There are some wonderful people involved in mission work.
I’ve just returned from the rather grand sounding World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission Conference and over the next few days, I’d like to share some of my thoughts and experiences.
My next couple of posts will say something about the content of the conference itself, but my overriding memory of the four days, is not of the work sessions, but of the people I got to share my time with.
It was good to bump into a few Wycliffe friends from around the world, to share meals with colleagues and friends from the UK and to chat to some people I’d not previously during the break times. There were some very witty, wise and gracious people in that hotel and it was a privilege to be with them.
However, the highlight was when I was introduced to the head of the Dutch Evangelical Alliance.
Twenty Two years ago, I was heading up a summer language learning course at the Wycliffe Centre and two of the students were Jan and Beppie Wessels who were heading to Botswana to work with the San people. I remember really enjoying having them in the class; they were fun, hardworking and obviously committed to the work they were going to do. I’ve often wondered what happened to them.
So, imagine my delight to meet Jan in his new role with the Dutch EA.
Over breakfast we tried to catch up on 22 years of work and family news. It was really exciting to hear about the work that Jan and Beppie had done in encouraging the growth of the Church amongst the San; working themselves out of a job in the process. When it came time for them to return to the Netherlands; the San Christians commissioned them as their missionaries to Europe! I find that rather exciting.
It was also rather gratifying to discover that they had made use of the language learning principles that they had learned all those years ago. Jan introduced me to a number of people as the person who helped him to make progress with a very difficult language.
Hopefully our paths will cross again, but in less than 22 years!