Rev. & Mrs. E. Anderson
AN EFFECTUAL WITNESS
It is many years ago since I commenced work at the famous Plant Works in Doncaster as a fitter and turner. I was around fifteen years of age when I became an office boy in the manager’s office in the then British Railways and then was allowed to do my training in the trade. The works were very proud of the fact that they produced steam engines of a first class order and exceedingly pleased because they had created the fastest one of all, the Mallard, and the well-known Flying Scotsman.
I had not been very long a Christian when I was called to go and work with both older and younger men on the plant floor and I knew it was necessary to take my stand and let them know in a right manner that I belonged to Christ. Another friend, Jack, who was a Christian, also started at the same time in another area and we used to meet up frequently to encourage one another.
It wasn’t long before the work-force began to find out where our beliefs centred and that we were different. This new scene gave opportunity to show our Christian life and standards and on the whole we were treated with respect. They somehow admired the fact that we were prepared to be quietly bold and share our faith. I recall sharing with a number of older men my testimony to Christ and they seemed to be impressed. I must be honest, I didn’t know a great deal of the Bible and the great Christian doctrines at that time but at least I could testify of what Christ had done for and meant to me.
One of the things that occurred during those years was the name that my friend and I received. We were dubbed Holy John and Holy Ern. For me, I regarded it as an honour to be so called and realised I needed to live up this designation. Actually, these people had done me a great favour in so naming me.
After leaving this employment and finally ending up in the Christian ministry I eventually, in the providence of God, returned to Doncaster to pastor the large Pentecostal Church there. It was a privilege to be back on home territory again serving a town that I loved.
After returning from holiday I was informed by one of the church elders that a man who had been speaking at the church from the City Mission was holding an open air service at the famous Doncaster Racecourse on Leger Day. This man had led my youngest son to Christ at a seaside resort in Wales so I thought I would go and see him. There was a large open air ring with quite a number of people present. As I looked at the company I saw a man that reminded me of a person who served at the same time with me in the Plant Works many years previously.
He noted me and as soon as the service was over we made our steps to one another in recognition. What a delight it was when he shared his Christian testimony with me! He stated that after I left the works he left soon after and joined the Merchant Navy and had come to a personal faith in Christ. Further, he said, ‘I have testified about you wherever I have gone of the impact of your life and testimony.’
It made me realise more than ever that as we simply and quietly live for Christ we never know the influence we are having before others. Jesus Christ said that Christians are both salt and light and both are quiet but have dynamic potential to persuasion. May we all get on with job of being Christ’s witness and let Him bless our words and deeds.