“You need to know something.”
“What’s that, Joginder?”
“I had an abortion in April.”
I was Joginder’s bestie. She had no other friends. Joginder was a lady of the street. All I saw was a deeply troubled lady who needed Christ. Living overseas may have given me background and experience in many different areas. But I’m not “streetwise”. I didn’t pick up on the signals. So on a hot summer day it was “confession time.” The light dawned! So that’s why Joginder had been so ill in April. We talked, I shared God’s way of forgiveness, and we prayed.
Arriving in England my heartbeat was to reach the Indian people. So with the help of my teammates a tea was planned to get acquainted with my neighbors. The row homes on the street were filled with Indian people. Seven showed up, including Joginder and her five year old son. She lived right across the street from me and seemed so friendly. I was excited.
Who knew where the ensuing friendship would lead?
It began slowly with her coming over for a cup of tea. Then she began spending more time with me. With a heart of compassion I realized how much Joginder needed a friend. She had never experienced unconditional love in her life. She needed to know that someone cared. She needed to know the love of Christ.
Joginder arrived at my house at 6.30 Christmas morning eyes sparkling, excited as her five year old son to experience her first real Christmas.
I also learned that she had plenty of money coming in from welfare. She had taken advantage of me.
Yet there were some good things happening. She came to church off and on and to our Friday Indian fellowships. Her son came to kid’s club. They were hearing the Gospel! I prayed much for Joginder.
Our friendship was not healthy. Thoughts of compassion, tough love, enabling spun around in my head. Things would have to change.
Then God brought Mike into my life. I left for the States to get married. When Mike and I returned we lived just around the corner from Joginder. She was thrilled. Things had to be handled differently.
One sunny afternoon Joginder stood at the door. My face turned every color of the rainbow.
“Joginder, please go home and change clothes. I can’t let you in the house dressed like this. Mike’s here.”
She didn’t like it, but returned more properly attired (for her).
We were there for Joginder. That Christmas we spent the entire day in the emergency clinic because she was so ill.
The great thing was she listened to Mike. When he explained the Gospel it was so simple and plain. It encourages me to know that Joginder has had every opportunity.
January was extremely full. How would we fit in an anniversary celebration? I decided to surprise Mike. We would have a special anniversary breakfast, candles and all. So I made Mike’s favorite breakfast casserole and put on my wedding dress, just for him.
As we thanked the Lord for the food, the doorbell rang. It was just after six, but Joginder had come for breakfast. Her eyes popped wide open when she saw me all dressed up. Mike and I looked at each other, then we shared our anniversary breakfast with her.
Joginder treated me very unfairly and unkindly. I was broken-hearted because I truly loved this lady. Finally, Mike put his foot down. Enough was enough. Joginder was not welcomed in our home again. We would see Joginder from time to time on the street until we left England in 2008. Her spiritual temperature had not changed.
In the summer of 2010 Mike and I went back to England to help with the Indian family camp. What a good time it was to see those to whom we had ministered. However, Joginder was not on the list of people we planned to see.
In God’s sovereignty as Mike was walking down the street, who should appear but Joginder. They chatted for a few minutes - long enough for Mike to know that things hadn’t changed. I was glad that I was not there.
We continue to pray for Joginder. She has heard and understood the Gospel. Who knows how God will use that.
God intervenes, transforms, redeems. By a miracle of God’s grace, I’m trusting that I’ll be one of Joginder’s besties in heaven.
* Note - Joginder is not her real name.
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