What do you do when you’re in a car and suddenly four lorries are heading towards you? We were driving from Delhi in India, towards Dehradun in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the distance a very slow, overladen lorry was being overtaken gradually by another lorry on our side of the road. Now we were on a normal highway with one lane in each direction but at the sides of the road there was packed earth. As the two lorries got nearer to us, a third lorry getting impatient with the other two started to overtake on the earth at the other side of the road. Then a fourth lorry appeared, and started to overtake on the hard earth on our side of the road. So we were in a situation where all four lorries were heading towards us, and we had nowhere to go. The driver pulled to the side and somehow, all four lorries passed us!
We were heading for Atak farm in the village of Selakui where Yip and Frieda McRae ran a farm, boy’s home, school and training centre.
Note to self: if you ever go snorkelling again, remember that the sun can still scorch your back even though it is underwater and cool. I had arrived in Indonesia to spend a day or two with our friends Chuck and Angela Shelton. By the time I reached India my back was really red and painful. I was on the overnight train from Madras (Chennai) to Andhra Pradesh with Sagar to visit a work amongst disabled children. Sleeping on the bunk bed on the train was virtually impossible and anyway I needed to keep an eye on my suitcase.
How did I end up in a hotel room with a Swedish missionary lady! I must add, rather quickly, that my wife Christine was also present, and that we slept the night fully clothed. Things started going wrong when we discovered that the plane which was to take us back to Colombo had been hijacked by a bank for their own use. We had no option but to travel back by car. We arrived at Vavuniya late at night and found a Sri Lankan “rest house” with only one room available for the three of us.
We were flying low over the forests and jungles of Sri Lanka to Jaffna. It was a six seater plane – and that included the pilot’s seat. I was in the copilot’s seat and I thought to myself, “I had better watch how he flies the plane, because if he has a heart attack I will have to land it myself”! In the back of the plane was my wife Christine, and Pastor Leslie and Shanthi Matthews. Continue reading “Visiting Jaffna”
The room was dimly lit, the temperature must have been 40°C with humidity around 100%. It was 1988 and I was visiting a church in Colombo in Sri Lanka. The Pastor of the church had got together a group of elders and I was there to talk about ways that we could help their congregation and their community.
How did I get here? I had no real experience of poverty relief and development and thought I was ill-equipped to fulfil the vision I had to see the church really blessing their communities. I was in for a big surprise! Continue reading “My first visit to Sri Lanka”
When Kingscare was formed in 1988, I had a clear vision of how we, as a Christian community, could make a real impact upon the lives of people living in extreme poverty throughout the world. Having a vision, is terribly important to me as a person. Without it, I might as well have continued working in the computer industry, earning good money. Continue reading “My Vision – how it came about”