In 1995, Rick and Maxine (along with their 3 children) returned for 3 months to India and purchased some land to build a home for their foster children who were now adults. Rick and Maxine worked as volunteers at the WEC College in Tasmania for 18 years. Rick ran the 70-acre farm and Maxine looked after the laundry and sewing departments.
Shirley Strong passed away in 1993 and Maxton Strong followed in April 2003. Unfortunately, the Mission had been deteriorating badly in the last years of Maxton’s life, with dishonest staff members attempting to exploit the children and the farm for their own gain. In 2004 Warwick, Maxine, and their son Clifton, who was then 19 years old, returned and took on the work of restoring the Mission to a place of love and safety. There was a lot of work to do; the children and the property had not been cared for in years! The work was full of challenges as there were massive debts and crumbling infrastructure.
To make matters worse, a group of opportunistic locals with no legal claim to the Mission or the land, attempted to seize the property as their own at this time. This opposition obstructed the Shipways’ work at every turn, attempting to have them ousted from India, and pushing baseless legal cases through the courts, several of which continue to this day. In spite of these challenges, the Mission work has continued and expanded, with the Shipways putting their trust in God and simply doing the work that each new day requires.
Before moving to India, the Shipways sold everything they had in Australia including their house, cars and possessions and used the money to further improve the Mission. Many of their friends and family have donated thousands of dollars over the years to bring the Mission to the place where it is today.
In March 2008, Clifton married Priscilla Singh who had grown up as a child in the orphanage. They were married on the Mission and now have two children of their own. In August 2010, Maxine passed away and Rick took over as Director of the Mission by a unanimous vote of the board members. At this time, Priscilla was elected to the Board into the position of Treasurer.