Over the weekend I did a conference on “True Living” for the Evangelical Reformed Church, in Hackney, London. I gave four messages to 200 people (nearly all blacks, most of whom hail from the Caribbean) on “True Living”—personally (in the believer’s relationship with God), domestically (in marriage and child rearing), perseveringly (enduring to the end in a life of conversion), and eternally (in heaven, as a world of love). After the Sunday evening service, I did a Q and A session with the young people. Their questions are outstanding—very spiritual and yet practical in nature. No one seemed to mind the excessive heat in the church through the weekend too much. God was graciously in the midst of us.
This is my fifth time serving this warm, spiritually thriving church. God has blessed my past visits here more tangibly than any other church I am aware of. I love ministering to these dear people. The church is teeming with new, young converts—especially young men, several of whom are now wrestling with a call to the ministry. At least one dear brother who would love to study at PRTS hopes to visit our seminary soon. Reformed, experiential Christianity is alive and well in this blessed church.
It was great to have the Cazander family from British Columbia worship with us as well in God’s kind providence. It is a bittersweet time for them, as their daughter, Trichelle (about whom I wrote a few days ago), is awaiting surgery on Friday. It was a blessing to be able to pray and visit with them.
On Monday morning I was driven to the London City Airport by a Muslim taxi driver. (It seems that nearly all taxi drivers in London are Muslim.) He tried to minimize the differences between Christianity and Islam. “The only difference is that we don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” he said, “and that’s all!” When I remarked that that was a rather major difference, he neither affirmed nor denied it. He told me that 98% of the community where my hotel was is Muslim. Because the population there is so dominated by Islam, it is the only community in London where the Muslims are allowed to sound their minarets five times a day for prayer. Every Friday at 1:00 p.m., this community in London virtually shuts down as all the Muslims are required to be in their mosques to worship at that time. “We really should go to the mosque every day,” he said, “but most of us go only once a week on Fridays because that is the only time attendance is mandatory.” Presently, the Muslims are in a month of fasting. From 3:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m., no Muslim is to have any food or drink—not even a sip of water for thirty days! “Only nine more days,” my driver said, “and then I can start eating again!”
I landed safely in Amsterdam where I have an important meeting to attend on behalf of the seminary tomorrow. Tomorrow (Tuesday) Mary and Lydia hope to rejoin me in Amsterdam (they are having a wonderful time in Greece), and on Wednesday we hope to fly home together. Home, sweet home!