FAREWELL TO INDIA
Pictures with Chapter Seven
During the last six months we were in India, my husband was not well. His condition grew worse, but he would drive many miles in that old jeep that was used during World War II, to preach Christ. There were times when I packed his suitcase and mattress for him on trips that I wondered if he would return. God was good and always brought him home.
He thought if we could spend a few days in a cooler place he would feel better, so we boarded the same train (Blue Mountain Express) that the five of us had ridden the first time we went to Coonor, and then the queer little train that we rode on up the mountain, and arrived at Mount Zion to visit Carl and Emma Johnson.
It was a relief to be away from Madras, but the change did not improve my husband's conditions. He became worse, and finally decided we should go back to Madras and get things in order and arrangements made for our return to Canada.
Since reservations on the train had to be made days in advance, we sent Lawrence, Johnson's Tamil interpreter, to Mettuppalayam on the bus to reserve an apartment for us to Madras, but his trip was in vain, and when he returned with that report we knew the only alternative was to make the trip with the jeep. I was concerned how my husband would endure such a trip, and especially after we left the cooler region. We knew the closer we would get to Madras, the hotter it would be. Again the Lord looked after us. For many miles it rained near us, and the wind was cool all the way.
Emma had no washing machine, so I insisted the laundry was to be brought so my old Maytag could do the work. With all the suitcases, laundry and tool box, and the two of us, the back of the jeep was uncomfortably full. Emma and I took turns riding in the back.
While Carl was getting gas (petrol over there), Emma and I were just walking around for exercise, and taking pictures. We noticed a little shop where cookies, candy and bananas were sold. Two women were operating this business. When I first saw them, one was sitting on a little bench while the other was working hard to free her head of those tiny little things that can deal you plenty of misery, called lice. The minute she saw me focus the camera she refused to continue her job. I remember one time I got contaminated with head lice, and between my mother and sister, I was well picked and not only once either. This continued for days. This was the only way they could get rid of lice. Those people usually like to get their picture taken and these ladies wanted theirs taken too, but they refused to allow me to get a picture of this kind. I never took a picture of them at all.
We had hoped to get our noon meal in this town, but there was no café. We did get some tea at a tea stall, and we bought some fruit, so we went on our way and arrived at our house about two thirty a.m. We were thankful for the mercies of God in having given us a good trip. It was amazing how well my husband stood the trip, and he decided we would not leave for Canada for another two weeks. However, within a few days, he changed his mind. He had X-rays taken and Doctor Alexander (he is now a Brother in Christ) advised us to leave soon.
I do not need to tell you, we had a busy time. Trying to prepare for such a trip with my husband being ill, was very trying on me, but I managed to get all the business looked after as he directed. Carl had gone home to Mount Zion, so word was sent to him to come. He and Emma did what packing there was to do, and sealed and addressed the boxes. Their help was appreciated.
On the evening before our departure, a meeting was held at the building where the Church met. The place was packed. Members of the body of Christ from many places representing their home congregations were present, and many speeches were made. We were garlanded five times. It was a meeting I shall never forget.
Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ came to the airport to give us God's blessing on our departure. Again we were the recipients of garlands. The ones Doctor Alexander and his wife, Doctor Mancy, put on us were the most beautiful ones we had ever seen. They were made of white jasmine flowers woven together to make a band at least five inches across. Mine hung below my knees. The tassels were of yellow mums and marigolds. How I wished I could have brought those to Canada.
After farewells were said, and the All aboard signal came, Margo and I couldn't locate daddy. Someone said he had already boarded the plane, so we sauntered on, and just as we got to the stairs I turned to wave to those fine folks, and I spied Sam, our Travel Agent, leading him towards the plane, pushing their way through the crowd.
We love those people and it was not easy to leave them, but we were happy to be on our way home to be with our family. We had nine children anxiously waiting for our arrival, as well as nineteen grand-children whom we were longing to be with again. Most important of all, we wanted to be where Carlos could get proper medical attention, and this I'll mention later.
