Tuesday, 2 April 2019


Today I complete a half-century.  In two days Sheba joins me at this milestone.

Add that together and we have a full 100 years between us.

Wow.  Amazing.  Grace.

50 is a good year.

In the Bible, we see that the people of Israel were told to observe the 7th day as a day of rest. And their land was to be left fallow on the 7th year - as a year of rest. And after 7 such years of rest had passed - the next year - the 50th was called the "Year of Jubilee." A year where all debts were cleared. When bond-servants were freed. When land that had been mortgaged was returned back to its original owners. A big reset button was pressed

50 is a good time to press that big button,

Sheba and I are also 20 years into our journey together.  And what a road we have already travelled since we started off together as a pair of 30 year-olds, a fortnight before the Millenium.

We began our becoming-one-life at a mission hospital in Jharkhand.  A year and a half later - with our baby Asha in tow - Sheba and I took a big step of faith.  We were convinced that God was telling us through His word to go to Mumbai and work with people living (and mainly at that time dying) with HIV.  Our initial 2 year term ended up being 14 years in Mumbai-Thane-land all told.  

Our Thane years were bookended by Enoch being born just after we shifted (Sheba saw HIV patints till the day before Enoch entered the world) and with our foster son Yohan spending the last 1.5 years with us there.  Rich years. Ones where we were deeply challenged by living and working with people with HIV, and seeing the miracles of lives being restored.  We were also deeply blessed to be grow as part of a group of house-churches.

And then in 2015 we had another call, to up-and-go back to the North, and to seek to be the fragrance of Christ in new areas.  This led us to rejoin EHA and pitch our tent in the very centre of India - and be part of the HBM Hospital and its attempts to live out Jesus' love in the amazing part of Bundelkhand that Lalitpur district is.

These last 3 years have rushed by in a whoosh!

Asha has just finished high-school and stands at edge of college.  She got admission at Taylor University in the US for fall 2019.  Will it be possible for her to attend there?  With God all things are possible, so we have a good opportunity to trust.  Or should she study here in Bharat?  Lots of questions.

Enoch has finished his class 10.  He and Asha are in Thailand for a month - hoping to help at the River Kwai Christian Hospital near the Myanmar border.  My amazing college mate Dr. Jen Tan and his lovely wife Liz and daughters have opened their home to our 2.  We are grateful for the lovely young man Enoch is becoming.

Yohan is being cared for at BTC in Badlapur, outside Mumbai.  We don't understand fully why the authorities did not allow him to come with us, but we have to accept many grey areas in life as we move forward on our pilgrimage.  Yohan's future is not clear to any of us, but we know that Jesus has Yohan in His hand.

Our time here at HBM Hospital as been one of great joys and wonderful experiences - as well as some of the deep challenges that are part of the rocky road we are called to walk along.

We are currently in the last two months of our time here at HBM Hospital and are actively listening to the Lord for guidance about our next steps.  We want to move forward with *Joy*.  We want to live out our lives to the fullest.  Each day is precious and having completed 50 sun-spins, we realise this more and more.

It's been said before, and we will say it again.  We don't know the future, but we know Who holds the future.

As Sheba and I step into this Jubilee year, we are on a journey of a lot of changes.

Looking back, we can only say "thank you Lord" for all the amazing things that He has done for us - and through us to some extent.   I was thinking last night about our many colleagues and friends who we have had the joy of serving with over these years - and who are doing some amazing things in very hard places.

At the same time I also have to say "I am sorry" as I look back.

Sorry for the many opportunities lost.  Sorry for my hard and proud heart.  Sorry for my laziness and self-centered way of drifting through large portions of these past years (yes I seem 'busy' but much of that is sham).  Sorry for people whom I have hurt by my actions - whether intentional or not being immaterial.

Sheba and I had a prayer retreat in Mussoorie at end of March and were deeply blessed by praying through "The Calvary Road" by Roy Hession (we read a 'simple English version' of it).  How vital it is for me to bring my cup to be filled to the Lord, every single day.  Revival is not a luxury.  It is and should be the normal way of life for the follower of Jesus.

So on my 50th B-day, in this Jubilee year, it is re-set time for me.  For us.

Time to step back and get the basics in place.  To enjoy the Lord.  To love deeply and from the heart.  To allow a fearless moral inventory and plead with the Holy Spirit to scrape out anything that is displeasing to Him.  To trust more and worry less.  To keep short accounts and ask forgiveness over and over again.

Today is a great day.  A day to be so very thankful.  Sheba and I are just so grateful for all who have invested in us so far - and all who are walking with us on this journey.  Especially in this year of Jubilee.

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to Him.   (Ps. 128.1)

Jesus said that if we love Him we will obey his commands.  Walking in obedience is not doing so out of fear that something terrible will happen if we don't, but rather a love-walk with our beautiful Lord.  Thank you for coming along with us on this journey.  5 decades are over.  How many more we don't know (Oma is 31 years ahead of us).  And then we will be translated and live in the heart-stopping glorious reality of forever!

What hope, what joy is ours!