Saturday, October 24, 2020

120 letters 2) A hymn

The first hand-written letter in my file came from an evangelist friend, Vic Jackopson, who was at that time heading up HOPE NOW International Ministries.  Vic was a long-standing friend of both Carol and myself.  Indeed he sent a very generous gift to Carol to buy herself a new outfit!  That was especially welcome in our very tight finances. But what really impacted me was a four verse hymn that he had written to celebrate my appointment.  Set to the tune 'For the beauty of the earth' it is based on Psalm 16.  He wrote that one of his fondest memories as a student at Spurgeon's was when the Vice Principal Frank Fitzsimmonds prayed in chapel :'We thank you, good Lord, that you have caused our lines to fall in pleasant places'.  Vic having left prison as a new Christian before coming to college especially appreciated that prayer.

Having just rediscovered this letter and hymn I was amazed when yesterday Vic phoned us out of the blue.  Still hard at work he was asking for my preaching help for a student he is mentoring.  When I told him about his March 1993 letter and hymn he had no recollection of writing it and said it was not likely to be of the highest quality writing. But, as you can imagine, he was thrilled that I had kept it and treasure it still. 'Please would you send me a copy?' he asked. 

I have just sent him scans by email and marvel at the way that an old letter provokes so much praise.  Like his second verse:

Lord, you have been our God and King

And a great Provider too;  

For we possess no good thing 

But that which has come from you. 

Therefore shall our tongues give voice 

And our hearts in you rejoice.

No comments: