When I returned from Switzerland, I had not really learned French. I went back to London, where Raymond and I were able to join up together in the fellowship at Honor Oak. There we were getting ready for Africa. However, the elders of the church did not have any registration about our going to Africa. So we were waiting and praying and hoping that they would get freedom about our going. We did not believe that we should go as ‘freelancers’, nor that we would be joining a missionary society. We were convinced that it should be a church matter like it had been in Antioch.
The elders at the Fellowship had no light about our going to Africa, but eventually they said to me one day, “We believe that you can find the Lord’s will for yourselves, so go ahead. We will pray for you.” That was not what we had asked the Lord for. We did not want them to just send us and pray for us. We wanted rather the Holy Spirit to say to them, “Golsworthy and Flack for Africa.” So we were a bit desperate. We gave the Lord a deadline and said, “Please, say yes or no to Africa within eight days.” On the fifth morning, one of the elders was leading the family worship. He knew nothing about our request to the Lord. He read Deuteronomy chapter three, where the Lord says to Moses, “Come up into the mountain. You shall see the land. You shall not go in. Speak no more to Me of this matter.” Could it have been plainer than that? “Speak no more to Me of this matter of Africa.” We had to tell the elders, “Well, Africa is cut off for us. We will not go to Africa.” They were not surprised, but we were a bit nonplussed. So we said, “What will the future be? We do not know.” We continued to pray about the future.
One day, one of the elders’ wives said, “Oh, I see you two boys in Calcutta.” “Calcutta?” I did not want to go to India, much less Calcutta. In my opinion Calcutta was the worst city in India. I thought of India as a land with so many idols. What should I do with so many idols there? However, the words of that sister did register with me. A day or two afterwards I read in my daily reading a question that came to Jeremiah (Jer. 37:17), “Is there any word from the Lord?” Yes… the answer was yes. So it made me think, “There is a word from the Lord.” A few days after that we had the word, “How can you be quiet when God has given an order?” (Jer. 47:7, R.V. Marg.). If the Lord has spoken, should you keep silent? “Cursed is the man that doeth the work of the Lord negligently” (Jer. 48:10). Now we had been bombarded with messages of God, we felt it was to be India. We had made a mistake before, thinking the Lord wanted us to go to Africa, and we thought that perhaps the elders would make a suggestion to us. But now we had to tell them that we believed the Lord had called us to India. The opportunity came for us to speak to them.
Mr. Sparks asked me to go down to his house to do some job in the garden, or in the house—I do not remember. Anyway, this was our opportunity. So we said, “We believe the Lord is speaking to us about India.” He smiled and said, “Well, two weeks ago when we were in prayer”—the elders used to pray every Monday morning— “the Lord said to us, Golsworthy and Flack for India.” There it was! The church at Honor Oak had been praying for a testimony of Christ in India for a long time and they had a burden that we should go there and pray on Indian ground.
The church prayed over us and the elders laid their hands on us. Within eight weeks, we were on the boat. Before we left however, we went to see an old lady, Miss Cowie, who was in the fellowship at Honor Oak at that time. She was a bit of a link between India and London. She had been to India for quite some years as a missionary. She had a great burden for India and she knew what she wanted: Indian leaders who had seen the spiritual nature of the church and who knew the overcoming life. These were the two things that she was concerned about. She had come to know the spiritual nature of the church which she wanted to share; and so she did, as far as she was able.
Such was her burden that she would grab people and say, “Come, pray with me.” We went to see her. She was retired and lived down in Worthing. When we arrived she was sitting on a chair, with a hat on and an umbrella with her. She said, “Boys, what is Jeremiah 1:12?”
I said, “I see a rod of an almond tree.”
“That is verse 11; what is verse 12? ”I will watch over my word and perform it,”“ she said. “You go to India with that. God is watching over His Word to perform it,” indicating He was raising up men who had seen the spiritual nature of the church.
I suppose it was through Miss Cowie that there was some communication with an Indian brother, David Samuel.