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.
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.