Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Major Blessing

This past week,Major Ian Thomas, founder of Torchbearers Missionary Fellowship of which I am a part, joined the Lord he loved so much and proclaimed so faithfully. The story of this ministry's roots and acquisition of the original building which still serves as Capernwray Hall Bible School in England, can be found here.

I became affiliated with Torchbearers in the late 80's and hope to remain involved in the ministry until I die, because this ministry is committed to the simple truth that Christ is the only one who can live the Christian life, and that by virtue of His presence within us, we can live with the expectation that God will express His life through us in ways unimaginable within the confines of our own egos and limited frameworks. Only here, in this conscious state of dependency, can we fully enter into the adventure God has for us. In a 21st century that can only be described as theological confusion and ambiguity, Major Thomas' commitment to the 'simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ' was refreshingly simple, and remains the only foundation upon which fruitful ministry can be built.

I've had the privilege of spending time with Major Thomas and his lovely wife nearly every year for the past 15 or so, when I traveled to Estes Park to teach at the Bible School there. The times of fellowship were always blessing, whether talking about the role of prayer in WWII (he gave me literature and Churchill tapes to listen to), or my leadership challenges in a growing church, or the new works God was doing in Torchbearers, I never left a time with him without him praying for me. His commitment to, and love for Christ was evident not just in his preaching but, for we who had the privilege of sitting with him, in his life as well. Today there are more than 25 Bible Schools around the world committed to declaring the same simple truth which has been the foundation of this ministry for 60 years - Christ is our life.

What gift this man was to the body of Christ - what a precious example and encouragement to me personally - and what a joy to know that the work God began in Him will continue on through those he loved and served around the globe.

I pray that we who carry the torch of Christ's life for this generation and time will remain unswerving in our commitment to living out from the one Source who, alone, is able to make the life of God visible on this earth: Christ Himself.


At 4/8/07 16:35, Anonymous Janet Derksen said...

Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Major Thomas. I was pondering how many now we have lost of those faithful souls who started ministries just after WWII= who could have been so disillusioned after two world wars and the use of the nuclear bomb to "end" one of them. Instead, there were many men and women who chose to hope in the Lord and His ability to restore humanity to its intended dignity, productivity, and glory. I so appreciate your challenge to our generation that our only hope is to receive the Life of Christ into all that is dead and twisted by sin and to treasure that Life as the "pearl of great price". Thanks again- still praying for Torchbearers Seattle. . . Janet D.


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