Friday, 4 November 2011

Eichers moving South and North...

As the earth spins in silence the Eicher family finds itself in two very different places.

I am typing in the darkened home of Amma and Appa - Sheba's parents - in the small village of Tungalam (outside Vishakapatnam).  All is quiet - the fans are whirring - everyone is blissfully asleep (except yours truly at the keyboard of course).  Outside in the distance some local lads are bursting what must be their final crackers of the diwali season.

Sheba - on the other hand is in the upper berth of a train - next to a very voluble family - heading from Delhi to Raxual - a Bihari town of the border of India and Nepal.

What's going on?

pic from
Well - Sheba has an amazing opportunity to hone her skills at running an inpatient care centre - at a very busy place which does down-to-earth, intensive medical care - in the name and spirit of Jesus - the Duncan hospital in Raxual.  Dr. Philip Finney and the team there very kindly offered to take Sheba on for special training and put her through an intensive month of the works - so that she can come back and set up things here at the Jeevan Sahara Kendra Community Care Centre.  The Duncan Hospital is certainly a busy place.  Every day 25-30 deliveries.  There will be plenty of opportunities for Sheba to get right into intensive patient care across the spectrum.  It has been a real step of faith for us to have Sheba take up this challenge - but we feel strongly that now is the time for her to plunge into it.  And - yes - we need nurses - so meeting the nursing students there will not hurt either.

So that means that for a month we are going to miss my amazing wife, our wonderful mother, our tremendous JSK medical director, our tireless pray-er, our friend, our companion ... the list goes on.

John and Priya step into life together after
exchanging vows at Rathord Memorial Church
And where are we now?  Asha and Enoch have a 3 week holiday which started 10 days ago.  We as a full family were able to experience a day of the Jubilee Convocation of the Hebron Fellowship in Mumbai.  We then attended the wedding of John and Priya Jebaseelan in Parel and then left straight from the marriage to go up to Khandala for our Church Family Bible Camp. 

But there are still another 11 days to deal with.  And so we decided that I will take the kids down to Vishakapatnam to be with Sheba's parents - and then come back to Thane with Amma and Appa in tow!

So on the 3rd of November our family took 2 very different trains.  At noon Asha, Enoch and I got into the Vishakapatnam Superfast and whooshed down South - while later in the evening (after have seen 7 very complicated HIV patients that morning) Sheba got into the Rajdhani Express and was whisked off north to New Delhi. 

It was quite odd not being together on a journey - but we managed through prayer - and through the comforts of text-messages and phone calls.  With Sheba speeding north and us moving south.  With us reading a book out loud and not having Sheba with us.  With good nights in the train without Sheba's watchful eye during the night.  With arriving at Amma and Appa's home without their daughter...

But then again we are so grateful for the love and bonds that have moved us forward.  As we look back over the (almost) 12 years of marriage that Sheba and I have experienced - this time will become the very longest (by far) time that we have been away from each other.

Sheba is already on her second train trip - a 26 hour travel between Delhi and Raxaul.  We are enjoying the luxury of being pampered by Amma and Appa here. She is due to arrive in Raxual tomorrow evening.  Our travels tomorrow could hardly be more different.  After a breakfast of idlis and coconut chutney, we are planning to hire a taxi for a day out which will probably include a visit to the zoo, a trip up to the top of the hill where you can see the whole town of Vishakapatnam - and perhaps a stroll down RK beach.

The last few weeks have been ones where time has been smooshed into some kind of a vortex.  The next few days are chalked out for sleep and rest.... and maybe a few blog posts to catch us up on what all went on (before forgetfulness - and the next whoosh of activities move us forward!).

Deep breath.  Thank God.  Move forward.  Thanks for your prayers.


  1. while reading this blog, its virtually visible how much u three are missing sheba akka....
    am very sure tat the DAYS will speed off like a F1 racing car and sheba akka will be back home:)!!


  2. Thanka for the update. Absence and distance do indeed increase the fondness, so I'll pray that all 4 of you enjoy the time apart to the max!


  3. Awww.... hope time flies by just for you!