Our first stop was Bombay where Brother and Sister Carter met us and took us to their home for the evening meal. We had a good visit with them, and at the early hour of one a.m. we were taken to the airport where we bid them adieu and left India. India, the colorful and interesting country where thousands are anxious to learn about Christ.
I have many wonderful memories of my sojourn in India. But as can be said by everyone, regardless of where they live, there are some experiences I would like to erase forever from my memory, while there are many more I shall always cherish. I am thankful God saw fit to send us to India to pioneer His work. Pioneering can be frustrating, especially in a country such as India, but pioneering is interesting and certainly rewarding.
So, to you young women whose husbands are preachers with vision of extending the borders of the Kingdom, let me say this: Regardless of whether you like to move from one place to another, whether you appreciate holding the fort at home when it is not feasible for you to accompany him on his missions, make up your mind to make the best of each situation you are in, and by all means, put your hand in God's hand and He will lead you and be your guide through each trial that you have. I know of no better admonition than the one the great Apostle Paul gave to Titus, Love their husbands, love their children, to be sober minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their husbands (Titus 2:4-5).
We who are older, have a responsibility in teaching the younger women, and I trust that those of you who read this book will be led to a stronger determination than you have ever had, to be a Worthy Woman.
To you young ladies who may marry a man whose greatest ambition in life is to preach the gospel to all the world, resolve to be willing and ready to sacrifice and work with him, that his work may be successful, and you will have no regrets when you have finished your work on earth.
Our next stop was Bierut. From there we went to Rome, but we were not long at either place. We went from there to Frankfurt, Germany and spent six hours there. We were happy to have a visit there with Sister Betty Roemer whom my husband baptized while holding meetings in Saskatchewan, Canada. Betty has spent many years in Germany doing the Lord's work. The world is comparatively small when you travel by jet. About three o'clock that afternoon, we arrived in Boston, Massachusetts where Norman, Evelyn and boys were waiting to greet us.
Sam had sent Norman a telegram to have arrangements made for his daddy to enter the hospital for X-rays and tests, but upon entering the hospital, only a brief examination was made, so he came with us to Manchester, New Hampshire to Norman's, where we rested. Despite the pain he was never free of, he preached at the morning service, and in the afternoon we took him to Boston where he was admitted to the hospital, where X-rays and tests were made. This was his home for five days. He convinced the Doctor he was able to continue his journey to Saskatchewan where surgery would take place, so on July 4, Norman took us to Boston Airport and we flew to Montreal, Quebec.
Stanley had hoped to meet us in Toronto and entertain us in his apartment, but his work necessitated his being in Montreal at that time, so he met us and we visited for a few minutes before we went on to Toronto, Ontario. There were a number of relatives and friends waiting for our arrival and after visiting for a few moments, we journeyed by car with Brother and Sister Louis Pauls to Meaford. We had a good meeting that evening. This seemed like being home. The next day we went back to Toronto where my husband spoke again and the following morning we flew to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, where we had another meeting. The next day we traveled by car to Thessalon, Ontario, where my husband spent most of his boyhood days. Another meeting took place that evening and we came back to Sault Ste Marie. It was good to visit three of my husband's brothers and their fine wives.
The next morning we again boarded a plane that took us to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Brother and Sister Ray Meneer took us to Carman, Manitoba for meeting that evening. This was like going home. When we visit congregations where we have lived and labored, there seems to be a special tie and a feeling that is not easily described. Just wonderful.
Just one more flight and we would be in Regina where so many of our loved ones would be watching for the plane to come in sight, and then land. Who were the nearest the door to welcome us? Carol and Debbie, Marie and Jack and five of their children. The baby, Kevin, was in Regina Hospital but he was released that afternoon. Roy and Helen with their two daughters, Ray and Ruth with their four children. My brother Ludy and his wife had come from Western Montana to be among the number to welcome us home, as well as a host of those whom we have known for years, of like faith. It was a wonderful feeling to be with them, but I could not dismiss the thought that despite the wonderfulness of being home and the good meetings we had had along the way, I knew at times it was all my husband could do to speak, but he managed to tell of the great open door into India, and of the work there.
