|Philip Barker, Pam and John Rodger, and myself. Philip and John are HF U.K. board members. But Pam actually runs everything.
Seven hours of sitting in the Nairobi airport caused me to succumb to the temptation to purchase a banana milkshake at the airport’s only restaurant. It tasted so good. But after our flight departed from Nairobi at midnight, heading for London, I began to wonder if that milkshake was good for me. I won’t go into all the details, but the wonderful body that God gave me began to work on keeping me alive. By the time we reached London eight hours later, I had four symptoms, three of which were loss of appetite, weakness and chills. I was thankful that John and I were staying in London for a day before continuing our journey home.
I spent most of the day convalescing at the modest home of my dear British friends, John and Pam Rodger. If John and Pam are representatives of everyone in the U.K., then the U.K. must be a wonderful place. We were treated like royalty, and John’s humor kept us in stitches. John is one of the three board members of Heaven’s Family U.K., and he and Pam both serve the ministry without pay. John is also a former greedy businessman who used to fly members of the royal family around in his helicopters. Then he was marvelously saved. Now he spends as much time as he can preaching the gospel on the streets of London while financing his ministry by fixing up residential real estate.
Another board member, Philip Barker, drove two hours from Bournemouth to spend the afternoon and evening with us. Thankfully, by dinner time I had slept quite a few hours and recovered sufficiently to join everyone for dinner at a restaurant along the famous Thames River of London, although I only drank water and had a cup of tea. We were joined by Ian Squire, whom I had met in April when I was preaching at New Life Church in Crawley, England. Ian has an optometry business in London, and he also has a great heart for missions work. Everyone who accidentally leaves their eyeglasses in airplanes that land at London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports are unknowingly answering Ian’s prayers, as their eyeglasses are donated to his ministry, and he personally gives them to poor African Christians.
Ian emailed me a few months ago asking if there was any way that he could get 400 copies of The Disciple-Making Minister to Uganda in time for a pastors’ conference he would be helping conduct there. We had just printed 10,000 copies in Nairobi, and so Ian was able to arrange, through a missionary friend of his in Uganda, for the shipping of 400 books there.
But here is an interesting part of that story: While we were in Bujumbura, Burundi, just a few days ago, our team was eating breakfast when a congenial British man at another table initiated a conversation with us. We learned that he was a missionary to Uganda who was visiting Burundi to “spy out the land.” Being somewhat anti-social, I excused myself to go to my hotel room while the others stayed to talk. When I saw our team members later on, they informed me that they had told that British missionary what we were doing on our trip, and they told him a little bit about me, mentioning that I had written a book for pastors entitled The Disciple-Making Minister. He replied, “I just arranged for the shipment of 400 copies of that book from Nairobi, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda!”
Needless to say, it seemed that our meeting Nigel Harding may have been providential, and we had most of our meals together for the next few days at the hotel restaurant. He was amazingly tolerant of four American preachers who can all afford to be close-minded since they all have perfect doctrine.
As I’m writing this, John and I are over the Atlantic Ocean en route to Washington, D.C. and then Pittsburgh. Teryl and Danny should also soon be on their way home after completing their two-day pastors’ conference in Uganda, so I’m looking forward to hearing their report.
Generally, the Heaven’s Family blog does not have daily updates, so you won’t be hearing as much from us now. But thanks so much for joining me on my African journey over the past twelve days. I’m very much looking forward to being at home for seven days before leaving on a ministry trip for California and Oregon on September 30th. — David