Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mark and Iona Birchall and the Old Geezer

Mary Fuchs, Maisie Holding and Dorothy Thiajaraj and Ray Smith, Mark Wigglesworth; my list could go on. These people all had or have something in COMMON.
Barnabas people

Filey Beach 1937 Where Ray Smith became a Christian
Small girl MargaretViola Holding, my mother, at Criccieth Beach Mission (Hudson Pope)1926
Since Ray Smith came to St Oswalds Filey on Sunday last and told us how he became a Christian in Filey 74 years ago on August 15th -he even remembers the date, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. We think that it must have been marvellous that 200 people attended each CSSM beach Mission Meeting in 1937. My aged parent became a Christian in 1928  at a CSSM beach Mission in Criccieth North Wales after hearing Bryan Green give a talk.
Not everyone has a story (testimony in church speak) of the day they became a Christian, but everyone has a story of their faith Journey and the people they met along the way.
When  my own faith came ALIVE FOR ME after going to church for 20 years, Dorothy Thiajaraj  told me that she and Iona Birchall had been praying for me for 3 years! All I did was say to God 'if there is more of you I WANT IT', and I was filled with the Holy Spirit in a new way on a March 25th (Lady Day and my aged parents birthday1978ish )

My spouse has a similar tale to tell. He walked to the station at Wandsworth Town  every day in his City Gent days . Often Mark Birchall would catch him up  and talk. Colin said he had a job keeping up with Marks fast pace and strides (M was very tall). Mark encouraged Colin to go to the  lunchtime Service at St Helens Bishopsgate. The church was full to busting with solicitors clerks, stockbrokers and Gnomes of Zurich  Threadneedle Street. This became the grounding , the teaching and the sowing of seeds that would bear fruit 20yrs later when Colin amazed me by saying  that he had in fact that day PRAYED THE PRAYER. He had been going to church for 40 yrs  , he would say now that like me HIS faith had come 'alive'.  Mark Birchall died in 2004. I know hundreds of people will tell of his part in their pilgrimages.

Beach Missions and Youth Camps like the one here Filey , Criccieth and my own Sutton on Sea (my Childhood holiday place) still go on. Mark Wigglesworth , one of our Filey Parish church family , is as I write,  at Criccieth  helping to lead a Christian camp . He sent an email from his iphone in his tent -sending us all in Filey some  encouragement. 

I have said often how much I appreciate  the sheer audacity and encouragement to all Christian Bloggers given by the Old Geezer. His story may be read here  as he is one of the  Christian Bloggers that  has a link to his testimony.  He too is a Barnabas, an encourager. I felt so good when he became a follower of this blog. I had been blogging for 3 years without even realising I could have followers.

We all , if we are on a Christian Faith Journey have Barnabas friends.
  Thank God for them.

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