“How Did God Tell You To Move To India?”

train why banner
Train passing by in India.

I have actually gotten this question a few times, along with the question: “why did you move to India?”

In my “About Me” page I tell you that we moved to India because God “said” so.

Let me elaborate.

My husband and I try to live a life surrendered to God, and as a result our life is a continuos adventure. In the past four years, this has led us to spend time in South Carolina, New Hampshire, North Carolina, India, and Oregon. We are not tied to any given place, and we try to let God work through us as much as possible and lead us through life. Sometimes we forget and momentarily take the reins ourselves; this is the constant struggle, as we are following a “silent master.” If only He would just tell us directly what His wish and will are, life would be so much easier for us. But everyday we struggle to know what that wish is and try to do our best. When He is in a good mood and our hearts are open, he’ll “speak” to us through our hearts and our intuition. And that is how He told us to move to India.

Last February we traveled to India for a short 10 day trip. That’s when the “feeling” started. When we went back to our home in Durham the feeling continued. We both felt it. But then our minds started to weigh in and from the feeling we decided to move to India after two years. It sounded right to us and we had a few commitments in Durham. But then, God “told” us, that He wanted us to move now/as soon as possible. Not in two years. We forget that when God wants something or asks you to do something, it’s not whenever you feel like, it is now/as soon as possible.

Four months later we moved to India. It was how long it took us to get visas, find a new home for our cats, sell and donate everything we had, and afford the one-way tickets to India. We assumed this was a permanent/indefinite move; we left nothing behind.

The purposes we can only guess, but I know He has many purposes to any given “order”. Our general purpose is to serve Him and love Him by serving and loving His people.

We are not missionaries and we are not religious. We simply believe in God, and believe in serving and loving Him.

He is very strict with our financial status because this way He can control us better. Well, lead us better, if you will. He likes to keep us broke so that we won’t indulge in silly worldly attachments, but He always provides a roof on top of our heads and food for our bellies. He also leads us by blocking many ideas and projects and actions that we take. One way for us to let Him lead us, is by trying different things and letting Him either block it or bless it. Most of the time He blocks it.

Living a life surrendered to God is not easy by any means, and it has led to many broken relationships but we wouldn’t choose to live it differently.

For me personally, I have found that if you live for God, He provides you with the strength to do things you never thought you could do.

I am still working on getting better at this life, I still backtrack by indulging in this material world, but I am working on it. I’m not planning on becoming this human who can go days without eating and wear barely any clothes and live through any kind of weather. I am just trying to live a simpler life, with less and less greed, anger and lust, and not trying to care about worldly things that don’t matter but at the same time meet my responsibilities, especially towards others. Speaking of others, a big one is trying to live a selfless life. That would be my ultimate goal.

Traveling has always been one of my favorite things. But now it has become part of my life. I don’t get to choose where I travel anymore, and there is certainly no more luxury involved; I am not a tourist anymore (I fantasize about this kind of travel though). I am just a traveler guided by God, I am a wanderer who doesn’t have a permanent home, a nomad in a way, but instead of seeking fresh pasture for livestock, I am seeking the truth and to serve God, wherever that may be.

I am surprised my old friends don’t call me Waldo, because they are often wondering where in the world I am. I think they do think I am bit crazy sometimes, but they still love me. And honestly, living a life surrendered to God, doesn’t come with praise from others or meeting anyone’s expectations or people approving of what you do… it actually comes with people thinking you are a little or a lot crazy. So there’s a warning for you, if you were planning on entering this path. And if you’re on it already, you know what I mean. It simply doesn’t match society’s norms.

.  .  .

Right now we are stranded in Portland. What was a one month visa renewal trip, turned into a 9 week visa renewal trip, and now over three months in Portland; circumstances have led us to stay and we are awaiting for our next orders. In the meantime we will try things, and see what sticks.  So far all we have had to do is nothing and patiently wait for a prompt to go somewhere or do something. Sometimes God just wants you to sit still.

15 thoughts on ““How Did God Tell You To Move To India?”

  1. I was wondering about that. Thank you for clarifying.

    Yes, trustful surrender. This is the path I’ve been on for only the last couple of years. I arrived there the hard way and if you are interested you can read about it here:

    I came upon your blog a few days ago and am enjoying it very much. I love India. I was there a few years ago for work and had the time of my life. I’m from Seattle originally and am a transplanted Americaine living in France. Portland is a lovely city – I have a brother and sister there and the family farm too.

