Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Living legends - David and Linda Householder

A few weeks ago we got an email from the depths of my childhood.
Dr. David Householder - Uncle David to me - was coming through Thane. Did we know of a place to stay?

The choice was clear but there was the delicate question - was Uncle David alone? Was Auntie Linda with him? Where there others?

An email went back to ask the question. The response was classic.
Along with Aunt Linda, we have Justin, Timothy, Sunny, and the King of the Socks [my mind is not able to latch onto the name!]. The last 4 being puppets.

I had to think back to 1978 when at the OM conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we were enthralled by Uncle David and his Yeti puppet. Further on to places where our lives had intersected - in Delhi, in Mussoorie where he was the chaplain at Woodstock School when I was there.
Amazingly David and Linda Householder continue to move forward. Having worn multiple hats over the years of their association with India and Nepal, they were in town to provide some member care for folks that they are helping support - drawing on their vast experience on the front-lines - as well as their pastoral hearts.

But they sure didn't forget their puppets.

We Eichers were in for a special treat, as we got to see a wonderful array of puppets when Uncle David shared at a special 'children's meeting' at our church (which included many overaged members of that tribe who laughed hysterically at the puppets) and with the staff at the Jeevan Sahara Kendra, among other places.

More than the laughter (plenty of that of course) was the deep messages that were so clearly shared through the medium of puppetry. Getting along with each other... Allowing God to move us instead of going our own way... Trying to soldier on when we know things are falling apart due to hidden sin...
God can use stones to praise Him. We as a family were deeply blessed to have his servants David and Linda stay with us and input into our lives.
Just before they left Uncle David pressed a beautiful gift into our hands - a superb digital camera. The shots that you see here are the first fruits of their generosity to us.

Over the last weekend we were able to visit so many of our dear family and friends! At the drop of a hat (and with much grace from God) the Eichers were able to go over to Nallasopara and meet Sheba's cousin John, his wife Mala and their children Agnesia and Utkash (seen left with Enoch). It was shocking to realise that a good 4 years have gone by since we last saw them!
While in Nallasopara we also met Solomon and Susie - and their kids Grace and Lois. Asha and Enoch just enjoyed playing with these bright little girls. Susie was the youngest of Uncle Selvenayagam's 3 daughters - where Sheba used to worship while she was studying in medical school in Cuttack (Orissa) and whose home became her home during the med school years. It is amazing to see this love and friendship continue over the years - and into the next generation!
Then it was over to Borivali where we had first come when we arrived in Mumbai as a family in late 2001. John and Nalini Gabriel and their daughter Nikita were special friends to us - and we have continued to grow together over the years (and the additions of Enoch to us and Jasper to them). Nikita and Asha are very much 'best friends' and the younger two get on pretty well too!
It was lovely to see the 4 kids love each other so much - and display their own particular personalities. The kids are so bright that sometimes you wonder when it will end? I certainly don't think I was anywhere near where these kids are now! We had the beautiful privilege of a morning Bible reading in which Nikita and Asha took turns to read. It was wonderful to see their minds grow and expand - and our prayer is that they will continue to grow in love for God as well.
After a memorable time at the Hebron fellowship we used to worship with when we lived in Borivali way back then, we went over to our final family for the weekend: Philip and Epsi Ambrose. The second of the 3 sisters in Cuttack from Sheba's Med School days - the whole family welcomed us with great love. We are thrilled to see their kids Hannah and Bobby growing so much in wisdom, stature and favour with God and man.
A splendid time was had by all - and we returned by bus to Thane very happy and refreshed.
Our family is very big!

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