I was born Kuldip Kaur in Punjab, India, and I grew up knowing that my father was the only person who loved me. I understood later that my mother could not love me because I was not a boy. My father died when I was five and I was told that he had gone to be a god. I started searching for my father and followed my neighbour’s gods because my family was not religious. I fasted and searched for one god after another. At university I became a ‘baptised’ Sikh, having cold showers at 5am and praying five times a day.
I later went to Malaysia to visit my mum’s sister and my cousin told me about this God called Jesus. I was going to end my life anyway, so I thought why not try this foreign god. I was taken to a church where, without fully understanding, I joined in and was baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. Salvation was explained to me and after a month of Bible study I got baptised in the ocean.
I was praying one day and had a dream. I was flying and holding the hand of a little girl on one side and of a boy on the other. We were escaping from someone evil who was trying to harm the children. We flew for hours over a vast sea and there were a lot of words spoken to me, guiding me. There was a tall rock in the middle of the sea and I hid the children in a cave where there were already many other children waiting. Then I understood that I was the one who had brought these children to safety!
When I came back to India my parents banished me from their home because they did not want anyone to know that I was Christian. I lived alone, persecuted by society and forgot about my dream. During a prayer meeting, my Pastor came to me and said that God wanted me to go to Bible College in England! I laughed it off as I did not have a single penny to my name and I asked him if he had heard God correctly. He later confirmed it was definitely England and a week later I was here and I swore never to go back to India!
On the last day of Bible College someone approached me and said that, “You will be mother to a nation.”
At Church God told me that Nigel was going to be my husband. I argued, “But he is not a missionary!” God said to me that I had to give up everything I was doing and follow him (Nigel) and later he would give up everything and would follow me. Before we got married God told Nigel that he would carry “His glory from here to another nation.”
We visited my mother in India in 1999 when she was running a school for poor children in her home. Nigel thought of financing it after she retired, but it became clear to him that he should instead personally help needy Indian children. My fear of returning to India overwhelmed me and inside I refused to go. However, in 2002 we bought eight acres of land where we could run an orphanage and started the Charity ‘Frishta’ (means Angel). It still seemed mad to be blowing our hard-earned money in this way.
Every year since, Nigel has visited India, researching and planning, and during these last five years God has changed me so that soon we will be emigrating with our three children to bring up orphans in a proper family structure in a purpose-built children’s village.
This is the story of just one orphan family: Shardha was 11 when her mother died and the father abandoned her and her six younger siblings. Since then, Shardha has been like a mother to them all, often going without food and enduring many hardships, she contracted TB and very nearly died. We have helped her receive treatment and are sending her brothers and sisters to school. When I met her I was moved to tears to see her so caring, with such quiet strength and maturity in one so young.
There are many more children who need a home and who just want to be loved.