The next day was one we shall not soon forget. The meeting was held in a large hall in Moose Jaw, and several hundred people were present. There were three services that day. The Sisters servedeveryone with delicious food for both meals. We were tired when the day ended, but we were happy, and our home was with Brother and Sister Lidbury whom we have known for many years.
Although my husband was unable to be free of pain, his eagerness to tell of the work in India compelled him to tour some of the United States, in the interest of that work. He wanted to do this before he underwent surgery.
We had no car. Roy had supplied one for our use in traveling in that district to visit the three families, but we needed one of our own, so we bought a used one and the next day we proceeded on our journey to different States.
Carol and Debra accompanied us, but Margo had decided she would rather stay with Janet, Roy's youngest child, for she had a pony, and this was much more enjoyment than traveling, and she said she had heard the story of the work in India so many times, she knew it by heart. Brother James McQuaig was with us. He went to India soon after this trip and is working for the Lord there.
Our first stop was at Sidney, Montana. We always enjoy visiting those folks. Some were friends of my parents. We never stayed in one place long enough to rest, for after the busy day (three meetings and I had a meeting with the ladies in the afternoon before the regular afternoon session) we left early the next morning for Minneapolis, Minnesota where we would visit that night with John who was attending summer classes there. It seemed queer not to have a meeting that evening since it was so seldom in our travels this was the case.
John had secured a two-bed room for us and he shared his bed with James. Carol and Debbie were soon in bed sound asleep. John had never lost any of his mischievousness through the years, and when he noticed their bed was equipped with a vibrator/ he could not, at least he did not, resist the temptation to put a coin into the machine. Presently the bed began quivering. Carol, in her semi- conscious condition, accused Debbie of continually moving and this was disturbing Carol too much. After asking Debbie to be quiet a number of times and still there was no quietness, she just gave Debbie a slap and said, Will you be still now? There was no stopping that vibrator. Finally Carol woke up and within a few minutes she knew who to accuse. She vowed she would get even with him someday, and I hope she does.
The next morning we went on to Lexington, Kentucky and spent a few days with Rosalyn and the children before we continued our journey that took us into seventeen States. I do not remember how many meetings were conducted, but I do know I was certainly tired when we returned to Saskatchewan. We had to bring Margo back with us, since school would soon open, and she was at Ray's (on the ranch) and there had been a terrific rain the day before, so we really had an interesting night. It poured rain, so Marie and four of her children visited with us in our car (Carol, Debbie and I) while Jack and Carlos went to get Margo. Upon arriving at Ray's they found Stanley was there, waiting to come with us to Moose Jaw and then on to Medicine Hat. What a load, and what mud! We arrived in Moose Jaw about two a.m. Early that day we went to Medicine Hat and we spent some time hunting for a house to buy. It was cheaper to buy than to rent. Payments on the house were less than rent.
Before we left India we had been invited by the Church there to work with them. Although it was made clear that my husband would spend most of his time traveling in the interest of the India work, we were encouraged to come.
On September 1, school opened and Margo was enrolled. Our home was with Sister Arzettia Perry until we could get possession of our new home. Again, I was reminded of what Jesus said, recorded in Mark 10:29-30, that anyone who leaves his home and loved ones for the Gospel's sake, will receive even more than he left, plus, in the end, eternal life.
On September the 14 my husband entered the hospital in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where in due time he would undergo surgery. Perhaps you wonder why he went to Saskatchewan for this ordeal. Well, we had been residents of that Province before going to India, and arrangements for our hospitalization could be made which would cover most of the expenses and certainly we were appreciative of this aid, for our expenses were all we could handle in getting settled again in Canada. Seven days after entering hospital, surgery was done and a large gallstone was removed, which had been the source of so much suffering for my husband.
