Childrens’ Page

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                                  Rev. E. Anderson

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

It has been said that when Frederick, Prince of Prussia, visited King Louis of France, the French monarch decided upon a novel way of honouring his distinguished guest. Frederick should be taken to the grimmest of all the prisons, and after examining the convicts would be permitted to give a special pardon to one of the imprisoned men. Even the Prince was intrigued by the idea; the coming task offered diversion from the customary programme.

The prison was dark and sombre; it represented a place where hope died, where men were cut off from the rest of mankind. Its stone walls almost hid the sunlight; within them, guilty men languished and longed to die. Yet, a miracle had temporarily changed the place, for the prisoners had been told of the purpose of Frederick’s visit. An atmosphere of expectancy filled the gaol. Each man hoped for freedom; each man made his plans, and at last the great day dawned. The Prince of Prussia was welcomed by the Governor, and eventually escorted through the great gates toward the cells.

A cell door was opened, to reveal an eager young fellow obviously ready for questioning. What was his name, and why was he in prison? “Ah, sir it was all a ghastly mistake – a terrible case of mistaken identity. I did my best to persuade the authorities, but the evidence brought by the police was overwhelming. Yet I can assure you. sir, that I was many miles from the scene of the crime. It was very unfortunate for me that I was alone at the time, and could not produce evidence to substantiate my story. It was just a case of my word against the word of the police; and. well, what chance had I? I was convicted by the judge and I had no money to finance an appeal. I knew I hadn’t a chance in a thousand, and yet I was completely innocent.” Frederick nodded his sympathy. This was a great shame. He was exceedingly sorry. He would see what he could do.

The second suppliant was older. His face bore the marks of hard living. His eyes were furtive; his mouth suggested cruelty. Why was he m prison? What had in his crime? The prisoner swallowed-hard, and as he tried to express righteous wrath, he exclaimed, “It is a positive disgrace that I was ever charged. The judge and the jury which convicted me should themselves be sent to prison. ‘Once a criminal, always a criminal ‘ – so they say, and so they act. Admittedly, I did make a mistake once, but that was long ago. Since that initial disgrace, l have lived a good life; but policemen have excellent memories. They arrested me to hide their own inability to find te real criminal. When they mentioned my former conviction, I saw the face of the judge darken. It is disgraceful and abominable that decent people cannot be allowed to live their lives in peace.” He paused; his outburst had exhausted both his breath and his vocabulary. The Prince was most sympathetic. What a shame it was that the best of the people of France were forced to spend time in prison! He moved away.

Te third, and the fourth, and all the remaining prisoners had similar stories to tell. Finally the Prince approached the last cell, and saw cowering in the shadows an old man whose face reflected grief. Frederick said. “I expect you also were persecuted by policemen and judges. Tell me, old man, why did they imprison you? The convict seemed surprised. and stammered, “I was no victim I was a fool, and should have known better.” A new light shone in Frederick’s eyes! “You were a fool’! Old man, what do you mean?”   “Well, sir, I was not always a criminal. I was brought up to believe in God and to seek higher things; but I preferred to go my own way. I sinned against God and my consciences and in the end I was caught. I deserved to be!” ” The old man bowed his head in shame.

Then the onlookers were truly astonished, for Frederick said, “Now I know that the judges are fools. It is criminal to place such a vagabond in the midst of these other fine gentlemen! Your corrupting influence will make them as bad as you are. You must be set free.” The old man wondered if he were dreaming when kindly hands led him from his cell. Happy is that man who knows how to pray, “God merciful to me, a sinner.”

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News and Views

                              Missinary Aviation Fellowship Land

                  Missionary Aviation Fellowship

LETTER FROM MISSIONARY AVIATION FELLOWSHIP

 

Dear Friends, 

If a pilot told you that they regularly landed aeroplanes on rugged dirt airstrips as a matter of necessity, you’d admire them for their bravery, wouldn’t you?

And if you knew that every mission they flew was to deliver life-saving medicine, food and equipment to find clean water – all to isolated communities across the developing world – would you think of them as a modern-day hero?

