That first step was easy. However the longest journey begins with one step. We just had a further 9000 kilometers to go to reach our halfway point in Europe. If you were to stop and think about it it was quite ridiculous. It was best not to think about it and instead to think about all the spiritual help that was as yet untapped for this incredible journey. That would be a good name for this blog, The incredible Journey.
The next step was to make our way to Santos. This is the Port city for Sao Paulo and was a couple of hours away towards the Atlantic coast.
That morning we managed to provision a nice free breakfast and had time to pray and ask The Father Son and Holy Spirit, what to do? The Holy Spirit was already leading us to people who would be a help in the future. After prayer which simply means having a chat with God we believed it would be better to stay for a week or so in the rich city of Sao Paulo and try and raise some permanent support for living in a poor country like India. Having left our community we had nowhere to stay for the night. We were traveling very light with just two shoulder bags but we did have about three heavy trunks of personal possessions which was also going to be rather a problem, hitch hiking with three trunks was adding cold water to the sacrifice.
This reminds me of a time when we were donated a desperately needed double bed for our community. Of course we accepted and told the person that we would be round the next day to pick it up. The place was a good 20kilometers out of town and we had no available transport to collect it with. It was left to me to get and then take it home. Now remember in the spiritual world nothing is impossible. Only in the physical are their limitations. I hitched a few rides to the apartment block and took the lift up to the fourth floor. As I got out, there was the double bed all dissembled for transport. I thanked the lady profusely and she asked me how I was going to get it to our house. I told her not to worry as there was transport outside waiting to take it. Not exactly true but in a way yes, as it turned out. I took the the bits all neatly roped together out of the lift and leaned them against a wall in the yard below. Thankfully the lady was not looking out of her window. I shot up an arrow prayer of desperation into the spiritual realm and then opened my eyes. Parked across the road was a van inside a warehouse entrance. Soon I was talking to the owner and he was agreeing to deliver the bed free of charge to our home. Later that afternoon he did.
Well a friend of ours agreed to store the heavy baggage and then we went off to down town Sao Paulo to look for a friendly Hotel owner. We did have some friends amongst the Hotel people as they would give us discarded linen and even quite decent furniture and carpets often still in very good condition. We also received Lost and Found articles so as you can see we were very good scavengers.
However the usual friends were not able to help us with bed and breakfast for two weeks which is what we needed before moving to Santos.
We were walking down one of the main streets trying not to feel discouraged but keeping up our spiritual conversation with our Spiritual Boss and friend and savior Jesus Christ and then I saw this huge complex of suites and rooms lumped together in the Sao Paulo Suite service.
Before long we were sitting sipping coffee in front of the manager and we told him how we were on our way to India as Missionaries and needed a place to stay with breakfast.
We had prepared a little tract called the Pandita Ramabai tract which told the touching story of a lady with the same name who was diagnosed with a disease which left her only one year more to live. She decided to spend her last year taking Bibles over the mountains to an area near Nepal where the Gospel had never really been presented. Her doctor strapped the back pack of bibles in the local language onto her back and off she went. She was never really heard of much again but the whole area soon had a thriving Christian spiritual community.
We were both praying hard at the same time as speaking to this man who we had never met before. To our amazed relief he began smiling and gave us the most beautiful suite close to the swimming pool and sauna all for free with a huge breakfast for 10 days.
We printed out a small pledge form asking people to agree to give a certain amount of cash to us monthly and started distributing it to everyone we met together with the Pandita Ramabai tract.
Sao Paulo is full of delicious restaurants and getting our meals for the rest of the day was comparatively easy.
We began every day with what we call devotions. This was our spiritual beginning with contact to the Higher powers of the Christian Trinitarian God. We read passages from the Bible and then laid our day before the Lord asking for guidance and protection and a supply of all our needs.
The Bible contains many promises for example Philippians chapter 4 verse 19 And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
This was one we used a great deal. Of course these promises are no good if you do not really believe them but through experience we did, and they worked and still work superbly. I can thoroughly recommend the promises in the Bible for all the world to use. Also very important was listening to God for the answers. This we did by allowing the Holy Spirit to gently nudge our consciences. One of the most important ingredients in all of this was simply to take the time. Consciously stop everything and take time with the spiritual world. Nothing except disaster is accomplished by rushing through life without stopping, looking and above all listening.
We were off to a very good start. 10 days in a luxurious hotel was quite a beginning. Breakfast swimming and sauna. I had hardly ever used a sauna so that was a novelty. The staff were very nice to us.
We were very busy every day getting up early as this was no holiday. The objective of India was ever before us, coupled together with a rather blurred image of the Soviet Union, that vast continent we just called Russia. Daily we asked God to lead us step by step. We needed or so we thought, support for once we arrived in India. We needed good health which we amazingly seemed to always enjoy and we needed to try and supplement our cash of 100 DM about 40 US$.