Talk - Season 1 - Filmed 2003
What was your most memorable ByFaith mission?
All of the missions were great; you cannot buy dreams - you can only live them. Flying into Delhi India, was my first
encounter with Asia, apart from eating in Indian restaurants within the UK, which does not really count. I was away from
the familiar surroundings of Europe and had stepped into a location, which was alien to me. It was an extreme culture
shock, which the mind and body struggled to cope with - I was trying to adjust to the sounds, the sights, the smell,
the traffic and the temperature. I had been taught about culture shock at Bible College, but you have to experience it
for yourself to truly understand it's meaning and for me this was something that I will never forget.
What was the most exciting part of your journeys in India?
Seeing the Taj Mahal was an experience; being the most famous monument in India and recognisable all around the
world. Initially I was taken aback at the cost of the entrance fee for tourists, which seemed high but then I soon
realised that compared to Western prices it was about the same. The Christians we met were so beautiful in spirit
and so full of love for the Lord, which transpired into the people with whom they live and ministered to.
Compared to the West some of them had very little, but in actual fact, they were very wealthy - knowing that
true riches come from knowing Christ Jesus. Visiting the William Carey Bible College and his first Church and
house of residence was a very special time for me.
Tell me about your trip to France.
France was a quick dash to Paris and back in around twenty hours by car. The object was to visit the Eiffel Tower,
(as we had never set foot on the tower before) even though we had visited France on numerous occasions over the years,
and we were going to distribute some Christian literature along the way. We slept in the car on the outskirts of Paris
and around four hours later were back on the road. We also had the unwanted opportunity of driving around Paris’ twelve-exit
roundabout, the Champs-Elysees in rush hour traffic. Anyway we survived and the objective was completed.
How did you feel when people threw stones at you in North Africa?
I was very surprised having been to this country on many occasions and had never witnessed this type of behaviour before -
but world events at the time had changed and being outside of the tourist resorts made the situation more unstable. I felt
sadness for the people who did this to us, as they were angry and frustrated, but did not know how to release their
feelings in a constructive manner. I put it down to experience...Paul and I were very fortunate that we were able to
walk away from the situation unharmed.
Did you plan to visit all of these countries?
No. I have always had an adventurous spirit knowing that the world is so big and that within each country, culture and
people group there is so much to see and experience. It was not until I was seventeen that I first went abroad and I
distinctly remember boarding the plane with fear and trepidation. Back then there was non-smoking section on planes
and unfortunately I was seated with the smokers and with no fresh air; I found it to be quite nauseating. On occasion
I have had the opportunity to go abroad, but unless I feel the Lord would have me to go then I won’t go - even
though I want to! As much as I do enjoy seeing other places it is physically and emotionally demanding on both body
Do you like working with local Missionaries and Pastors?
Yes. Life is too short to learn all that you need to know from personal experience - so it is good to meet and work with
fellow labourers and glean nuggets of truth from their efforts, trials and tribulations. The pastors, missionaries and
fellow believers etc. that we met with were generally full of the joy of the Lord, Holy Spirit filled and on fire for Jesus.
They were willing to sacrifice personal gain and comfort to see Jesus’ name lifted high, whilst giving all praise glory
and honour to the One who has done so much for them. They were a joy to be around and it was an honour to be able to
socialise, have fellowship with and to work with them. One day in heaven we will be reunited and once again in unison
be able to praise God from our deepest being.
Have you always believed that a Christian revival is on its way?
The vast majority of God’s promises as contained within the Holy Bible have conditional clauses...we have to fulfil the
conditions: to live holy lives, to pray, to humble ourselves, and to stand in the gap on behalf of the land. From the start
of Christianity on the shores of Britain, men and women have been raised up to go forth and proclaim the wonderful
riches of Christ Jesus; empowered by the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders following. In the last three centuries
I believe that more revivalists have been birthed than all the other centuries combined, such as John Wesley, George
Whitefield, Howell Harris, Evan Roberts and Duncan Campbell etc. In the twenty-first century there are many
who have been Holy Spirit trained for such a time as this - because when things look at their darkest, then the Morning
Star can arise with healing in His wings, as the Holy Spirit is poured out from on high, when ‘whoever calls upon the
name of the Lord shall be saved.’
What was your plan when you started working for the ByFaith website?