I went to Moose Jaw and again my home was with the Lidbury's, although for three nights I slept at Brother and Sister Earl Jacobs. One evening, Sister Muriel's parents and Uncle were there, and we spent an enjoyable time reminiscing of Bible School days in the thirties. Earl and Muriel had attended the winter Bible term as well as a number of summer Bible Schools. They told of happenings which I had forgotten as well as some I had never known. Yes, in some ways those were the good old days. I also spent one night with Brother and Sister Maurice Buckingham which I thoroughly enjoyed. The girls and I had spent our last evening with them before we left on the first lap of our journey to India. I enjoyed the violin and piano music they provided that evening. Many times when I became tired and homesick, I wished I could have heard them play again. They looked after the money that was donated to the India work and forwarded it to us. We appreciated this a lot, and I know they meant what they said, We were only glad we could have at least a little part in that work.
I had spent each day, as well as till late in the evening, at the hospital writing letter. One day I wrote twenty two, doing anything I could to make my husband comfortable.
One evening he insisted I should go back to Lidbury's about eight o'clock. I was very weary and I just thought he was feeling sorry for me, so I did my usual phoning and told Brother Lidbury I was coming home early. When we went to the car I said I was tired and was going to bath and go to bed. He never answered me. When we arrived and I entered the room, everywhere I looked there were women. I knew then why my husband had rushed me out. After a few contests, I was presented with a set of pretty melmac dishes, with tumblers to match, and a lovely cannister set. I certainly appreciated their kindness, but I felt humble for I felt I had done nothing to deserve this. It was an evening I shall not forget, and a reminder too, that men can keep a secret!!
The day after my husband was released from hospital, I came back to begin the big task of buying necessary furniture, unpacking the boxes which had been shipped from India and the ones that were stored when we left for India. I managed to buy reasonably good furniture at the second-hand store. A sister had brought her large refrigerator into the house, for which we were indeed grateful.
When my husband arrived, October 11, everything was in order. This was the way I wanted it to be, so there would be no confusion or extra work when he come. God was good, and within a few weeks, he was busy again, preaching and doing whatever he could for the Lord. He conducted a young people's class the Friday evening and at both services Lord's Day. About ten days later hereally got into the work and spent most of the next twelve months traveling in the interest of the India work.
INDIA CLOSES HER DOORS
As the door into India for missionaries seemed to be closing tighter, and realizing the thousands of babes in Christ who needed to be taught more fully how to defend the truth and be capable of building up the work there as well as teaching the first principles of Christ, the urge for his returning there became stronger.
He began preparing to go. He went for a medical check-up, had X-rays and tests, as well as having the necessary vaccinations and needles, which are so important before entering that country, as well as complying with regulations of that Government.
In due time, the Doctor called us to his office to tell what the X-rays revealed. He just pleaded with my husband to remain in Canada. He could see that his efforts were in vain and said, I know you want to go to India, regardless of what I say, but I felt I should tell you, since I have a conscience too.
So, a new passport was ordered and was issued. The final preparations were completed and on February 27, 1968, Margo and I went to Regina with our Daddy where a crowd had assembled for the meeting there, and among the number were our three married children and their families (who live in that Province), also Carol and Debbie who had come from Western Christian College to hear their daddy's last sermon before he left for India.
We had left our car at Swift Current that evening and went from there with Brother Allen Jacobs, so after the service and everyone had enjoyed a light lunch, our adieus were said and Margo and I went back to Swift Current where we spent the rest of the night. We came home that morning and I shall never forget the feeling that swept over me as I drove into the car-port. I knew much responsibility rested upon my shoulders. The thought of being so far separated was not a pleasant one, yet I knew he was going where he felt he could accomplish more for the Lord than he could here.
I could not feel sorry for myself. Hadn't there been thousands of American men compelled to leave their wives, children and other loved ones, to go to Viet Nam to kill people? My husband was going on a mission to bring life to thousands who had never heard of Jesus Christ. He who abolished death and brought life and immorality to light through the gospel.
The Church was bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and it is through the Church that the manifold wisdom of God is to be made known. The commission Jesus gave his Apostles was, Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the Nations.
That is why my husband is in India now. We are interested in soul saving. Despite the sacrifices we made and are now making, I am glad that we have been able to have a part in the work in that heathen land. Had we not gone to India, I could never have fed so many hungry cripples, nor would I have as many brothers and sisters in Christ. No sacrifice can compare with the one God offered when He gave His Son to die, that we might have a hope of heaven.
