Thursday, March 17, 2011

a gift that keeps on giving

Today during our morning office time, we had an appointment with the Canon (Bethany Bible School rents office space from the Diocese of St. John’s, Anglican Church).

We met to discuss an unexpected fee raise on accommodations for conferences that we had noticed from our last invoice. While the Canon said that the decision was not his to make—that he had to take it to his Executive meeting later this month—he would certainly advocate for us, for our school, to receive a lower rate. He then gave his own testimony about BBS. He said that he used to see the Zionist leaders in the place where he was also serving an Anglican congregation. And, upon noticing over time that the quality of these pastors’ preaching had greatly improved, he commented to them, “I can see that you are getting some new things.” They replied, “Yes, we are going to Bethany.”

So, the Canon said to us, “I have seen the fruits of your labor.” Those are things that we do not always see. Nor did we expect to hear such an affirmation today; we are therefore grateful for this gift that has come our way. So too we are grateful for, to use a phrase which I first heard used of another ministry context involving Mennonites and African Initiated Churches (AICs), the “significant deposit of goodwill” which was made long before we even dreamed of coming to South Africa. That deposit is still there for us.

-Joe

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