Friday, March 4, 2011

A Fresh Start

by Malsawmi Jacob, Mumbai Share  

(A thrilling Testimony of a Prolific Writer)

Pic. by Ariel

"I’ve lived too long, way too long."
"I have lived .... hope and dream" 

I wrote on a sheet of paper and tucked it into my Bible cover. Life stretched before me like a grey, foggy twilight with no stars. The best thing I could hope for, it seemed, was for the night to come soon and end it all. After fifteen years of serving in the mission field, assisting my husband, I could not go on.


As a teenager, I had put my trust in Christ and committed my life to serve Him. After finishing my post-graduation in English, I started working as a college lecturer. A couple of years later, I was married to the kind of guy I had prayed for, who was also in the same profession. Before marriage, he had told me that he may be called to become a missionary. Six years of wedded life and two children later, the call came. And so we left our jobs and ventured out to a different state, to a people of different language and culture.


Though I was sad to leave the work I loved, I consoled myself with visions of teaching children and singing with young people. But the realities of the mission field were far different. My part of the work turned out to be ‘waiting at tables.’


After enduring for fifteen years, my health broke down. I could not continue with my kitchen ministry. It had been hard playing Martha’s part. But it was even harder being unable to do it. You feel pushed aside. Unwanted! Useless! Cast out. By this time, the children had gone away to study in another town. They had grown into teenagers and did not need me much any more.

I thought this was my end. But the Lord had other plans. Beyond my imagination! I voiced my desperation to my husband. He comforted me and said, “The Lord doesn’t chuck His children. Just tell Him you’re still available any way He wants to use you.” I did that. And within a few weeks, an answer came.

A lady staff worker of UESI (Union of Evangelical Students of India) invited me for a women’s fellowship they were starting. I went and felt quite refreshed. This became a weekly meeting. After a while, they asked me to speak there. I was doubtful and fearful, but I agreed. God gave me the words and the courage.

A few months later, I joined a six week Bible study programme in Kotagiri, South India. In one of the practical sessions, the resource person asked us to specify our mission. As I thought about it, the Lord spoke to me very clearly. I must take up writing for the general public. Earlier, when I could find a little time, I had written poems and short stories that were published in different Christian magazines. But here, I got a call to write for people outside the Christian fold. I was awed and thrilled.


Since creative writing was all I had done before, I assumed I had to continue with that genre. But I felt a need for taking a course in Journalism to acquire the art of interviewing. Then we came across an advertisement for a privately run Certificate Course in Journalism. Classes were to be held a short distance from our house. It was just ideal for me, so I joined. It was taught by some well established journalists who turned out to be very helpful.

The course opened a door for contributing articles in regional dailies like The Assam Tribune and The Telegraph (North East) and a monthly magazine North East Focus. Those were exciting days. For about two years, I became a freelance journalist. I wrote on different subjects, mostly from the justice angle. Militancy is rampant in the region and many of my articles were condemnation of violence. I also wrote on culture, folklore and current matters.

Malsawmi Jacob, Mumbai
But one of my best days was when my article on Christmas, explaining the reason behind Christ’s incarnation, was published in the editorial page of a newspaper on 25th December. But it was time to move out. In August, 2004, we shifted to Bangalore. After many years, our family of four got the chance of living together again. Each step of this move bears an imprint of the Lord’s finger. Each detail has a touch of ‘miracle.




Source:
Confident Living Magazine. Secunderabad
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