Monthly Archives: May 2014

Weekends in Britain April-May 2014

Visits overseas add colour to life and to our website. They are also very significant for us in our lives and we trust also contribute to the mission of God’s church in the countries we visit. But most of the year we are ministering in Britain and so in this brief report I want to tell of three visits here in England. We feel it is a tremendous privilege to be invited to speak on various aspects of mission in British conferences and churches of different denominations and types.

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Three weeks ago I was at Wiston House in Sussex for a conference of people who own or manage large landed estates. Last year I attended and read a paper for the first such conference. They were studying our relationship with the land and how this is to work out in practice today. I found it so encouraging to think of these key Christians taking a lead in the use of estates ecologically, in service of the local community and in their contribution to international food needs. Our daughter Ruth and her husband Greg were giving papers too, so it was lovely to share the beauties and luxuries of Wiston with them as well as with the other excellent people in the conference.

The weekend before last Elizabeth and I were in Christ Church, Abingdon for an international weekend. We stayed with Roland and Jean Knight, an excellent former All Nations couple who had worked with Missionary Aviation Fellowship in E. Africa. The church meets in a lovely converted barn and is growing through considerable activities in the community. On the Saturday evening we shared a meeting with Daniel Bourdanne, the leader of IFES. He spoke on the huge growth of the church in Africa, Asia and Latin America while I was asked to speak on lessons to be learned from the Asian churches we worked with. On the Sunday Elizabeth preached at their daughter church with about a hundred people, while I preached in the main church. We both expounded Jesus’ call to his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, so send I you” (John 20.21). In the evening with more younger people I preached on Romans 12.1, 2.

This past weekend I was in Cambridge. On the Saturday morning I taught the Post-graduates’ Fellowship on witness among Muslims. Then in the evening we had further discussion on mission. On the Sunday I expounded from Acts at St. Philip’s in the morning and then preached on Jesus’ authority in Matthew’s Gospel for the Chinese church. Here too I stayed with former All Nations students, Bartow and Marianne Wylie. They have served fruitfully for many years with Friends International among overseas students.

As is our practice, in each place we sold many copies of the various books we have written. We are so encouraged by the number of people who tell us how God has blessed them in some very specific way through one of our books.

 

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April 2014 – Teaching on Jewish mission in Germany

 

In April I had the privilege of speaking again for ten days in Germany. This was at the invitation of

Gemeindehilfsbund who arranged for me to be the speaker for two weekend conferences they had

organised. The topic was Jewish issues and mission with the emphasis on Romans 11.25/26. The

first conference was held at Bad Gandersheim and I flew to Hannover for that. Then I was asked to

teach at Brake Bible School on the same topic and at Breckerfeld Bible School on the call of Ezekiel.

Following this I was driven down south to the Christian centre at Zavelstein near Stuttgart for the

second weekend conference. It was a real joy and privilege to be speaking to warm-hearted praying

Christians and I much appreciated the friendship and fellowship they gave me. They were strongly

conservative biblically with a strong pre-millennial core to their theology and mission understanding.

I am always rather nervous of my German language before visits to that country, but again it was

exciting to find God loosening the tongue and allowing the language to flow freely. To my surprise

I found also that my German Jewish family background was a definite advantage. Several people I

spoke with suffered from troubled consciences concerning the evils perpetrated by their nation in

the Third Reich. In recent years I have found that the Holocaust is beginning to slip into past history,

so I no longer introduce this topic in my ministry in Germany; but on this visit various people took

the initiative in sharing with me about it. What a wonderful Gospel we have! The good news of total

cleansing from ALL sin through the cross of Jesus and the promise of new life in his resurrection.

In Jewish mission Christians often face the danger of concentrating on taking people on visits to

Israel and on enabling Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel. Germany has experienced a considerable

influx of about 250,000 Russian Jews who now live in the main cities. This presents German

Christians with a challenge to engage in evangelism among these Jewish immigrants. Jews for Jesus,

Chosen People’s Ministry and the German Messianic Fellowships are particularly involved in such

evangelism and witness. It was a privilege to challenge people to support these ministries in their

witness, to pray for them and to give generously.

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