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Book Review

Love Letters To The World by Noel Davidson; published 2008 by Ambassador Publications; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 264 pages; price £10.99.

Love Letters To The World presents the inspiring story of 50 years of the Postal Bible School.

In the Foreword, Bert Gray summarises the purpose of this work, which is "to reach the young people of the world with the good news of the Gospel to the glory of God".

It was Bert’s wife, Wendy, who first had the vision to contact children in Co. Cork, Ireland, with gospel literature by post. In January, 1958 Bible study lessons were offered to children by mail. Only one teenage girl responded, but by the end of that first year more than sixty children were returning lessons.

In his Introduction, respected author Noel Davidson comments on the advance of the work through the years: "Stories have been coming at me from all directions. Whether face to face, over the telephone or by e-mail, they have left me astounded".

In twenty-six chapters the author traces the evidence of God’s guiding hand with chapter titles such as: From Locked Gate To Open Door; Holidays With A Difference; Who Cares Enough To Carry On?; My Faith Is So Small; and The Next Generation.

In the chapter entitled "Toward The South", the call of Noel and Liza McMeekin to serve the Lord is presented. The challenge facing them was whether they were ready to respond to the call of God and take over the work that had been so faithfully carried on by Bert and Wendy Gray. The decision they reached and how they arrived at it displays the faithful dealings of God with His servants.

Down through the years, with holiday weeks in the summer and prize nights being held where contacts are made, the good seed of the gospel has been sown and blessing has followed.

Read how the work has spread to countries such as Canada, Hungary, Korea, Romania, and Russia until there are now over 32,000 lessons being completed in over twenty countries every month.

AC

From Darkness to Light by H Azimioara; published 2003 by G.B.V.; available from John Ritchie Ltd; 138 pages; price £5.95.

From Darkness to Light is the gripping biography of the former Romanian Orthodox priest Teodor Popescu, who lived from 1887-1963.

Teodor’s father was a priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church, while his mother Elena was a very capable woman who cared for her children. Teodor was the third oldest son, and was followed by six girls and one final boy.

As a young child, Teodor would watch his father moving slowly behind clouds of pungent incense. To Teodor, God was "as distant and intimidating as the thunder rolling off the Carpathian Mountains".

After graduating from Bucharest university, Teodor soon won the love and respect of the parishioners at the Stork’s Nest Church which he pastored. Commenting on this period in his life, Teodor later wrote, "I used to preach even before I had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, but what was I preaching?" He relates how he tried to "get people to clean up their lives and keep God’s laws" but there was something missing.

Around this time his precious wife Athena took ill in the prime of life. Would she live or die? Turning to the Scriptures, Teodor personally discovered that salvation was by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. As he preached the gospel, souls were saved at the Stork’s Nest. The high clergy were not amused. He wrote, "I was constrained to violate the tradition. I could not do otherwise".

Excommunicated from the Orthodox Church and with nowhere to live, Teodor trusted in God and tirelessly reached out to remote areas with the gospel. After fifteen years, over two hundred assemblies had begun, though Teodor did not take credit for all of them. During the post-war communist era, Teodor kept preaching. He also translated an article by JN Darby against the error of universalism that began to creep in among the believers.

There is much to learn from this "humble and gentle man" who did not aspire to greatness in the eyes of men but sought to please the Lord.

AC

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