A Step of Faith is a Step of Faith
(Please listen to Danny’s story by clicking the white play button at the top of this post. You can read the transcript of the story below.)
Talking about timing, just the way God orchestrated, orchestrated events at various points, we could see his hand in every situation, but we had to be placed, or we had to be put in a place, where we had to just trust God. And even when it seemed bleak, we needed to trust God. And I think God was to, you know, making us patient, making us, you know, to be still.
And then when we could have panicked and of course, I must confess that I did panic at various points when, where next? What are we going to do? What are the boys going to do? We have a 20 year old, and a 14 year old, who was with us, a 22 year old was considering marriage. And he was hoping that we would come to the country so that we could attend the wedding.
And so there’s all that emotion going on and one day, he says, “You know, I hope you can come for our wedding. And this is the date..”. and they hadn’t set up the date, thinking that we, until we could be sure, but then we had to tell him, “I don’t know when it’s going to take place. You’d have to just make a plan, decide on the date of the wedding and just go for it.” He just broke down because he wanted us there. So he decided the date, February 2, 2019 was the was the date of the wedding.
And he wept during that time because he thought that now none of us would be there. And we said, No, we can’t help it. I think at least you can, you should get your paperwork done. So go ahead. If God wants to bring us there, he will do.
God opened the door for me to work in a Bible College, which is called South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies to pursue a doctoral study program. And after getting there, it was a dream job, which many people would have really been envious about, because it was a good place to serve. And it was a wonderful community, people are coming from all across Asia. And so I started studying and eventually I got to serve as a chaplain. So we had a nice house, three bedroom house, a wonderful community, there was nothing that we could have complained about. I mean, and it had flexible hours so that I could work in the institution, as well as work in the network of churches that was existing in Bangalore. And so it was a, it was a very pleasant atmosphere, there was no reason for us to feel that we needed to leave or it’s uncomfortable, or I mean, anybody would have said, this is something that God has given.
But from the start, there was this feeling within me that this is temporary. Don’t make this as your place of ministry, this is good for a season. And so for several years, I did keep saying that this is God’s opportunity for me to serve for a season, but then I need to be prepared to leave.
There was one verse which was shared in our faculty prayer that got me thinking, I mean, it was a time of prayer. And we just read the portion of Scripture when the disciples as well as Jesus, they had their ministry up in Nazareth. And early in the morning, Jesus after ministry, right through the night, he goes to pray, and the disciples come searching for him. And instead of going back, because others wanted him to minister, Jesus says, No, I have to go to other places also. Just that phrase caught my attention. Now, Jesus could have stayed on and made sure that he had a huge impact. The results were good, he was loved. He was appreciated, but he did feel the urge to leave. So that prompted me to keep praying more intently. And as a family, we started praying. And during the time of prayer I remember John, our third one, who was at that time thirteen, he just blurted out, “A step of faith is a step of faith.”
I was at that time [asking myself] should I mention it? I had already hinted with the principal that there is a possibility of leaving, but we haven’t confirmed that as yet. But just do keep praying.
So when he made that statement, “a step of faith is a step of faith,” that got me even more, shook me up a little bit, basically, because the fact that when a child can say that with such certainty, I’d been thinking about various other avenues or some confirmation as to when to exit, it’s just not about me, it’s the whole family.
When I heard that, I said, Okay, I think I need to take that step. And so on the last day of the, of that particular semester, I mailed in my resignation letter saying that, okay, I am leaving. And I had no clue where next. Remember, we had a house, which is very well furnished, and it was a large house on campus, and moving out of the campus into Bangalore, and the homes that were there, it would have been very expensive.
We’ were not all that well supported to have everything workout. So again, in regard to finance, there was no clarity, but we knew we needed to leave. So I, I kind of just stayed at that and said, okay, let it be, let’s see what God can accomplish.
There was a friend of ours, a common friend had been talking about what we wanted to do. And I was very clear at that. It is discipleship. And it was in regard to home churches. This friend who was from Dallas, he happened to meet with Jeremy, and he’s been looking out for an Indian couple. So he was already on the lookout for that. And Subash, he’s from the same college that I served in. So he was actually next door to where I, where my room was. And we had already conversed about the possibilities of us coming over here. So he was aware that my focus was on discipleship and home churches.
And they just struck up a conversation, and Jeremy started talking about the ministry of Loving All Peoples and how how they function, that they’re involved in discipleship, and they’re very keenly working amongst the Indians here and other ethnic groups. And they would like to have somebody who could be a coordinator, a trainer. And so in a way, use a totally different approach than a traditional church setup.
Now, Jeremy’s sitting at this conference. And from what I gather, he was sitting at this conference, and there was just one seat available. And Wilson just walked past. He’s been in the US for several years, I have not been in touch with him to, I mean, I know his brother, his elder brother better, but on and off. Wilson’s not on Facebook, not on media. So there’s absolutely no way of me being in touch. And he walks down the aisle, and he’s searching for a place to sit. And there’s just this one seat available next to Jeremy. And Jeremy, you know, says, okay, you want to sit here, you could. And Wilson sure comes over and sits down, and then during the course, during the course of conversation, he just asked him, Where are you from? And then he finds out that he’s from Bangalore, and then Jeremy, you know, we have 12 million people and out of 12 million people, Jeremy just asked him, “Do you know, Danny Sathyadass, by any chance?” And he, I think he just mentioned that. And then Wilson goes, “Yeah, I know them. And then he’s from the same area, visited their house. And he knows my wife, and he just starts talking about who we are and what we’ve done. And that was like, you know, again, a confirmation for Jeremy, that this is of God. So that was amazing, just to see confirmation taking place. And for me, just the several instances where I met random people, and they would say, We’re from Texas, or Dallas. And it seemed like God was pointing us. We started conversing even more. And we were hoping that by March, everything would be set. And we would be able to tell very clearly to the institution that we’re leaving, and we are moving to Dallas, and everything will be clear.