It may be within the next few months that I shall be in India again, helping in that open field to bring others to Christ. I shall go if I am called.
If relating some of the experiences I have had will be helpful to those who read this narrative, then the time and effort will not be in vain.
My life has been a full one, and to my friends who have done so much to make my life so full and worth living, I am thankful. Only at the judgment bar of God, will it be fully revealed how successful it was.
by Mrs. J. C. Bailey
I have done a lot of moving
During my married life,
But I reckon not much more
Than any preacher's wife.
But this move was the biggest
And this I know full well,
I'm sure that you'll agree with me,
As my story now I tell.
We had labored in the Lord's vineyard,
And pioneered in days of yore,
But we were happy in our work,
And hold memories galore.
Oh, no! It wasn't easy then,
Hard times knocked at our door;
But by leaning on our Savior,
With His help our cross we bore.
We saw the church established
Throughout the golden West;
We often thought we'd spend our days
There, in the work we loved the best.
We felt that we were needed there,
For many had not heard
The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ,
So plain in His Holy Word.
But suddenly there came a call,
Like that of long ago,
Come over to India and help us,
We are your brethren, you know.
We began to make excuses,
For we did not want to go,
We tried to find a reason
So we could answer, No.
But our heart within was burning,
There was the call, the call, the call,
Christ had told us plainly,
The gospel is for all.
It was a hard decision
To leave brethren and family here,
And, oh! Those dear grandchildren,
To us they are so dear.
God gave us three more jewels
To love and cherish, too,
To find three better children
We'd search the whole world through.
I wanted to be the mother
That to my own I'd been,
And to go to far off India
Would be a trial to them.
I thought I couldn't do it,
I'd simply have to stay;
But a still small voice within me,
Kept calling; then I'd pray.
My sleep so often vanished.
Many times I saw daylight
Before I got to sleep at all,
So burdened was my plight.
But after many prayers were said,
And thoughts tossed to and fro,
Plus all the tears that I had shed,
I said, Yes, Lord, I'll go.
Many time I'd packed the suitcase
For my husband to go away,
But never before had he left me
To go so far away.
This time was harder than ever,
And as the time drew near
To say goodbye to him
My heart was filled with fear.
All I could do was pray
That God would go along with him,
To guide him all the way.
The days, the weeks, that were ahead,
They were so lonely, too,
But I know he must have suffered more,
His cares were not a few.
I was near my dear ones,
Besides my brethren dear;
He was out among strangers,
Not one of his race was near.
The time for packing boxes came
With care and planning, too,
Plus storing and selling our stuff,
It wasn't easy to do.
But God again stood by me
As He's done along my way;
And before I knew it, the time had come
When I would have to say
Goodbye to my children and brethren
Who live in the West today.
We journeyed to New Hampshire
To have a visit there
With Norman, John, their wives and sons
Such love as they showed is rare.
Our stay with them was wonderful,
There was nothing left undone;
We enjoyed each moment of it
From morn 'til set of sun.
Our visit with Stanley was shortened
Because he did a good deed;
And God will reward him for it
When from life's cares he is freed.
He came by Montreal to get Gregory
Who was returning from WCC
And when they arrived at Manchester
We were as happy as we could be.
When the time came for his departure,
I knew it would be hard to part,
But again God helped me bear it,
And healed my wounded heart.
On the evening of June 27th
Norman took us over to Keene,
Where John had prepared a fine sermon,
And that was plain to be seen.
When the service that evening was over,
Arrangements had already been made,
That we should spend time together,
Blessed memories! May they never fade.
Brother Lawson encouraged me greatly,
A deep impression was made,
A generous gift they gave me
For nothing that love I'd trade.
He handed me a nice card,
It made me feel very humble;
It caused me to pray real hard
That from right I would never stumble.
For wisdom I prayed to use it,
To be a good steward true,
That God will grant the power
To see this work of His through.
About midnight our luggage was loaded
Into Lawson's station wagon car
And more farewells were uttered
As we began our journey afar.
