In His Time

Thursday 11 January in Perth airport. It’s been such a long time, it seems, since I saw the children of Debora. I left there in late April, 2006, after my second visit and hoped to get back straight after Synod in Toowoomba – but it didn’t happen – it wasn’t God’s time. Sometimes it’s hard to see when it is His time – but in December, with prayer and advice, I believed the time was right. So using all my remaining Frequent Flyer points to book my ticket, here I am – on my way! I do have little doubts now and then – is it the right time, but usually I am confident that this is where I am meant to be.

Monday 15 January in hot steamy Medan, Sumatra, on my way back to my beautiful Indonesian ‘grandchildren’ at Debora Orphanage. I’m staying in the home of Daniel, one of the participants in Giraffe International 2006. We have lots to discuss – this visit certainly seems to be God’s timing.

Wednesday 24 January. We lost our second son in Broken Hill in February 1962. Today is his birthday. My husband Robert was assistant pastor at Flinders St, Adelaide, and left the day after the baby was safely born to take up his next parish in Broken Hill. The people there had been waiting for quite a while and had sick people needing support and new babies waiting baptism. I followed him when Nicholas John was almost three weeks old, and a week later, he left us, ‘cot death’ was the diagnosis.
Broken Hill congregation was mainly composed of people of Scandinavian background, whose forefathers came there as miners. Have a State Church background, it seemed the general view was that church was for Christmas, Easter, baptisms and funerals.

When our baby died, members, nominal members, contacted us. So though we didn’t see the sense of God’s timing for some months, before long we were fortunate to be able to see that our baby had done his life’s work in his death. Instead of months of trying to contact our members, and time spent building trust, they all came to support us in our grief. The work of years was done in a few days. I’m not saying God took our baby, that’s another discussion, but He certainly used this sad time for a wonderful purpose. We were privileged to see God’s plan which was a great comfort to us.

Many people have to wait until eternity to see just why certain things happen, to see God’s timing. I’m sure many of you, like me, are constantly praying for someone dear who has turned away from God. ‘Why, why?’ we cry. ‘God he/she is your child. Please touch this heart again…’

Why doesn’t God do something! Now! It’s hard to wait and it’s hard to trust Him but what else can we do? His time is not our time.

Thursday 25 January. I’m home again – in body. Now the challenge is to be really here, ready for what God places before me now. It’s a bit hard to get even half of my heart back from Silangge.

Actually I am more at peace this time, because I left the children in a better situation that previously. I wanted to get various things done the first time. Some things worried me but I can’t ‘do’, only suggest, discuss and wait. The people there must see the needs and effect changes themselves. So I spent a lot of energy worrying, it seemed not much was getting done. The biggest worry was Rimancen, he wanted very much to train for mission work, and friends in Australia contributed enough for his first year. However, he was not informed that the money was there for him, and disappeared into the teeming hoards of Indonesia, with no contact address. I agonised over him – alone, lonely for the Debora family, trying to find work – I wanted God to bring him back, Now!

I had specially asked to fly out of a different city, Pekan Baru, last April, because Rimancen was reported to be somewhere there and I prayed that God would put him in front of me in His time, that I would spot him in the crowd as he drove past!

We did unknowingly drive through the town where he was, but God didn’t want him found yet. He came home over a year later at New Year to visit his mother, heard we had been there looking for him and came into the head office. There he heard that I was arriving in a few days – God’s timing!

Rimancen spent four days with us at Debora, talking and enjoying the company of all his young brothers and sisters. He had made his way in the big world for over a year, found a job driving trucks and other machines on a plantation, and is back, stronger in his faith and his wish to be a missionary.

Rimancen’s time out in the work force has been good for him. He is a confident man now, though still rather quiet. His stutter is a bit better. God had His plan all along, and His timing is right.

Other projects matured while I was there this time, the children are now having sewing lessons, and some big boys have visited local farms a few times to gain experience and help in exchange. I was concerned about some big boys, who are not good students, rather frustrated and in danger of getting a bit cheeky. The new housefather works with them in the garden and good relationships are growing. They are fine now. The children are all well behaved and hard working and beautiful! I could have saved myself a lot of worry if I had just trusted God more. His timing is always best.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email For more information, go to

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