Visitors From All Over

We had a stream of visitors this week arriving from Kenya, the USA, Europe and India. Popping in for just a few days to meet us and our large family, it was a great chance to fellowship with new friends and put the harvesting on hold, if only for a moment.

One family among the visitors were Risto, Maria & Tatu Lindqvist from Finland, who have a unique connection to our orphanage, and also to Rick. In 1983 the Lindqvist’s were living in the Himalayas just a short drive from our mission; over their 2 year stay in India they had become very friendly with our staff and children. At one point during their stay Rick, noticing that Marja was not well, rushed her from her mountain home to a hospital in Polyganj where it was discovered that her kidney had shut down. Marja relayed the story to us later saying “Rick, you saved my life!”.

Risto, Marja and Tatu Linqvist, reunited with Rick after more than 33 years.

The story continues however: some months later Rick was taking them to their hotel in Delhi before their departure out of India. Having an uneasy feeling about the Sikh-owned hotel they had booked, Rick instead took them to a guesthouse owned by the mission. The next morning morning Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh body guards and the hotel (where the Lindqvist’s had their original booking) was burned down by Hindus in retaliation. Many people in the hotel died that day.

Thankfully, Rick could simply relax, drink tea and reconnect with the Lindqvists this time around, with no saving required.


About the Author:

Clifton is the grandson of Maxton D. Strong the founder of The GSAM. In 2004 at 19 years old he moved out from Australia to India with his parents to continue on his grandfathers work. Today he is working as the Deputy Director of the orphanage and the Chairman of the Maxton Strong School. He is married to Priscilla, a former child of the mission and together they have 3 sons.

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