Paul wanted to create the website that he always wanted to visit. It is one thing to look at someone else’s work and to think
how it could be improved, but its quite another to get on and do it! I started writing for ByFaith because I had some
free time and knew that Paul was very busy with all the design side of things. One thing just led to another and I
knew that this is what God wanted me to do. At first it was unusual for me to take such a behind scene role in
ministry (sat behind a desk!) but knew that this was what God wanted me to do. Both Paul and I have been greatly
encouraged to hear of the feedback we have received. It's one thing to preach a sermon to a congregation, but it's
quite another to write for a website and I’m still learning! Any work or ministry must be continually dedicated to
the Lord and His face needs to be sought for daily guidance and help. When you think that you can do it in your own
strength, it is the time when God will withdraw and eventually you will struggle and fail.
How long do the articles or Bible studies take to write?
This can vary greatly from an hour to months! It all depends on how well I have prepared and if I have the motivation to
write a certain article or not - as some subjects are easier than others. For example after coming back from a mission
it is easier to write a mission-orientated article. Sometimes you get ‘writers block’ and not a lot comes out! I have
many articles and works, which are on-going, some have been stretched out over several years and have been typed up in
only a rough format, others are just ideas and possibilities. My desk is surrounded with a few notepads and as ideas
come to me, I jot them down and then they get transferred onto my laptop. When certain Scriptural themes appear, I make
a note of them and then arrange them in logical sequences so as to understand the bigger picture. This method is
particularly helpful for writing the Discipleship Course so that the relevant Scriptures are generally at hand. Each
discipleship theme takes a minimum of several hours to write and some have taken up to twenty hours! Several members
of the team will then go through them, advise, edit, look at every sentence and check every Scripture. The work is
then submitted back to me for any relevant changes. It is then placed on a web page where Paul designs the interactive
format. It is then sent off to our editor for a final check before being placed on-line. Once it is on-line the work
gets a final check as information can get lost in the formatting. The larger articles often take weeks or months to
write and at present there is a very large stockpile of work.
How did you get started on the Discipleship Course?
Paul and I were chatting one day about how relatively easy it is for someone to make a profession of faith in Christ
Jesus; yet many may not be discipled, even though this was exactly what Jesus called His followers to do - “Go and make
disciples…” This is the reason why so many Christians backslide and fall away from the faith, because they were never
grounded in the word of God and were not systematically taught the whole counsel of God in a format or style to which
they could relate. God said “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” Hosea 4:6. The apostle Paul wrote ‘All
Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work’ 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We
have tried to cover topics in a logical sequence from conversion through to basic discipleship. There is also a
print-out page so individuals or groups can study and learn at their own pace which they can refer back to if in
need. The apostle Paul in his closing statements to the Ephesian elders said ‘I have not hesitated to declare to
you the whole counsel of God’ Acts 20:27.
What does it mean to become a disciple of Jesus?
It has been said that Christianity is about coming to the foot of the cross, but discipleship is about embracing the cross. When
you become a Christian you are introduced to Jesus, but becoming a disciple is about getting to know Him better. In its
most basic sense discipleship is trying to live like Jesus and be obedient to Him. It is a process of coming from
illumination of the word (saving knowledge of Jesus) into a living illustration (living like Jesus) of the works of
God and walking in the newness of the Spirit, Romans 7:6 and 2 Corinthians 3:6. ‘The Kingdom of God is not in word but
in power’ 1 Corinthians 4:20.
The apostle Paul knew that what he had performed in his own ability was as nothing in God's eyes ‘What things were gain
to me, these I have counted loss for Christ’ Philippians 3:7. To truly embrace the cross and to get to know Jesus
better means that you have to give your life entirely over to Him. Jesus said ‘Whoever desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it’ Mark 8:34-35. If you lose your life then it means
that you are willing to allow God to dictate to you your lot in life and you will be led of the Spirit and not led
of your own desires. John the Baptist said in reference to Jesus “He must increase, but I must decrease”
John 3:30. This process of surrendering your will to God takes years, if not decades, but it all begins with
the acceptance that God can control your life His way better than you can do it without Him. Jesus said “I can do
nothing of Myself...I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me” John 5:30. Genuine disciples of
Jesus Christ will acknowledge that in their own ability they are flawed, but in Him all things are possible, as they
desire to have continual fellowship with Him, whilst doing His will.
Having been on so many Mission trips what have you learnt?
