Monday, December 18, 2017

The Story of Nikky (and me, and her mom, and Kajal, and God...oh, and red chicken)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Nikky.

We met Nikky when we first arrived in Tanzania, way back in 2001.  We had joined a church that came out of the Indian population of Dar es Salaam.  Nikky, her mom, and her brother were a part of that church.

Nikky and her family were a big part of our lives for those two years.  I was her Sunday School teacher.

And every Wednesday evening, we would go to her family's house, where Gil would lead a Bible study.  Her mom, Shital, is a wonderful cook, and each Wednesday we would eat her famous red sekala chicken and chips.  It was our favorite meal in Tanzania.

We even had the privilege of being present when Nikky's mom married her step dad.

When we left Tanzania in 2003, we lost touch with Nikky's family.  When we returned in 2005, we were living in a different part of the city and fully immersed in Haven of Peace Academy. 

Meanwhile, Nikky and her family starting attending a different church.  The pastor of that church happened to be the husband of HOPAC's kindergarten teacher.  So when the kindergarten class needed a new teacher's assistant, she told Nikky to apply.  So imagine my surprise when one day, a few years ago, I saw Nikky (all grown up) walking across the HOPAC campus.

It was a joyful reunion.  We visited their church, where Shital was serving in leadership.  Shital had always loved Gil's teaching and jumped at the chance to join the Reach Tanzania Bible School.  That was a year ago.

(Shital is front left)

In August, I began my new position as elementary principal at Haven of Peace Academy, where Nikky has continued to work as a teacher's assistant.  So I became her boss.  

Last week, Nikky got married, and we got to be there.  

This is Nikky with her HOPAC family.

And this is us with Nikky, her mom and dad, and Kajal, another wonderful friend from our old church days together.

(This was Kajal and me in 2002.)

Fifteen years.  I stand in awe of how God has blessed us with such wonderful relationships.  

And almost just as exciting, a few months ago, Shital opened a restaurant in our area.  Where she is selling her red sekela chicken, of course.  Our lives are now complete.  

And we all lived happily ever after.

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