London Journal – Friday, May 15, 2009

I have started reading again the Gospel of Mark. I noted the way Jesus began his preaching ministry.

“The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15. It is our privilege today to continue this work of announcing the kingdom of God, which is open to all people.

Today the Vision Trip began with another lecture, this one on the nature of the Quran and the Bible. We are learning many things.

Next, we went to East London by Overground Train. Near our destination, Stratford station, we saw the work in progress on the stadium for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Our reason for coming to this areas was to meet with Elias Moyo, a Brethren in Christ minister from Zimbabwe who came to London 29 years ago to start a church in London. He had a special desire to reach out to immigrants from Zimbabwe and other nations of Africa, but his church was, and is, open to all people.

By this time Elias has planted Forest Gate Church in East London and five other churches in five other cities and has founded Kemuel Theological College, a small school to train pastors and lay leaders.

It was a privilege for our group to hear Elias tell of his passion to see more missionaries and church planters come to the United Kingdom.

After that conversation, which took place in a McDonald’s restaurant, where the loud music on the PA system was a constant distraction, we went to The City Law School at Chancery Lane.

En route we saw this half-timber building, characteristic of an earlier style of architecture.

P1010873

At this law school Dr. G. teaches top-of-the-class students who come from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to study law for one year and then return to their home countries.

Dr. G. is a Christian, and throughout the year he talks with the students about the Christian faith. Now at the end of the course (the students will return home in two weeks) he invited Jay and a Muslim leader to give presentations about Jesus and Muhammad.

This was an optional meeting, but about 60 students attended, which is most of the class!

The two speakers each talked for 15 minutes. Then the floor was open for questions, which could be directed to one or both speakers. This continued for 45 minutes. The comments by the speakers were respectful but frank and pointed.

Then hot box lunches were available. free of charge. As we ate, several of our group were able to sit among the students and continue conversation about many things, including the subject of the meeting.

The man who had moderated the question time was Ehtasham Anwar, the Deputy Administrator (a high official) in Pakistan. He, too, is here for one year of study. He was extremely friendly and invited us all to visit Pakistan, saying that we would be his personal guests and he would pay for our meals and lodging! You can imagine how attractive this sounds to me. I suppose I won’t be able to take him up on his offer,but at least I can dream….

After all this our group walked, through the rain, to a Cafe Nero for a time of debriefing. Several people mentioned their deep appreciation for Mr. G. for bringing his faith into his workplace.

We all were grateful for the privilege of personal interaction with these students, who willl soon be the leaders in their nations.

Back in our hotel room I worked on office work, including blog updates, until after midnight.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Dear
    Thanks for having mentioned me in so nice words…frankly I hardly deserved any.
    Well, my offer remains there. I shall be returning in August this year and be my guest anytime afterwards. My email is ehtashams@hotmail.com.
    Say my regards to all your team members who visited us at City Law School.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Ehtasham

    • Dear new friend Ehtasham,
      Thanks again for your kind offer. It would be a joy if we could meet again.
      John

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