Vision for Asia Water Pumps Project

The story behind Vision for Asia

“God uses ordinary people for His extraordinary purposes.”

Each of us has a story, valuable to God and sacred to us. And what has my story taught me? Well, ultimately, that we should never deny our past. We are the product of our upbringing, our environment, our education, our inheritance, our genetic make-up and of course of circumstances often beyond our control which have shaped our lives.  If we really want to be healed of any destructive influences, past or present, we must choose to let go and come to Jesus the Healer. He may not blot out the hurtful memories, but he can anaesthetise the pain. He can cleanse, give us peace and restore us … for His purposes and His Glory!

God has a time and a plan for each one of us. 

Keen on sport I left school to become a P.E teacher, married and settled down in the Exeter area. Unfortunately, after major personal disappointments, my husband and I divorced and I immersed myself in my teaching. I was not a Christian but in 1993 I committed myself to the Lord. 

My entrance into God’s kingdom was to be as abrupt as me being born; one minute in one world, the next in another. My conversion was dramatic, it needed to be I’d resisted for 43 years! I lovingly call it my ‘Ilfracombe Road’ experience as I think of Paul’s ‘Damascus Road’ experience. God suddenly and graciously stepped into my life and changed it forever.

It was at one of the lowest places in my life, that I experienced the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. I cried out for God to make Himself real to me and to do something! And He did!!! I was 43 years of age and driving on a very wet and windy night, when my car hit water and slid across the road onto the opposite side towards a hedge and started to turn over. I knew this was it … I was about to be crushed to death … this was happening! 

“God help me!”

In a flash and in absolute despair, the cry came out “God help me”. In what appeared to be the blink of an eye I found myself sitting in the car the right way up! Imagine my surprise – safe and still here! 

Even more amazing things were about to happen. A car pulled up and a voice I recognised came to help me. It was my doctor! And then, almost immediately, the local garage owner arrived and happened to have the pickup truck in tow. He towed my car away which was now a right off! What was even more amazing was this was normally a very busy road and yet I saw no other cars except for the two that came to help me! I had badly bruised my head and bitten my tongue but apart from that I was fine. 

This incident happened in February, and by mid-June I had accepted Christ into my life and was Baptised early September of that year! Why? Because I couldn’t argue about what God had done for me on that night. I cried out and His answer came with so many blessings. 

Very recently a word was given in my church for someone in the congregation – that word was for me confirming all the Lord had done and is doing for me. The scripture was Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future”.

As I look back over my years as a Christian, I can say that God has surely been true to that Word for me – that scripture is now my testimony.

God has a time and a plan for each one of us. 

God doesn’t call the worthy, the adequate, the equipped. He equips the called ones.

Florence Adams was born on the 24th Nov 1914 in Northampton.  Her mother died and she and her elder brother were put into care when her father could no longer look after them.  Florence was working in a shoe factory in her teenage years where she met a lady who was to become a lifelong friend.  Florence lived with her for a short time and she took Florence to church where she became a Christian.  Florence attended a meeting and heard a retired lady missionary from India speak about her work.  She made the appeal for someone to go to India and carry on her work.  The Lord spoke to Florence and said He wanted her to go, however she put this down to the emotion of the meeting and left it at that.  Later she attended Bible College in Wales and then nursing training in London.  The Lord spoke to her again about India and a few years later she eventually set off taking nothing with her, as the Lord commanded her to do.  After one short visit, Florence went and stayed there for over 40 years.  She met the Thomas family, the mother of whom was a gynaecologist.  Florence worked with her throughout her time in Varanasi.  They became close friends and prayer partners, ultimately praying the church in Varanasi into being.  As well as nursing, farming, and brickmaking, Florence also helped to bring up and educate the family’s three children Aruna, Arvind and Anita.  

In 1986 Florence became very ill and had to return to the UK as she could no longer cope with the heat.  She had always hoped to die in India, but the Lord had other plans for her.  Once settled in Bournemouth, she started to travel to different churches talking about the growing ministry that she had left in Varanasi.

An influential meeting

Florence Adams was invited to my church in September 1994, to tell us about the work she had been involved with and still supported. Florence and I soon became friends.  In the summer of 1995 her adopted son, as she called him, Arvind Thomas, was in the UK and came to North Devon to speak.  When I met him at Exeter bus station, we embraced each other, and I felt the Lord bind us together by His Spirit.  Being a new Christian, I did not know what that meant but the coming years would certainly show the importance of that meeting.

At the end of his visit, Arvind invited me to visit him and see the work for myself.  I readily agreed to go in the summer of 1996.  As I was teaching this would give me plenty of time and I said I would go for five weeks.  Once Arvind left, I realised what I had done!  I had never been on holiday for longer than two weeks, never been to a third world country, and the things I had heard about India suddenly hit home and I started to pray, “Lord if you don’t want me to go then close the door”. 

An inspiring visit

As the wheels of the plane touched down at Delhi airport I was still praying, “Lord please cover me so that what I see doesn’t affect me.”  Five weeks later I did not want to go home.  The Lord had laid on my heart a love for India and its people that will never leave me!  He had answered my prayers but not as I thought he would!

Once back in England, I set about helping Florence with all that she was doing for the work in India.  Her health was deteriorating and a year later she came to live with me.  Arvind visited again and this time I took him to different places around the UK where we met people who would become instrumental in supporting his work in this country. 

An incredible calling

In January 1999, after visiting India every year since her return in 1986, Florence died of cancer.  I was now left as the contact between Arvind and people in this country!  God’s plan was being worked out!

In 2000, I went to India again; this time with a family who were interested in the work. Whilst there Arvind and I talked about making the work more accountable in the UK by forming a Charitable Trust.  This was duly set up, using people whom The Lord had brought me into contact with prior to any thought of a Trust being formed!  What planning – how the hand of God had been at work! So, the Bethel Full Gospel Church [India-UK] Trust came into being in February 2002, working with Arvind Thomas.  

2002-2006 New Trustees were appointed, and various ministries established. In 2006 following a word from the Lord to “extend the boundaries of your tent”, our name was changed to Vision for Asia!

2007-the present day we have seen new partnerships with Indian partners established, new project initiatives with project managers appointed and fundraising initiatives carried out.

We have a miracle doing – word keeping – prayer answering – God. And He’s ready to meet us now with a love that is literally out of this world.

Our commission is to preach the Good News of the saving Power of Jesus Christ. We are privileged to be playing a small part in seeing people’s lives changed as they respond to the Gospel message and as they are enabled and empowered to raise themselves out of poverty.

God undoubtedly uses ordinary people for His extraordinary purposes.