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) pilot David Pearce does all of this and more – he will fly into dense forest, harsh desert and even through tropical rainstorms. But David, and other MAF pilots like him, do not consider themselves heroes. They will tell you that they are just in what needs to be done  . . . because someone needs to do it.

You see, every day, in remote and hard to reach regions of the developing world, aid workers,

missionaries and local organizations are doing amazing things too – administering healthcare, saving lives and spreading the Gospel to name but a few – but to access those hard-to-reach areas , they need skilled and dedicated pilots like David.

Each and every MAF pilot is willing to fly whenever he or she is needed. But to keep David, his fellow pilots and their aircraft ready to reach the people that need them most, we need your help. Your gift will help them answer the call of people in need in some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world.

When a group of health workers serving in southern Sudan found themselves surrounded by heavy fighting, they desperately radioed for an emergency evacuation.

His unwavering faith and the flight readiness of his aircraft meant that David answered the call for help immediately. Flying through heavy gunfire, he calmly landed his Cessna 208 Caravan light aircraft on a dirt track before helping the anxious aid workers on board and taking off again. Can you imagine their relief as the sounds of gunfire behind them faded into the distance?

David and his colleagues are the latest generation in a proud line of MAF pilots – courageous, resourceful men and women who have served countless thousands of people over the past 60 years – bringing medical care, emergency food and Christian hope.

Today, worldwide, may operates over 120 aircraft in more than 30 countries.

And thanks to the generous support of people like you, every three minutes an MAF plane is taking off or landing somewhere in to: world. Every mission brings its own hazards. Every mission brings with it hope. Every mission is vital to people in need of our help – people who need us to say ‘yes’.

But giving a positive answer to a call for help has become increasingly expensive. Despite the gradual fall in full prices in the UK over the past few months, globally prices are on the increase. And then there are to other costs of keeping aeroplanes safe and ready to fly – maintenance, parts and even the upkeep of landing strips.

That is why to keep pilots like David flying – making sure they can always answer a call for help with a ‘yes’ – requires a ‘yes’ from you.

You can make sure MAF pilots are always flight ready. A gift of £10 could help pay for a 30-mile mercy flight, £25 could be all the money needed to make an unscheduled simile emergency medicine delivery or a gift of around £45  would pay for an oil change with filters.

Will you say ‘yes’ and help David and. his colleagues to be ready for their next missions. Please do help if you can.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Whittaker

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Illustrations that Light up Life

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                               Rev. E. Anderson

BE A ‘BUILDER-UPPER’

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due” Proverbs3:27 NKJV

During the 1920’s, the Chisholms were the epitome of American high society. Everlina was their housekeeper, had been with them 45years, and when her niece came over to play they took the little girl under their wing. She sang beautifully and Mrs. Chisholm, a trained musician, asked if she’d like to become a professional singer.

She was thrilled! Her most priced possessions were recordings of famous opera singers, and when the Metropolitan was on the radio she was spellbound. That day she took the first step towards realising her dream, and guests of the Chisholms were amazed by the girl who sang the classics with a talent and sensitivity far beyond her years.

Elizabeth Chisholm continued to sponsor her education by sending her to study at Juilliard. And as a result the world was introduced to the phenomenal talent of Leontyne Price, the darling of the Metropolitan Opera.

The Bible says, ‘Do not withhold good…when it is in the power pf your hand to do so’. Bible expositor William Barclay said, ‘One of the highest human duties is the duty of encouragement’. As a follower of Christ you are commanded to build others up by highlighting what’s good instead of magnifying what’s bad, by seeing them as unique individuals instead of stereotypes, by respecting instead of ridiculing, by forgiving instead of shaming, by modelling unconditional love instead of love with strings attached, by applauding each step of growth instead of saying, ‘You’ll never change,’ by seeing their God-given potential instead of seeing them as problems to be handled. Come on, get your theology off the drawing board and put into practice! Today, be a ‘builder-upper.’

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