Roy and Isabella Davey: From Peru to Brighton
Roy and Isabella Davey live in Brighton and regularly attend Church of Christ the King. Roy has recently written a commentary on the book of Romans in Spanish based on the Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones' interpretation. Prior to that he served the churches in the jungles and hills of Peru. It was whilst he was in Peru that he met Isabella. They share their stories..
Roy: In Feb 1980, I had a break down. Before that I found that my mind was closing down and my performance at work was decreasing drastically. Yet in April that year, I met Jesus in the street! At 9:30 one night, I heard an audible voice saying "you could die tomorrow". I knew that was true because of the drugs and alcohol that I was regularly consuming. I panicked but suddenly remembered something I had heard in Sunday School about hell. In my panic I phoned up a local pastor and asked if I could see him. It was 10:30 by then and he asked if it was a matter of life and death! Yes!...I met him and he spoke to me about Jesus Christ for an hour. I left his house and was walking home. It was like I was walking with a blanket draped around my head touching the ground when suddenly a great divine hand came down and lifted the blanket off. It was extraordinary! In that moment, I went from extreme depression to extreme elation. I was so excited I was helping old ladies cross the road, whether or not she wanted to!
I went to Bible college then. I was 37! I studied a lot there, about 15 hours a day and I loved it. Whilst at Bible College, a Peruvian lady missionary spoke about Peru needing Bible teachers and her talk stuck out to me. I used to find missionaries talks boring, but this was different. So I asked God whether he wanted me to do this and I felt lead to read a verse that was written on the inside cover of my missionary principles notebook. It was Acts 7:23, "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites." Well I was 40 and I knew that the Christians in Peru were my brothers and sisters so this gave me an inclining to go to Peru. It was 7 years before the doors finally opened for me to go. I didn't know why though, but when I got to Peru I realised my God had delayed my trip so that He could use the time to work in my heart. I would have collapsed and come home in disobedience that first year if I hadn't had those 7 years of preparation.
I went to Peru in 1993 and lived there for 14 years. I spent 6 years in the mountains and 8 years on the coast training people to be pastors. Most people don't have money to go to Bible college, so the church I was linked to had its own Bible college. Pastors would come down from the mountains or up from the jungles and they would be looked after for 2 years. I would be one of their teachers. I taught from the Bible and also by living out a Christian life to them. I loved it.
I came back to England in 2007. I came back to work on the book, but we now feel that God has closed the door for us to go back to South America and stay on in England. Just a couple of weeks ago we got a visa for Isabella to stay here. I felt the Lord say ‘mission accomplished' which is a lovely thing to hear at the end.
For young people thinking of pursuing mission overseas, don't go unless you're certain God has told you to go. The missions turned me down because of my age so I went out as an independent missionary. I had a lot of discouragement but I trusted God and knew it was His plan for me to be in Peru.
Isabella (Roy translating): I lead a very empty life before I became a follower of Jesus. I was a very religious catholic and went to all the masses but my life was empty and aimless. I used to read the Bible but I did not understand it. During my teenage years, my parents separated and I had to assume parental responsibility for my siblings. Around that time, some of my friends became Christians and I noticed a difference in their lives. Their faces changed, they looked happy! They invited me to go to their church. At their church, people received me with a great deal of love. It was like stepping into another world all together! When the meeting started the words of the songs spoke to my heart and when the pastor preached, he stripped my life bare. It was as if someone had told the pastor about me! I didn't think I was a sinner in comparison to others but that night I felt like a sinner. That night I saw my life like a film and I saw my rebellious personality in even the smallest of things.
That night I chose to follow Jesus.
I had an extraordinary joy in my heart after that and my life changed completely. I asked for lots of miracles to show people God's grace and glorify Him and I have loads of stories of God's provision.
One evening not too long after I became a Christian, I went to a village. A mother of 8 children had died that morning. I couldn't accept that this was God's will to take away a mother from her 8 children. So I prayed and the mother came back to life! That resulted in many people putting their trust in Jesus.
It wasn't always easy for me though. I was thrown out of my house when I became a Christian. I had to hide and read my Bible under streetlights in the dead of the night but God was always there to strengthen me.
He lead me to marry Roy in a very special way even though I had to wait many years before we met.
I love it here at CCK. God has used me to encourage some of the younger Spanish speaking women at CCK. My English is very poor but I want to stay on in England more than Roy!