Home Again - Letter - 2004

Dear All,

We are home again after a very nice time away, firstly in Adelaide to be with Frank and Beryl, and it was a joy to see that Beryl is so well now and while there she saw the doctor who does not want to see her for another year, and says that all is going well with her, quite a change when you think how far down she was, at death’s door.

Then went to Kangaroo Island to be with Preston and Jennifer Bell who have spent time having an open home in Mongolia and often in Hong Kong for conventions so was good to catch up with them and share in mutual interests. Nice to know that the five who profess now in Mongolia do well, so it is so nice to know that there is a beginning in that land.

Frank and Beryl then took us to Portland to be with their children, all three live there and get on well together, nice to see them all happy to do for us what they could, and we were happy to see them.

Then they took us on to Melbourne where I worked for six months in 1964, boarded at that time with Arthur and Mona Bird, and their home was a special home to me, so it was so nice to be able to go back again and be with Mona and the two boys and their families, nice to see them all enjoying the best in the Truth.

Then Ann and I drove north to Albury first where we had a very nice visit with Jack Phillips, Jack is now 92 and was in the work till last year when he stepped down as he feels he is no longer able. Jack and Jim Ward stayed with Ann and I when we were not long married, while having a mission in Nedlands where we lived at the time, and so we got to know him well. After the evening meal we asked Jack if he would tell us of some of the missions he had been in and so he went on to tell us of some of the experiences. One story was about a mission where a man decided when there were no words spoken, a miracle. This year he and his younger companion were in a field and there was a man there who was a relative of his younger companion who had made his choice when younger and did not continue and became very bitter and was so against the truth. Jack said they would go every two weeks all year to have a visit with this man, and then at the end of the year when they were ready to go to preps, the man phoned them and asked if they could come on a Wednesday evening at 7.30PM for a last visit, so in spite of it being a study meeting night they felt they should go, so they did. Jack had a verse in his mind that he thought he would mention to the man but as he began to talk the man held up his hand and said the following, "All this year God’s spirit has been dealing with me and breaking my spirit down and I feel that I am wrong and have always been wrong, and tonight I want to make a complete surrender to God, and I want to begin to serve Him as a little child." This was such a joy to the two brothers and he went on and continued till he died. Jack also went on to tell us of other missions where people were helped and not once did he speak of what he had done but what God had done through him and others. Before this I had been reading of Rupert Murdoch and to know what he has accomplished in his lifetime, buying so many newspapers and being remembered on the earth for his great business accomplishments but on judgement day it will all amount to nothing. Then the same day I had a message from Dellas Linaman and he said the following, "It has been said that all the accomplishments that man can do or make in his life time will only amount to a '0' on the judgment day. If one can seek first the Kingdom of God, making it the number #1 priority in their lives, then in the day of judgment they can have a '1' in the front of their '0!' We don't want to forget this, or we will be left with a '0!'"

So nice to have this reminder as we felt after that visit with Jack, that this man has accomplished far more than this other man I had been reading about which was only for this life.

We then went on to Canberra where we had our Family come also for the weekend, Erica, Andre, and Anita. We visited the various places there as it is the Capital of Australia, Parliament, the War Memorial, the Museum, the High Court, etc, but the most special place was a Sunday morning meeting where we did not know anyone apart from our Family, the miracle of again experiencing the Spirit’s presence in that meeting was so reassuring, as we felt the unseen presence of the One we serve in that meeting and the thoughts that all shared just blended in together and then we were asked to have lunch with One Family and after they asked us to tell something of the various lands where the work of God goes on and the afternoon just flew and then we had the gospel meeting that night so the day was special and a foretaste of heaven on earth.

The high court was also an interesting experience, it is the highest court in Australia and they deal with cases where the lower courts have reached a decision but it is felt that it may have an incorrect judgement given to the case. There were 7 judges all sitting and then the counsellors all try to present their case to show that the judgement that has been given is incorrect. While sitting there for the morning and listening in a very sober atmosphere, it made me feel that if we could take that atmosphere with us we would be more careful in our attitudes, our actions and our words, for sometimes in a moment of passion or haste we can do and say things that we would regret later.

Nice to be back in our own meeting this morning where we also enjoy good fellowship, and so glad that we are able to rejoice in the best, having His presence with us. So nice to have this feeling that we are resting in our Fathers care and our fathers love, for as we are willing to keep within the bounds of His will then we can experience this, it is the same feeling as when I was a small boy and was able to know my father’s smile by being in his will, enjoying his care and provision, having no cares that oppress, no burdens for all was cared for in every way. David could say, "I have been young and now I am old but I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or His seed begging bread."

Just this today with love and good wishes from us both,

Ann and Bram