We met at boarding school in the hills of South India, and were in the same maths class where I sat in the row behind Taryn, and finally one day told her that I loved her. Even more significantly, it was in my final year at Hebron School here that I encountered the power of God and fell in love with Jesus.
We went our separate ways to university, as Taryn went to Delhi to read English Literature at St Stephen’s College, while I continued to study Mathematics at Churchill College, Cambridge University. Without the inspiration of having Taryn sitting in front of me, my passion for maths waned and withered. But fortunately the power and grace of God remained the same, and after another dramatic experience of encountering the presence of God I was able to switch subjects to Theology.
I managed to find Cambridge travel grants to come to India each summer: to volunteer with an NGO working with drug addicts, to trek in the Himalayas, to research a potential dissertation. I may also have had ulterior motives that weren’t revealed on the travel grant applications: the first summer I asked Taryn out, the second if she would marry me, the third we had a public engagement ceremony, and the next summer we were married.
The plan was to spend the first year of marriage together in England doing evangelistic ministry with a church in Cambridge. Unfortunately, Taryn’s visa was denied, and we spent three of the first months of our married life on opposite sides of the globe and in utter bewilderment, prevented by immigration bureaucracy from seeing each other. The decision was finally overturned and Taryn was allowed into the country–by which time the anguish of that season had borne the fruit of a first album of prophetic worship songs: Songs of the Bride. Taryn has since recorded many more songs, all of which can be downloaded for free from here.
In September 2011 we went to Harpenden to do YWAM’s Discipleship Training School, going on outreach to Ethiopia and Rwanda. We then stayed on in Harpenden for another year as YWAM staff, where we led an outreach team to London over the Olympics, helped staff a DTS, and also were involved with the leadership of a church-plant in Luton.
We returned to Cambridge in summer 2013, where we have been involved with starting the Revival & Reformation DTS: a nine-month missionary training programme focussed on passionate prayer and worship overflowing in bold evangelism to our city and then the nations. The vision is to see a new generation of prayer-powered missionaries inspired and equipped to complete the church’s commission to disciple the nations. (Fascinatingly, the nine months of the first R&R DTS exactly coincided with the pregnancy of our first-born son, Isaac.)