her mom hid, praying hard, hid in that bathroom. She prayed they wouldn't find her, and she prayed her cell phone wouldn't ring. (It was new and she didn't know how to shut it off.) She could hear them in her bedroom, saying in Zulu, "Where is she?" as they opened every cupboard and searched.
The Lord kept her safe, but they moved out of that home immediately. Yogie is a radio announcer for Good News Christian Radio now, and a good one because she acts very interested in her subject and gets them talking, and she's very professional.
Michelle works at the radio station, does announcing and organizing, and interviewing. She also took good care of us and made sure we had all the stuff we needed. She shared how the Lord had brought her out of drugs when she was about at the end of her rope. The Lord delivered her from smoking and the drugs, and we got into a good sharing time about others, like my uncle, who were delivered immediately from smoking.
She also delivered me to a speaking engagement at Umhalanga Pre-primary School. That was a rare event for me. I spoke to the moms of the preschoolers, and really enjoyed that opportunity. My new friend was an encouragement in my case of nerves. That sounds like a skimpy testimony, but her life was a rich one. Watching a woman of action gets my blood pumping to do more for our Lord.
On Friday evening two ladies had us over for a Malaysian meal. It was in the home of Althea, an Indian woman who has been at Jivannadi for 30 years. She gave us a very animated account of her testimony. She came to Christ after hearing the gospel on Trans World Radio. She listened for three days, and prayed, knowing her Hindu family would not approve. She kept it a secret for a time, but when the truth came out, she was kicked out of her home, straight into the rain!
Imagine how that would feel, as most everyone she knew was a Hindu, so where would a new Christian go? She knew one Christian "auntie" and went to her, to stay there until things had cooled down and she was eventually welcomed into her own home again.
I think it was before this that she had been pressured into marrying a man of her parents' choosing. He was a wicked man, and they eventually separated. As they were separated, she continued to study her Bible and learned that God hates divorce! So she decided she would try to reconcile with her husband. He seemed agreeable, but he had one condition, she must become a Hindu again. She could not deny the Lord. I'm not sure how long it was after this that her husband took his own miserable life.
She later came to Jivannadi Mission and now has a rich ministry. She has a daily, hour long program for ladies, is a counselor, and helps in other ways.
The Malaysian lady is also a missionary. Aunty Betty was raised by a Buddhist mom and a nominally Christian dad. She only got saved when she was a little older. She went to school in Australia and then was a missionary to Sri Lanka. She told a heart wrenching story. She told of how she was asked to teach a Bible study in Sri Lanka. The ladies didn't bring Bibles or anything, so she wondered how many of them were really Christians. So she began by asking, "Do any of you know Princess Diana?" Many hands lifted.
Next she asked, "Would one of you come forward and tell me how you met her. I'd love to hear what she's like." They admitted they didn't really know the Princess, they just knew about her.
"Do any of you know Jesus?" was her next question. She didn't even have to explain. Some of the ladies began to cry as they realized they knew about Jesus but didn't know him. Many were saved that day.
The vicar of the church sought out the Malaysian. Do you think he wanted to congratulate her? No, he told her he didn't want that "born again" stuff in his church. She was not welcome back. "Woe to you... [who] shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in" ( Matt. 23:13).
My last lady is Dr. Ida Scudder. I'm reading a book called Dr. Ida, by Dorothy Clarke Wilson. I'm loving it! She was a missionary doctor to India. In fact, her grandparents and many of her relatives were missionaries. At the time she was alive, they had served a total of over 1000 years as missionaries on different fields.
I loved how her parents got engaged. In church in Massachusetts, her future dad, John, slipped her future mom, Sophia, a note, that had 2 John 5, "Now I beseech thee lady...that we love one another."
Without hesitation, Sophia sent back a note with Ruth 1:16-17, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go...."
Isn't that sweet? I love it. Makes me want to go back and re-do our engagement. Forget the cemetery, the car in front of my parents' house, the kiss...um, maybe not. I'll keep my own story, but I do love hers too.
Throughout her book, Wilson gives mini testimonies that just whet the appetite for more of the story, and I wish there were dozens of books about these heroes of the faith in India. I have read a few, such as Ten Fingers for God about Paul Brand, and Granny Brand about Paul's mother. I have one about Paul's wife Margaret too.
Dr. Ida was a champion of women's medicine in India. She had an unusual call to India. She had spent her teen years in the USA and chose that as her place to live. But she had to go visit in India again as her mom was very sick. While she was visiting, three men came in separately, but all in the same night, trying to find a woman doctor to treat their wives. None would have a male see her. All three women died, and Ida Scudder's eyes were finally opened to the need there. She got qualified as a doctor, built hospitals, and trained others to serve their own country. She sounds tireless! She took in orphans, did roadside doctoring, and built a vacation home where she could invite others. That's as far as I've read, but I'm enjoying it.
I hope I continue to hear and collect testimonies. The way God changes us is one sign of His power! I just realized that all 5 of these above are single women. They have a freedom to do all kinds of things that us married women cannot, and I'm impressed with them. I love it when single women use their single years to do big things for the Lord, instead of waiting for "Mr. Right" before they get busy.