The other day I paced around my living room, staring at my grandkid’s pictures, and wearing my fluffy pink ‘Grandma’ bathrobe. With the phone in my ear I spoke to a travel clinic nurse, hardly able to believe the words coming out of my mouth. “I’m going to India.”
Nine years ago I felt the call to write. At times I felt like Noah. “You want me to do what, Lord? You want me to write books? Who’s going to read anything I write?”
But God did amazing things. While I worked at Trinity Western University I received writing courses for free. He provided me with writing groups, critique partners, mentors, scholarships, literary agents. This past year He validated my writing ability with the ACFW Genesis Award. He allowed a small non-fictional piece I’d written to be published in a Focus on the Family book on adoption. But after finishing two fictional novels—the latest set in India—the elusive contract for publication is still that. Elusive. Remaining unpublished in Christian Fiction didn’t bother me. But I wondered—have I hoodwinked myself with my vivid imagination? Did God really call me to write?
A few months ago my friend Hilary who works with Children’s Camps International congratulated me on my novel set in India. “I wish you could come to India with us.”
My heart thumped. I wanted to go. But I had a part time job in a small local Chilliwack business. “There’s no way,” I said. “That’s the start of the busy season where I work.” I couldn’t lose that income no matter how small it was.
A few weeks passed. The work in the little office grew less and less. Then 2 weeks ago the boss said, “We don’t have enough work, I’m afraid we have to lay you off.”
Usually when people hear that, they gasp with disappointment. I practically laughed with joy. But now what? In the midst of prayer it dawned on me—that at this crossroads of my life I could do anything. Go anywhere. I could even go to India. In awe of who He is, I said, 'Wherever You want me to go—I’ll go. Whatever You want me to do—I’ll do. Just use me."
I contacted CCI. There was still time to join the team. This 2 week trip is designed to educate people about the incredible work God is doing through the indigenous pastors in India. Apparently a young pastor came up from Tamil Nadu 6 years ago to Winkler Bible Camp in Manitoba. There he learned the skills of running a kids’ camp and took those skills home to India. The short story is; God blessed that enormously. Children and their families are coming to know Jesus in droves in the south of India because of these children’s camps. That young pastor’s name is Antony Samy.
I felt God’s call to go, but wondered, What can I do? All I really know how to do these days is write a book.
The president of CCI, Ray Weiler, got back to me right away. In the midst of our conversation he told me, “We’ve been praying for someone who can write a book. We need someone to tell Antony’s story and what God is doing.”
You could’ve knocked me down with a feather. The past 6 years of learning began to make sense. That’s when I felt the courage to say, “Ray, I can write a book.”
I'm humbly asking for your prayers. There is no funding to pay me. Like most missionaries I must raise my own support. But if God wants me to do this, then He will provide the $3700 for this short term missions trip. The trip to Tamil Nadu, the southern-most tip of India, is set for this January 16th to the 30th.
I’ve had my inoculations. I’m applying for my travel visa and have dug out my passport. I am going to India the last 2 weeks of January. There I’ll research an amazing work that God is doing. And when I come home I’ll need your prayers over the following six months, for the creative powers to do justice to . . . ‘Antony’s Story’.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers.
If you would like to support me by prayer, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to support my trip financially, you may send the funds to:
Children's Camps International
300 - 571 Main Street
Winkler, Manitoba R6W 1G3
Make the cheque out to Children's Camps International and they will send you an official charitable tax receipt. Just slip a separate note into the envelope to say that the funds are designated for Christine Schmidtke. Thank you.
Isaiah 30:8 ‘Now go, write it on a tablet before them. And inscribe it on a scroll, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever.’
Antony and Emery Samy on their wedding day.