Extracts from Life afforded by Rev. E. Anderson

                                   

                                        Rev. & Mrs E. Anderson

DISCOVERING GOD’S WILL

 

This, as most Christian leaders and believer will teach and tell, is not always easy to find out. It is one of those things that take a great deal of love, patience faith and understanding to know and pursue. There has to be desire and persistence prevalent in the honest and earnest quest.

 

In the course of the outworking of the Christian life and faith we oft present the idea and image that we are more ‘in the know’ than God himself, that we can plan and arrange things better for our calling and vocation. We possess judgments and opinions about ourselves and gifts and we reckon we know where such ought to be employed. At times, we have inclinations and bents where we think we can best serve and use our talents. There are also inbuilt reservations and aversions within that causes us to switch off in certain directions. The Lord has a real job sifting and sorting us out to make us amenable to ministries and situations that we felt we could never fulfil.

 

Going to a Bible College in my early twenties was rather a challenge for me. I had just been married a year and the thought of being separated from my wife by distance for two years, apart from the College breaks, was not too inviting! I had also to contend with the fact that I had only a Second Class School Education, leaving school at fourteen years of age. There was the matter that I had been away from classroom work for 9 years, plus an inferiority complex, to some degree.

 

There were lessons that I had to learn besides listening to good lecturers and taking down notes for later study and revision. Having to live with such a diversity of people was quite a revelation. The students, both male and female were no angels! Taking on board the teaching was quite a thing besides have to learn how to properly construct messages to preach was another hard lesson to become skilled at. The latter was one of the things that I loved and endeavoured to develop throughout the years. It was all a part of discovering and knowing God’s will as to whether one had been called to be a preacher.

 

Whilst being at Bible College one became acquainted with the resident faculty and amongst it was a dear man and his wife, Elisha and Mary Thompson. He was the Dean and performed an excellent, quiet task in this role. His wife served as cook. He had been in this work over many years and had seen the coming and going of many students.

 

Besides being rather a unique teacher on Old Testament History, a subject he was really up on, he looked after the general, practical welfare of the College. He often took students to the museum in London to make them more conversant with some of the figures that were on the scene in Old Testament times. Some were of the opinion he must have been around in their days because of his knowledge of them!

 

Being a very practical and handy person he truly assisted in the smooth working of things from a natural standpoint. He must have saved the College a great deal of monies because of his wise management and industry. He was quiet and gracious but could become stirred and indignant when necessary. As I observed him and the job he was doing, I nursed in my being a wrong attitude to this kind of vocation. I began to think and say within myself that I wouldn’t have his job if it was the last one available.  It is a very good job sometimes that we do not know the future. I reckon, at times, the Lord must have laugh to himself because He knows what is up the line for us.

 

Having served the Lord in various pastorates, it was in 1973 that I was to be truly challenged along with my wife. She had developed the skill of catering and we had been very practical in our labours in the churches besides the spiritual ministry. The Bible College moved locations to a place called Mattersey, Near Retford not too far from where we looking after a church at Doncaster. The conviction was laid in us that God wanted us to serve there in the kind of role that Elisha and Mary Thompson had served. The Lord had dealt with the inward aversion and so we took up the roles of Dean and Matron, looking after the properties, students besides lecturing and serving the students.

 

The next few years were to be the most challenging and demanding of our lives and for our family to. There was so much to do and handle and so many people to link up but the Lord gave great grace and enabling. We were tried and tested like never before but somehow we not only survived but came through with much than we had when we commenced the service and ministry. The Lord stretched us in a remarkable manner and added to our lives and ministries. It has been sheer delight to see what some of the former students have accomplished.

 

Looking back, we are positively glad that the Lord saw and purposed beyond our feelings and judgments. He took us through that calling that yielded so much spiritual good and we trust have emerged better persons with greater ministry and usefulness to His Church. His wisdom an enabling grace is sufficient to assist us in ever discovering and accomplishing His will.

 

                                               

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