My last posted listed some friends of Spurgeon which has led to a couple of conversations. I always find it interesting to see summary lists of friends, influences, books when people look back and identify what has really impacted them.
Another book that was so easy to read, because it has many photographic illustrations (!) all from its author John Stott, celebrated his 80th birthday. He looked back over the teachers who had impacted him. He drew an imaginary circle round the globe, plotted sixteen stopping places on it and stopped at each to highlight people who have been his teachers. He calls it: 'People my teachers'.
He explains that they are all historical and some lived in the distant past like the apostle Paul (Turkey), and St. David (Wales). Others are in the near past like Festo Kivengere (Uganda) and Richard Wurmbrand (Romania). Some he has known personally like Dr. Paul White (Australia), Bishop Bjorn Bue (Norway). For others he has visited their graves as with Shackleton on South Georgia and Temple Gairdner in Cairo. He writes that many have made impact on his life either by a book they have written or by their reputations which means that one way or another he can share a personal anecdote about each.
Also included are: Gandhi (India), Lilly O'Hanlon and Hilda Steele (Nepal), Hudson Taylor (China), Allen Gardiner (S. America), Charles Darwin (Galapagos), D.L. Moody (the American student world), John Franklin ( seeking NW passage), Thomas Becket (Canterbury and Choughs). Are there some surprises? Gandhi? Darwin? He writes: 'All of them have a lesson or lessons to teach us'.
Of course the list is not exclusive. He had a gift for making friends all over the world, but I love its range which helps to explain how he was nourished in his own leadership. How much we can learn from others - especially those in the past.