    A very happy new year to you and I look forward to reading more about where God sends you next.


    1. Hi Victoria,
      I’ve been in this path for over 4 years now. I always believed and loved God, but never had tried to surrender to Him until 2009. I am interested in your post, I have bookmarked it to read it tomorrow as I am a bit tired.
      Thanks for stopping by! And happy new year to you too.


      1. A very happy new year to you as well, Mani.


  2. Are you still in Portland? Does this mean you won’t be returning to India?


    1. We are still here. What started as a one month visa renewal trip, has become over three months. Circumstances have led us to stay, and we actually don’t know if we are supposed to go back to India or not. This selfishly kinda makes me worry about my blog, because Portland is not as interesting as India haha, but I still have India material. We don’t know officially what the plans are, that’s why I haven’t written about it.


      1. I think your readers would be very understanding. The uncertainty of waiting for a visa is a story in itself. I wish you all the very best and look forward to reading your posts wherever you are.


  3. Not necessarily. My French husband finds the Portland area really exotic. 🙂 My parents have a farm in the valley and he gets drafted when we visit to work on the old barn. For him it’s quite the adventure…


    1. 🙂 I love Portland, it’s my favorite place in the US that I’ve been but I still think India wins in the exotic contest ;). Do your folks need a hand in the farm? I always wanted to learn how to garden and grow my own food! 🙂


  4. Hola Mani,

    So, I haven’t read much of your blog, but it’s interesting that you chose to write this post. I noticed that you had commented a bit on my own blog, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to read much of yours. But I am curious about your mission/quest to serve God. What did you do in India? Are you doing charitable works? Education of the poor? Something else? Meanwhile, I’ll dig around and have a look.

    Sounds like an interesting way to lead your life. I wonder why God doesn’t give you a clearer long-term plan?


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we wish God were a little less interested in extremely cold weather right now.


    1. Hi Kim,
      Welcome 🙂 We tried a few things in India. We tried creating electric conversion kits for rickshaws in our small town for starters, and there was a ton of interest all over India, but we just couldn’t find any investors, so that plan failed. We also tried extending the Western and Eastern community in Meherabad where people from all over the world gather for spiritual purposes, by an approach of gathering apartments for rent and making them more accessible online for people worldwide to come. There were several obstacles we couldn’t overcome, but this plan is still in our minds, it hasn’t been discarded. Nor has the electric rickshaw idea, but won’t be able to do anything until we have the money. We are simply trying out these ideas and letting God guide us by blocking or blessing them. We also try to remember not to be attached to results. Sometimes God works through the actions even if the results are not what we planned.
      In the meantime we did a few smaller things like paying for the college education of an Indian friend we met and giving him a job. We also paid for the medical bills for another Indian who helped us find a home and is our on call driver and who’s wife had a miscarriage.
      I also wonder why God doesn’t give us a clearer long-term plan. We would LOVE that. But He seems to like pulling us around the world like puppets.


      1. Interesting. I’ve worked my way through your July 2013 posts, moving on now to August. I hope your Nutribullet survived its brush with 230 V, LOL… The reason the electronics can be plugged in anywhere is that they are designed for that, which you can check on the charger’s label. Most other things aren’t.


  5. Mani, I like that you continue to try. Every venture means that you learned something and know more people and get a better idea of where the next venture should go. My first years in France I worked for an NGO and then went into IT. The latter clicked until one day it didn’t (I got very sick). Now I have to start over and find something more compatible with my health and my head. So I started volunteering and that’s clicking. So maybe what God wants is for me right now is to be of service.

    My parent’s farm is out in the Willamette Valley near Silverton. About 40 acres. The fields are rented to local farmers. The house is rented to a couple who work in the area. My parents live in Seattle and care for a section that has the barn and the walnut and fruit trees. They are thinking of retiring down there so they can put more time into it. You can see some pictures here:


    The years we come to the US we have a family reunion there because it’s central – some family members comes from the north (Washington and maybe B.C.) and some come from the south (California or maybe Mexico).


    1. Josh, my husband, lived in Seattle for about 7 years. He loves it there. And he also fantasizes about just living in a cabin and having tons of animals, I guess a cabin/farm hehe. But it doesn’t seem like that’s what God wants for us, at least for now.


  6. Thank you for this inspiring post 🙂


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