At nine o'clock the next morning
As I walked up that long gangplank
I had the queerest feeling,
I'll have to be perfectly frank.
It was a weak, weak feeling
And I thought my heart would break.
For now I had to say farewell
It was nearly too much to take.
Norman and John were with me,
There on the ship that day,
To the last of my children, I must leave them,
And to India be on my way.
Yes, I was going to India
Where my husband was waiting for me,
And that was the great drawing card,
So I wanted to cross the sea.
The sea was calm for many a mile,
We were enjoying the trip
'Til we came to the Straits of Old Belle Isle,
And the waves really rocked that ship.
Have you ever been seasick?
Then you have felt pretty punk
We knew the best thing we could do
Was everyone head for his bunk.
We were sailing along at a rapid pace
When a big iceberg came in sight;
Although we were far from it,
It was both beautiful and bright.
Then soon we passed old Ireland,
To her children it is so fair
But all that we could see of it,
Was just the light house flare.
We anchored near Greenoch, Scotland
The place where people tell
Of beautiful castles and heather
Where everything seems so swell.
On the morn of July the 5th,
we landed on England's shore,
Then after we cleared Customs
We got to see England some more.
For a queer little train then took us
Over to London town,
That fascinating city,
Surely one of great renown.
The six days we spent in London
Were filled right full to the brim
With the amount of walking we did there,
No wonder we all got thin.
David had been in London
When he was a sailor boy,
And he knew the places of interest
Of things we'd most enjoy.
We toured the Parliament Buildings
At the zoo we watched the geese,
And one day we had the privilege
Of seeing the King and Queen of Greece.
We watched the changing of the guard,
A thousand more lined the streets;
How I loved those well-trained horses,
The picture was complete.
I saw the Royal family,
Princess Margaret, too,
I even remember the Queen's dress,
It was a beautiful blue.
We toured Old London Tower,
Where kings and queens of old
Were beheaded for little reason,
So the guide the story told.
I could write for hours about London,
How I heard Brother Baxter speak
At the church there during the big campaign
The souls of sinners to seek.
The day before we left London,
Brother Ray came in by plane,
We were mighty glad to see him
But his ears gave him much pain.
So when we boarded the Oronsay,
To cross again the sea,
All Ray wanted to do was sleep,
Or so it seemed to me.
During the war we sang a song,
But I never dreamed I'd be
Near the White Cliffs of Dover
The bluebirds for to see.
We sailed along by Portugal
And also beside Spain;
I snapped a picture of Lisbon
It may be very plain.
We anchored near Gibraltar,
It was so firm, so tall.
Will England always hold it?
Or will it some day fall?
We saw the Sahara Mountains,
A far-off distant scene
Then we sailed 540 miles,
Before land again was seen.
We spread the Lord's Table the next morning,
Only the six of us were there,
Except the Lord was present,
Our petition for to hear.
Our next stop was Naples, Italy,
Where we all went off the ship;
But it was so hot and tiring
That none of us shopped a bit.
The Neopolitan singers
Came on board the ship to sing,
I only wish you folks back home
Could have heard that old ship ring.
Some artists brought their handiwork
To sell at moderate price,
I wish I had bought a picture,
It would have been so nice.
Italy, the Land of volcanoes,
From them she is never free;
The one near Naples is active,
Twas too foggy for us to see.
The Isle of Capri is pretty,
A peculiar isle indeed,
As to population according to size,
I think it would take the lead.
In the early hours next morning
We were told that we could see
Volcano Strembola erupting,
We did not go to bed until three.
What a sight that was in the darkness,
Not even a star was in sight,
For when Strembola erupted
It gave us all such a fright.
We could see the top of the mountain
While huge balls of fire it threw
Many feet into the air,
A sight seen only by few.
Today was Margo's birthday
But I had no way to bake,
I didn't need to anyway,
For the Captain sent her a cake.
Like Paul, we left Crete on the left,
It's land we ne'er did see,
I'd like to have gazed upon it,
That much wiser I would be.
When we passed the river Nile
A pilot boarded the ship,
To guide us up the channel
And assure us a safe trip.
