Monday, 17 November 2014

50 years ago yesterday...

Yesterday 50 years ago a young German woman crossed the Pakistan-India border in a truck.  She was not alone.  Along with her were a small group of idealistic young people who had completed the 7197 km route from Zaventem in Belgium to the Wagah border. 

Christa Fischer came to India with the idea of spending 2 years in Bible school and using her holidays to go door-to-door with young Christian women from India to share her faith.

50 years later she is still very much in India.

One of her fellow travellers on that epic trip - made with trucks which had been purchased from scrap yards in Europe, and refurbished for the trip out East that these enthusiastic volunteers made - was a young man called Raymond Eicher.

He was an Indian citizen and at the Iran / Pakistan border the Pakistani authorities refused to issue him a transit visa.  And so the band had to leave him behind with US$ 10 in his pocket and plenty of time to pray.

Ray stayed at a local Gurudwara and prayed.  Two weeks later a local Indian business man had given him money for a flight ticket to Karachi and from there he was put on a ship to Bombay where he arrived just as the two trucks (including Christa Fischer) trundled into the city.   They picked Ray up and headed for Pune and then points South.

Three years later Mum and Dad got married!  It's a long, wonderful tale.  But just to say that yesterday we remembered Mum and Dad in church - thanking God for their life together and their lives of service to so many others over this century of shared service in our country.

On Saturday they had an open house up in Mussoorie - one where several of their friends came to share stories and laughter and tears of thanksgiving for the years that have gone by.

We wish we could have been with them.  And from far-away Thane we salute our wonderful parents and their lives of consistent and on-going love to others.

We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses...

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