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Parallel Journeys of Faith

“When our calling shifts, can we listen to what God is saying?” asked Sarah.

After living and serving in South Asia for five years, Sarah and her husband, David (not their real names), were called to reposition themselves and serve from a new home base in Canada. “I was reluctant,” she said. “It did not feel like a ‘call’ at the time, but more like something was being taken away from me.”

When new visa regulations prevented them from being able to remain full time in South Asia, the missionary couple returned to Canada in 2016 and their ministry focus shifted to global training. “In one way, it was clearly an end, but it was also a new beginning,” said Sarah. “God began to shift my focus to ministry within our Canadian city, which is home to a large South Asian community, predominantly Punjabis. Suddenly, God was giving me opportunities to disciple new Punjabi believers.” 

For Sarah, the faith journey had Biblical precedence. “I thought about Abraham and what it says in Hebrews 11:8, ‘By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.’ Sometimes, a call comes in stages as we let go of one thing and allow God to shape a new season in our lives.”

As the new season began for Sarah and David, they recalled an idea that had surfaced several years earlier as one of Multiply’s key partners in South Asia, John Sankara Rao, visited Canada. John had posed the question: “Why not send a missionary from South Asia to Canada, to help the churches reach out to their Punjabi neighbors?” 

The idea waited for God’s timing. In 2018, when David and Sarah were on a trip to South Asia, they were speaking to a large network of church planters and shared about the great need in Canada for the Gospel among the Punjabi people. “We spoke openly about the opportunity,” said Sarah, “and, in our hearts, we prayed and asked God if one of the workers in this network could be sent to help meet this need.” 

“Sometimes, a call comes in stages as we let go of one thing and allow God to shape a new season in our lives.”

One of the church planters that they met was Arun, a leader within the network. “We observed how Arun’s life reflected humility,” recalled Sarah, “how he passionately led worship, and how he demonstrated mature ministry skills.”

It was evident to Sarah and David that God had blessed Arun and his wife, Anjana, and their ministry. They learned that the couple was involved in planting fifteen house fellowships and in raising up leaders for these fellowships among the new believers. They also learned that those leaders had, in turn, started many more house churches within the region, and that Arun was providing oversight to several of them. 

“We faced a difficult question,” said Sarah. “How could we approach people like Arun and Anjana about leaving South Asia and take them away from such fruitful ministry? We didn’t know if we should do that, so we continued to pray and wait on God.”

Several months later, Sarah and David found themselves driving with Arun to visit one of the house churches. As they drove, Arun began to share about a stirring in his and Anjana’s hearts regarding the need for workers in Canada. He said to them, “I feel like the Lord is leading us to work with you.”  

David and Sarah looked at each other with thankfulness. In God’s timing, a path was being made clear. 

For Sarah, it was particularly important to hear that Anjana was also feeling the same call to serve in Canada as was Arun. “We knew about how God had used her in ministry with many women in South Asia,” said Sarah. “Anjana had played a critical role with the discipleship of women in the Punjabi context, especially where male pastors were not culturally permitted to minister directly to women.”

By late 2019, Arun and Anjana started to actively engage with leadership about their call to Canada. They began to talk about the idea with their two young sons, Daniel and Joel, and they began focusing more and more of their ministry on preparing other leaders to take over their responsibilities. 

In Canada, Sarah and David began to share the vision with churches and to build a support network for Arun and Anjana and their family. “The response from pastors and churches in Canada was overwhelming,” said Sarah. “They fully embraced the idea and couldn’t wait to welcome the new missionaries from South Asia.”

However, the planning encountered numerous challenges, not the least of which was a global pandemic. As COVID-19 tightened its grip on the world in early 2020, no one was traveling, let alone considering an international move. “Everything slowed down,” said Sarah. “The things that were difficult became almost impossible.” 

One of the necessary hurdles, of course, was securing an employment visa for Arun. “Even with the help of an immigration lawyer, it took a full year to prepare the case,” said Sarah. “There were just so many steps in the process, so much paperwork, and we all just got so tired of waiting. It was frustrating.” 

Even when the final paperwork was submitted, David and Sarah were told that it could take another five months to hear an answer, due to an enormous backlog of visa applications. “We asked everyone to start praying,” said Sarah, “in South Asia and in Canada.”

To everyone’s amazement, instead of five months, they received an answer within five days! The employment visa was approved. Arun and Anjana could come to Canada. “Even the lawyer said it was a miracle,” Sarah confirmed.

On May 25, 2022, the young family from South Asia arrived in Canada. 

Sarah and David are impressed and encouraged with how Arun and Anjana have embraced the cross-cultural challenge of Canada. “Transitions like this are not easy,” said Sarah, “but this couple is so committed, and perceptive. They understand how complex it is.” 

“Everything slowed down. The things that were difficult became almost impossible.”

Upon arrival in Canada, Arun and Anjana moved into a rented suite in a house owned by a Punjabi landlord. “Immediately, the couple is getting to know this family,” said Sarah, “praying with them, sharing their faith in Jesus with them. It’s so beautiful. It’s just a taste of what is yet to come. I feel so blessed to have them here in Canada.”

Arun and Anjana will work alongside David and Sarah and partner with various churches. “We hope to see an emerging network of house churches that engages both non-English speakers as well as second generation South Asian youth and adults,” said Sarah. “Arun will be a great resource to help guide us in understanding the house church model and South Asian culture, as well as helping us focus on multiplying and discipling leaders in missional outreach.”

Sarah and David are not unaware of the significance of what is happening. Over 100 years ago, MBs in Ukraine sent missionaries to South Asia, and now South Asian churches are sending missionaries to Canada. “It shows us God’s sovereign plan for nations,” said Sarah, “but it also shows us how churches from around the world can work together.” 

On a personal level, Sarah also sees the similarities between the two couples and how God has led them. “We are on parallel journeys of faith,” she reflected. “We are each listening to God, trying to hear what he is saying, and responding in faith and obedience.” 


Please pray for Arun and Anjana and their two sons, Daniel and Joel, as they adjust to Canada and embrace their new roles as missionaries. To contribute financially to their support, go to


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