Back in 1985 while earnestly praying and fasting for the next step in our life, Bill and I individually received the same word from God. That word was India. Eagerly we sell all our possessions and make our way to attend a missionary conference in Katoomba, NSW and attend interviews for admission to Bible College. In the interview Bill is asked which church we plan to attend. He tells the interviewer that we are between churches as we have not yet decided exactly where we will be worshiping. The interviewer looks at Bill and says, “So you are in limbo?” Now, to Bill, raised a Catholic, this sounds like somewhere near purgatory so he insists we pack up our bags and return home. Meanwhile I have just finished having lunch and sharing our story with the wife of the conference’s guest speaker. She happens to be Reinhard Bonnke’s sister. She places two $50 notes in my hand and says, ”This is to continue your journey of faith.” Bill can not be persuaded to keep going forward so we turn back and go home to our church. After several years of faithful service we once again sell everything and this time go to Missionary College in Tasmania. For countless reasons we fail there too (eviction, miscarriage, zero finances, college policy etc) and come home. Our marriage runs into crisis several times over the preceding two decades but what keeps me going is the promise of India. I turn 50 and the devil scolds me, “So much for your call to India!” I tell him to shut up and remind him that God is not like Man who lies, He is sovereign and I know we heard Him loud and clear calling us to to India.
Now over the years, Bill and I have come on short mission trips to India but when it came time to get on that plane home I would think to myself, “Ginnie, one day you will get to stay.”
The years rolled by, our children marry and we become grandparents. I begin to understand how Abraham’s wife Sarah must have felt about having a baby in her old age! God made what seemed to be a ridiculous promise to her and Abraham.
Along the way, Bill works in various countries: Indonesia, Qatar, U.A.E and Saudi Arabia. Indonesia was a good start as it means, “islands of India” and in Arabia it seemed that I was surrounded by a vast number of Indians so I felt we were heading in the right direction.
Last year a colleague rang Bill asking if he would consider returning to Abu Dhabi to work and we both thought, why not? Two months later we receive word that the project in Abu Dhabi has stalled. Meekly, the colleague then asks, “Would you consider going to India?”
On the 7th November 2012, we presented our passports at the Foreigners Registration Office where we received resident status in India. This allows us to stay for 12 months. Our visa is currently being prepared for the next 12 month stint.
For the past 10 months, as Bill drives, I look out the car window and remark, “We’re in India!” A remarkable healing is taking place here between Bill and I. We have received a fresh Word (Isaiah 43:18) to forget the past. Now we look ahead.
No matter what tomorrow holds, together we have been obedient to the vision.
We are here.
All our tomorrows are now a bonus.
Keep waiting for your vision to come to pass.
Apologies to Harry Nielsson and New York City but I love it when the Lord goes before me and sets up nice surprises.
We have been in India a week now and I cover that in my article below. Today though is my first chance to go to church and corporately worship my hero, Jesus.
The church meets in the basement of a local hotel with about 25 present: apart from some locals there were people from Kenya, Phillipines, USA and the guest speaker was an Australian. Sitting directly in front of me was this sweet little girl wearing a skirt that Chloe and Millie have often worn.The worship was so sweet with some of my favourite songs playing and my tears of gratitude came easily.
After the service, while introducing ourselves I met the little girl wearing the familiar skirt.
Hello, she said, I’m from Australia, my name is Chloe and I am 6.
I let out a big smile and told her about my grandchildren back home.She gave me a big hug and told me how excited she had been to see her grandparents last month. Apparently Chloe has been in India for four months, her Dad was today’s guest speaker and tonight they fly back home.
The week before I left Australia, Bill said to me how he didn’t know too many women who would just get up and leave their grandchildren, their house and garden to make a new life in India.
Jesus has prepared me for this over many many years and in recent weeks through my morning devotions, He has clearly told me to not let sentimentality get in the way of what He has for me.
This blog is all about preparing for eternity and today’s message in church was about how eternity is the main event not this short life we now pass through.
This life prepares us for eternity and we have to overcome great obstacles in the natural. We have to place all our trust in God.
We have to follow Jesus and say,as He said, ‘Not my will but Your will be done.’ It helps to remember that we have been born again and our old selves have died and now we live in Christ. Dead people have no rights. Remind yourself often, ‘My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Gal 2:20)
Following Jesus is not easy but it is an exceptional life experience.
I dedicate this post to my dear husband William on the eve of our trip to Gurgaon where we plan to start our new life in India.
It seems we have hooly-ghoulies that try to distract us from enjoying our time in India.
Apart from the dengue now current in Gurgaon, here is a list of what happened on some of our other trips there:-
1994 Black Plague Epidemic in Gujurat caused our Inaugural Missions Trip to be cancelled. While the rest of the team stayed home we got on the plane anyway
2001 9/11 As terror struck America, India and Pakistan pointed missiles at each other and our flight home was grounded
2008 Our beach holiday in Goa was over run by military personnel and reconnaissance planes while the terrorists attacked Mumbai next door
It is my habit to get up early (sometimes even before the birds) to sit still and wait for God to speak with me.
For several long weeks I have been waiting to find out whether Bill is going to get a job in India and whether we will finally get to live there. Bill and I have had a call to India since 1985 and we have tried all sorts of ways of getting to live there. First it was through our own Mission Board who offered us no encouragement, then to a Missionary College who said we weren’t suitable candidates, another organisation questioned how we would meet the needs of our five children, while another was only interested in missions to Papua New Guinea. Throw in three miscarriages and a decade of marital crises and you begin to sense the sorrow and failure we felt. Salt was added to our wounds as we saw our peers seamlessly go to their particular mission field. Have I also mentioned that while I was focused on trying to keep my marriage together our children decided to backslide?
Did God forget Bill and Ginnie Tucker? Was India all in our imagination or are we just a couple of try- hards who don’t know when to quit? OK, so we had some bad times and Bill got to the point where he remarked, “Do you know what India stands for?”
I – I’ll
N – Never
D – Do
I – It
A – Again!
He was adamant and that was at the end of 2008. For three years India was a dirty word around here and I felt nothing short of God forsaken.
By the beginning of 2011 God started tugging at my heart and I see how easy it could have been for me to say, “Back off God, following You only brings suffering – go find another sucker – You ain’t getting another piece of me!” I actually thought that but I can’t stay angry with God. My catch cry through 28 years of following Him has been, like Job, ”though He slay me yet I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) Come on dear friends, once you have met the creator of the universe there is nowhere left to hide and after all a dead man has no rights (Gal 2:20) and let’s throw in Isaiah 45:9 about the clay quarreling with the potter about what he is fashioning. God does not lie (Num 23:19) but sometimes His promises can take a long time to come to pass. Joseph had a glorious dream that was not fulfilled until he had spent 17 years in prison. Abraham was promised a son who was born 13 years later and Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness tending sheep before parting the Red Sea.
God is not governed by our puny time frame so wait and wait and never ever let go of any one of His promises!
Have you had to wait a long time for a dream to be fulfilled?