Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure* 74) Reaching Out

(*please skip if you have not been following this story).  During these tumultuous months a number of countries came to the fore - each deserving far more time than I can give.  UGANDA featured through our missionary Martin Brown.  CHAD (the poorest country in the world) because of Mario Thompson who was translating the New Testament into the as yet unwritten language of the Maba people.   in N. Chad.  We shared her astonishment in her discovery of a book in Paris which appeared to help in translation. What stories we shared as we commissioned her on Harvest Sunday, September 24th.

ROMANIA loomed large because our relationship began back in May 1985 when the church was twinned with 2nd. Baptist Church in Oradea.  In harsh Ceasescu days Sheila Moore, accompanied by my father (who taught himself Romanian), became our first ambassadors and links developed with the pastor Dr. Nic Georghita visiting us for a second time in Autumn 1989.  Plans were made for me to visit with my father (it would be his third visit) in Spring of 1990.  However, in December before we went the world was glued to the news of Ceasescu's downfall and our prayers outpoured for friends in this church.

Tragedies emerged as Romania became open to the West and the desperate plight of the orphans touched one of our members in particular, Dave Brunning, who drove a lorry to help in some of the worst deprived areas. What he saw changed his life.  His photographs and testimony on his return hit our church and far beyond.  This began some remarkable heady days as he spearheaded a LOVE ROMANIA campaign, filling lorries with necessities, including washing machines for the orphanages. His compassion and zeal touch us all.  On Radio 2 he raised £3,000 on two mornings alone. Appeals for 2 tons of soap power, 2 tons of children's teaching material, 7 tons of seed barley, 2 tons of paper, medical and clothing supplies.  Milton Baptist Chapel became the clearing house for mounds of material as the campaign raised over £20,000 and sent 28 tones of materials.

Few of us will forget living through these days of action.  Of course, this wonderfully complemented mission at home, which was crowned by basing the national Billy Graham Live-Link for our region with us. A large satellite dish perched strategically on our roof.  Over 160 people attended counselling preparation sessions in our Upper Hall with thrilling outcomes as hundreds attended and many made faith decisions for Christ.

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