We waited in the channel
For sixteen hours, or more,
'Til 25 ships massed near us,
From countries galore.
The ships were so beautiful
With flags of every hue,
I may have been a bit partial, though,
When I saw the red, white and blue.
While we waited in the channel
I saw camels quite near by;
They just stood there in the hot sun,
It made me wonder why.
But when the ship began to move,
Their purpose I could see;
They carried their masters to the gate,
And closed it from the sea.
It was so hot and humid,
We thought that we would melt,
Our strength just seemed to leave us,
That is just how we felt.
Before we came to Suez
At Port Said we did dock;
The children came upon us,
They came just like a flock.
Many children would tempt us
To throw a coin into the sea,
Then like a flash they'd dive down,
In the water they were free.
Sometimes they'd stay down under
So long before they'd come up,
But when they came to surface
Their mouth it was full up.
They'd swim over to their partner
To empty their mouth, and then,
Back into the water they'd tumble,
They did it again and again.
One little boy was so happy,
He found in there a turkey breast bone,
But before he had it a minute,
Another lad took it and ran home.
I wondered how he could chew it,
And you would wonder, too;
That water was dirty and oily,
Instead of a clear, bright blue.
While we were there in the Port,
Big canoes were there galore,
Laden with colourful items,
For sale from their bountiful store.
Whatever was bought was put into a room
And sprayed with DDT;
For fleas, and lice and also germs
Were plentiful as could be.
Few mothers with their girls left ship,
For kidnapers we were told,
Might steal the girls away from them,
That were more precious than gold.
Aden was our next stop,
And all who wished were free
To go and look it over
So we went by boat taxi.
To us the streets were filthy
But since we have been in Madras,
I think those streets of Aden
For cleanliness would pass.
I must not fail to tell you
How much those letters meant,
For at every port we docked at
I received the ones you'd sent
Before we came to Aden,
We passed the Sinai Range,
Where Moses did receive the Law,
The Law he did not change.
Our boat trip, it was ended
On July the 28th,
It seemed my troubles had just begun,
To think of it all, I hate.
But before we were allowed to disembark,
It was my embarrassing fate,
To have my passport impounded,
They said it was out of date.
They gave me a slip of paper
With the promise it was fine,
But when I got to Calcutta,
How I wished for that passport of mine.
Well, our boxes were unloaded,
Again, it was my lot
To have those boxes opened,
In that shed so dirty and hot.
I had to pay plenty of duty
For honest I was, you see;
But the Customs man was haughty,
As haughty as he could be.
Our room that night was comfy,
An air conditioner was there,
Which David felt I must have
If my burden I would bear.
The bus took us to the airport
The next morning before six;
I was feeling so happy
'Til I found I was in a horrible fix.
For when we got to Calcutta
That little paper I had
Was useless - I needed my passport,
That really made me sad (OR MAD),
For since that border trouble
Between Assam and China, too,
A permit must be granted;
I hardly knew what to do.
I wasn't alone in my trouble,
With Ray it was the same way;
So to a hotel we traveled,
There to await the next day.
Then to the British Consul we did go,
His help we did implore,
He gave us a letter to the governor,
He could not do any more.
David's passport was dated right
And on to Gauhati he flew
And when he told my husband,
He knew just what to do.
He soon had the permit,
And to Calcutta he came;
But our permits had been granted,
We were booked for the plane.
Both plane trips were pleasant,
Many strange sights did we see;
I'll agree it was surely different
From sailing on the sea.
I have traveled over many crooked trails,
But from Gauhati to Shillong beats all;
You almost meet yourself coming back
As around those curves you crawl.
It was a grand reunion,
The five of us together again,
It was like a taste of heaven
Where we shall never know such pain.
I felt so tired and listless
After that long, long trip;
I tried to take the lead in things,
And always do my bit.
One day a scorpion bit me,
The big old ugly thing;
I struggled hard to get him off,
But he really left a sting.
We soon were at the doctor's
My nerves seemed very tense;
He gave me penicillin,
And charged me 25 cents.
We waited for the Perrys,
And finally they came,
Their trip had not been pleasant,
E'en though they came by plane.