But then when the paperwork started, how at least they were talking about the paperwork, they said it would take about six to nine months. Now that was a difficult thing, because for us six to nine months, now, where are we going to go? That was a big question, because we knew we had to leave the campus and we had to move out. God had impressed on us that, you know, we had received from people freely, and we felt the need to just give it freely.
I think all, everything was left in the garage, some of the larger items we had donated to a few people who are already on campus and few outside. And we just took our clothes and our books and basically left the place.
But where now? That’s the question. Just about about a month before we were about to leave, we were still figuring out and praying more intently now, where next? I mean, what are we going to do? Where are we going to stay, and of course, people were concerned about us — relatives and friends, you know, where are you going? What are you up to? And of course, we had to say, we know we have to leave, but where we haven’t figured out. God will take care of it, and God will provide for it.
When we just look back during this past year, I think everything that did take place was beautiful. Even though there was uncertainty, there was difficulty. But God had made everything beautiful.
During that time, a friend of ours just wrote to me saying he was leaving the country for about six months. So he also mentioned that his house was available. So you could just come over. So I said okay we can take a look at that. We were still hoping that in a few weeks, we could just leave. That it was just a short stint that, you know, we were in to maybe just a holiday and then head out.
But when the paperwork started, they kept telling us it’s going to be six to nine months. And our heart’s sank because you’re almost losing a year. And what are we going to do during that whole time? And my wife, Sayo, would say, “We are coming over to the US before Christmas.”
And the papers were submitted only in July. So if you look at it, if the papers were submitted in July, you’re talking about us being able to actually move, according to the timeline that they had mentioned it, it will be only in March.
But here we are, we have to leave in December. Part of the reason is because the family who had gone out to New Zealand, were returning back in January. So we had to leave before December. So there was no way of us continuing to stay there. And we had no clue. But one day, Kyle calls us. He’s from Loving All Peoples, and he calls us and he says, “The inspection is done. I think one phase is over. And it’s approved.” And I was like, are you sure? I couldn’t believe what he had said, and because they, every time they kept saying it’s six to nine months.
So I wrote back thanking even the attorneys saying that, okay, it’s approved. They too couldn’t believe because they responded saying I don’t think it’s fully complete, just hang on. Wait, don’t make, don’t celebrate too soon. Because you never know what it is, they might ask for another visit.
But it was actually done; it was over. And so that was sometime in mid November. It was a miracle that they got that approval, because they’re using a totally non-traditional approach. Oftentimes, when you’re going for a religious visa, they would ask you what kind of an office you have, what is the building capacity. So basically to identify how much cash and reserve that you have, because that kind of stands out. Here, Loving All People has no building, has no office, and all of them meet in different homes. So with all that, there was very little chance that it would actually be approved. And amazingly, things got approved, and everything was done. So that was, that was only a God thing.
In a week’s time, we came over to, to actually came over to the States. And we first went to my, to my son’s fiancee’s place at that time. We went there met with the family, again, talking about God’s timing, it was during Christmas, everybody’s on holiday. So we could meet the relatives, the friends, and just have a sense of celebration, as well as a confirmation that this was of God. And you know, just to see a lot of extended family members, just confirming that he is in a good family. And it would be conducive to spiritual growth. And there will be a protective hedge around him that way. So we just saw all of that. That was exciting.
When we saw that, and then when we came to Dallas after that, just to see how God had worked things out. Meanwhile, they found a place in three days, got the whole place furnished up. I mean, everybody had stories of God’s faithfulness. I mean, whatever is here in this house is again, testimony of God’s provision and how God has made us, has brought us here, we were able to go for the wedding. And so it was again an answer to prayer.
I don’t know what’s in store for us. But it seems that God has brought us specifically for a reason. Even my son, he was in a homeschooling Co Op back in Bangalore, and all of them used to meet as a youth group in our home. And that used to happen on a Friday afternoon. And they’ve been meeting for almost two to three years or even more. And all of them have graduated. And guess what? They are all around the Dallas area. So they’ve had already two or three, you know, gatherings just to hang out with each other. And so most of his friends are here. So that was an added blessing. Yeah.
Throughout this journey, the boys have seen how God worked. And during one of those times when we were praying and just the whole uncertainty, and you could see a cloud of uncertainty over us. And John, our third one, just kept playing the keyboard by himself. And then the other two just said, Oh, that’s that makes a nice song. So John came up with a tune. And the other two came up with a song and basically talking about God being a problem solver.
And just to hear them put, you know, sing that song, in a time of uncertainty as a family just was a huge value, you know, confirmation that God is at work, and our story of uncertainty and seeing God’s faithfulness, just to see that inculcated in our kids. And they bring that in a song that I mean, that was very reassuring. And that was something that we, you know, celebrate because of what God did in and through them.
One of the readings as well was during that whole faith time was how God takes us through our gracious uncertainty. This was a reading from Oswald Chambers, and I’d like to close with that–how God takes us through that time. “Our natural inclination is to be so precise, trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next, that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must meet some predetermine goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Certainty is the mark of the common sense life. Gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. And to be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.” And this reading was so special to us just before we left SAIACS where we were working and just looking back in hindsight, we’ve seen God at work, we are certain of God.
There has been uncertainty, there has been apprehensions and fears; all of that were there for sure. But it was with breathless expectation of God showing up and doing something marvelous and we are truly rejoicing for all that he has done.