PART TWO: We started the journey in September 1968 and have learned throughout the years to always be prepared for the “surprises” and unknowns. Each Sunday School class, each CYC brought new urgency for “tweaking” and “adjusting the dials” – fine-tuning never hurt the instrument but made it work to its best ability (or capability). Throughout the years, I have learned to “tweak”, to “adjust”, to “fine-tune”, to read God’s manual and am still learning today (do the math on the amount of years – I still think I am young and that my mirror lies). Up to seven years ago, our ecclesia did not have a Sunday School due to the children getting older and either moving away to their new ecclesial homes or sadly, moving out into the world to “expand their horizons”.
Yes, there are no guarantees of success, although I am a firm believer that hope is an expansive word that only ends in death of the body, which is why baptism should be emphasized emphatically as “life giving” – in plain English – “never give up on a child”. Still having contact with former students, makes one hopeful that if one continues to be consistent, kind, considerate, loving, compassionate and caring (truly caring in spite of their decisions) that the impact may still be there and hope springs resulting in living waters – both physically and spiritually. Saying this, God always has a plan and we must be prepped for His day of institution of the same. June 2018, an African family of 7 arrived in London after being 1 year in Newfoundland. One has to wonder what their minds thought of coming from hot Africa to Newfoundland, the land of icebergs, cold and non-tropical breezes. (Humorous story – United Nations Refugee Program (UNHCR) asked the family while in Africa “where would you like to go? Reply – “Canada”. No specifics were given so they were sent to Newfoundland – furthest North American point east. Everyone describes it as “the rock”. A year later, this family then moved to London, Ontario to be with one daughter and son-in-law that were already here. God works in mysterious ways and directs our steps according to His plan, even when we are not aware of the whys and wherefores. Now our ecclesia has a brother and sister in Christ, two additional adults, seven children attending Sunday School (two of the children members of the family that was already in London) and I am blessed to be teaching once again. “No rest for the wicked”.
One day we were over at the Christadelphian Save the Children Fund house (donated by the London ecclesia). We frequented this house on numerous occasions allowing the children to shop for clothing, Sunday School supplies, school supplies and whatever “need” they felt was missing in their lives. We showed them how the fund sent kits out to children all over the world filled with Sunday School and personal supplies. Sele, age 12 saw a kit bag and asked me – “Auntie Weezie” did you ever give kits to children in Tanzania? The reply was “yes, we delivered by truck to various ecclesias. Why do you ask?” Her reply (stunning and awe-inspiring to this very day) was “I think I got one of the kits”. Now intrigued, I asked her to describe her kit, which she clearly did – exact to a tee.
When God moves mountains, we should not be surprised by His power. We now have a child who has experienced the generosity of the fund and is now helping sort out supplies in the CSTCF house to the aid of other children. “What goes around, comes around” is both visible and spiritual. The children have a new respect for “precious learning”. They shop less frequently, asking themselves the question – “it is a need or a want”. They value what they get from the house as “treasured jewels”. A $1 book is precious, a Bible marking kit eagerly a future objective, a Bible logo T-Shirt worn proudly to school, a summer week at Manitoulin Bible Camp still spoken about 3 months later, their first Bibles given to them like fine gold, proudly walked around with. Our ecclesia was entertained in June 2019 with the children’s first ever play performance. Considering their main language was Swahili, the play in English and Sunday School lessons in both English and Swahili has made their transition workable, at times, humorous due to mis-translations on the part of the teacher. Never look at a barrier as permanent. Find the Godly solution, pray for the cause and effect from God’s Word to enter into their lives, and live honestly with them has become our motto. Our ecclesia is rejuvenated, our Sunday School now numbers 7 1/2 (littlest one is one year old and clearly wants to be involved) and a further family of two adults and three children is impending. Now the challenge in life is once you have been given something by God – check our attitudes to see if they are in accordance with His plan and work while it is today in a diligent, vibrant, enthusiastic manner that is an example to both young and old and the walls will come down. The expression “everything old becomes new again” lives on in our ecclesia, our Sunday School, our lives – thanks be to God.
Your brother and sister in Christ – Uncle Hamburger (David Birchall) and Auntie Weezie (Louise Birchall)
View CSTCF Presentation