Most of the children had been ill
All along the way,
And if you have never been plane sick
You should have nothing to say.
The apartment was far from finished,
Not one of our boxes had come;
So we had to manage on little
But at that we had more than some.
I visited a number of homes there,
Where no tables or chairs were seen;
Not a bed to sleep on was in sight,
But all was tidy and clean.
For 52 days we waited
For our boxes to come from Bombay;
We planned to come to hot Madras,
Where it is always hot, they say.
We could not leave 'til our boxes came,
Our patience was sorely tried;
The day came for our departure,
We took that long train ride.
Our first class coach was comfy
And down to Calcutta we came;
We thought the rest of the journey
Would be first class just the same.
A big surprise was waiting,
For only one could pass,
Unless that we were willing
To travel second class.
But when we climbed into that coach,
We found those seats so hard;
We had not traveled very far.
Until we were very tired.
Soon five women came into that coach,
They took their share of space;
We did not mind their being there,
But how their tongues did race.
Believe me, we weren't sorry
When they got bedded down;
We thought we'd have a peaceful night
And never have a frown.
We came from out the dry West,
We had often prayed for rain,
But not to come down in buckets
As we rode a leaky train.
The rain came in the roof,
The rain came in the door,
The rain came in the windows,
The rain came in some more.
The train, it stopped at stations,
My husband always came to see
How well we fared as we rode that night,
On the Southern # 3.
Next day he came a rushing,
He said, Grab your baggage and fast,
For I have found a place for you
In a number one coach at last.
There were two men in that compartment,
The one said he would go
To another coach reserved for him,
But when night came he said, NO.
Carlos went to his berth,
He had to get some rest;
For three long nights we had ridden the train.
None of us felt his best
Carol and Debbie slept in one berth,
Margo and I in the lower;
At least I had a place to rest,
But I tell you I did not snore.
Next morning our journey was ended,
Brother Ellery met us, too;
We were thankful to be in Madras,
Did we not have work to do?
We searched for a place to Live in,
We found one, though not the best;
The surroundings, they were awful,
We found it hard to rest.
We have our five air mattresses,
They were laid upon the floor;
We bought a good revolving fan,
For rest we did implore.
The heat just seemed to whip us
And take what strength we had,
But after two weeks were ended,
The weather was not so bad.
The monsoons then had started
And, oh, how it did rain;
That rain came down in torrents,
But we liked it just the same.
But thousands and thousands live in mud huts,
The rains these huts impair;
During the monsoon season
Their life is a long nightmare.
Sometimes the walls, they crumble,
The roof, too, it does leak,
But to describe the poverty
I know no word to speak.
Some parts of Madras are lovely,
So very neat and clean,
But the slum area we were in
Is the filthiest we have seen.
Whenever we went to meeting
We pushed our way among
The cows, pigs, goats, and pooches,
Beside the teeming throng.
We'd see the little tots sleeping
On the dirty old hard street;
You only needed to glance at them
To know they had little to eat.
We'd see the women gather
Cow dung in pans,
Then mix it in patties,
With their bony, skinny hands.
Most brethren here in India
Are poor like some of old,
But the gospel means so much to them,
They are eager to have it told.
Every one seems to like to read,
We know no better way
Than to give out tracts by the thousands
And hope to reap some day.
The members, they do join us,
They give out tracts galore,
Then they come to tell us
They'd like to give out some more.
The heathen funerals are noisy,
They are not conducted alike;
The noise they make is terrible,
To us it seemed a fright,
Yes, since we came to India,
Plenty of troubles we've had,
But God was always overruling,
They really haven't been bad.
He gave to us a good house,
From this we hope not to roam;
To our God we are so thankful
To give us such a home.
O, Yes, we've had our troubles,
But we are glad we answered that CALL,
Souls are being born into the kingdom,
We know God loves them all.
We need your prayers and fellowship,
We cannot win the fight,
We cannot be successful,
Unless you do the right.
No, my story has not ended,
In fact it has hardly begun;
The last verse will not be written
Until the setting of the sun.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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