It’s not your ability but your availability that God is after. God is looking for people who will be faithful and
diligent in all that they are called to do. Learn to travel light and be prepared to help others out. There is much
in life to be learnt and the best education you can get is in the college of life. An experience is mightier than
someone with an argument - but learn to respect other people’s views whilst being gentle, kind and courteous. God is
faithful and is someone who can be trusted. All that He said He will do. He will never leave or forsake you. If you
abide in Him then you will bear fruit that will remain. Often you have to step out in faith and just believe and
trust. When storms are at there darkness then the greater the victory that can be achieved. Walk in love, servant-hood,
and humility and be accountable to others who can correct, rebuke and encourage when the need arises. Most people
have issues to be worked through within their lives and mercy is always better than the heavy-handed law. People are
always more important than rules or structures. Don’t live to please man, but live to please God. Obey the laws of
the land but if they contradict God’s law (which is a higher law) then God’s law must be obeyed, but much wisdom is
needed and we must be prepared for the consequences (Acts 5:25-29). Continually be filled with the Holy Spirit and do not
ignore His gentle still voice. It is very important to exercise your spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) as well
as walking in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
How did you cope with the different currencies?
Taking a calculator is essential to work out currency conversions and to help maintain your budget. Europe is very easy
as most countries accept the Euro, so any left-over money was kept for future trips as the more frequently you exchange
money the more you lose. In Asia we had a budget for each week, which we had to keep a tight tab on. Some weeks we
would be over budget because of high travelling costs or visa’s, but generally the longer you stayed in one location
the easier it was for your budget to balance out. Naturally some countries are more expensive than others. In North
Africa we were overcharged on the second day whilst taking a taxi and it took several weeks to balance our budget. In
Asia most money was obtained by cash withdrawals from local cash points, but we would always take the maximum amount
out each time knowing that each withdrawal incurs a charge. Some of the Asian countries preferred the American dollar
as it is a strong currency, so we took several hundred dollars with us. In Cambodia we never needed to go to a bank
as all our major purchases were in dollars and the change was in Cambodian Riel. Your mind soon adjusts to the local
currency, and you can convert the currencies to find out the actual price of a bottle of water, a bus ride, taxi
journey, hotels etc. to find if it is a good deal.
Have you got any financial tips for travelling?
Count your money out by hand when you exchange it and do not allow yourself to be pressurised, take your time. Not all
people (and calculators!) are honest but genuine mistakes are made. When shopping always ask the price before agreeing
to buy something; otherwise you will pay more than you need to. Even the price of a tube of toothpaste can be cut in
half if you haggle and the price of a bottle of water can vary from one shop to the next, so it pays to be a diligent
steward of that which you have been entrusted with. This may seem little at one time, but over many months the money
does add up and it is better to be generous giving money to Christians, whilst being a blessing to the people of the
world. Just because someone puts a ‘present’ in your hand and tells you it’s free does not mean that it will cost you
nothing! If you make purchases on borders you need to clarify not only the price, but the currency as well. For example
on the Nepalese border the hotel manager and the rickshaw drivers wanted to be paid in Indian Rupees rather than Nepalese
Rupees because the exchange rate was higher. Beware of extra food that you did not order appearing on your table, as
you will be charged for it! If you take a taxi use the meter (if it is safe) or agree on a price before hand. Some
rickshaw drivers (even though a price has been agreed upon before) will ask for ten times the amount on your arrival
at the destination! Don't feel forced into paying more than you agreed, but you can give more; if the driver has been
exceptionally helpful then you can give a good tip. Don't get cheated - it is better to give more money to the
believers out there. Some taxi drivers or rickshaws drivers will want to take you to their preferred hotel or shop
etc, because they get paid to bring tourists there. Most guide-books give approximate prices for various journeys
and foreigners generally pay more than the locals for tourist attractions and private transport. It is good to be a
blessing to the locals, but you should not allow your self to be tricked into paying more.
What words of encouragement can you give.
Wow, a whole book could be written on that, but I will keep it brief. Stay in the Holy Bible and pray often. Jesus Christ
never lost His focus: He knew where He came from and where He was heading and so must you. Jesus said that He would never
leave nor forsake you. All of God’s promises can be appropriated as long as the conditions have been met. You will make
mistakes and be tripped up; confess any sin as sin, get up, dust yourself off and move on. Learn to forgive and to keep
your heart soft and tender. Nobody is perfect and nobody has all the answers; walk in humility, love and be a servant to
mankind. Whilst all people have natural limitations most people never attempt to work to their full potential and would
be amazed at what is possible if only they stepped out in faith. Never allow fear of the unknown to paralyse you; worse
than fear is coming to the end of your life and saying ‘What if?’ In the walk of faith the impossible becomes the
possible and the mountain becomes a molehill. In light of what you do, ask yourself these three questions: (1.) How does
what I think, do or say affect me? (2.) How does what I do or say affect others? (2.) How does what I do or say affect
God’s kingdom? Live your life for God and when your time is up you will not be disappointed at the eternal rewards.
‘Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they
marvelled. And they realised that they had been with Jesus’ Acts 4:13.