Jerry Wiles on The Value of Redemptive Memories

Statue of Christ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – A Visual Image of Remembrance Christ The Redeemer is seen during sunrise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

In 1982, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada I had the opportunity of participating in a very strategic mission conference.  It was hosted and facilitated by some of the world’s most prominent Chinese church and mission leaders at that time.  About a thousand individuals from all over the world were in attendance.

Remembering Eric Liddell

One of the people I had the privilege of spending some time with during the conference was Dr. David Michell, then Canadian Director of OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship).  David was born in China, the son of Australian missionary parents.  Over the course of a few conversations with him during the conference, I learned about his missionary background and the fact that he spent time in a Japanese concentration camp in China in the 1940s. A unique and interesting experience was his relationship with Eric Liddell, an Olympic gold medalist in 1924 in Paris.  Of course, Eric Liddell’s story is well known from the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire.

Press on Rejoicing

David Michell was a young boy when he was in the concentration camp with Eric Liddell.  In subsequent years David wrote some books and articles about him.  One was titled I Remember Eric Liddell.  What I remember most about my time with David was the parting statement he would made as we finished a conversation.  He would always say, “Press on Rejoicing.”  I am pretty sure it was based on Philippians chapter 3.  That phrase has stuck in my mind all these years and I think about it often.  I have even used it myself many times.

Sayings that have Impact

I have recently been reflecting on the things I remember most about the people who have influenced my life.  There are many sayings and experiences that have stuck with me and shaped my life and have become redemptive memories.  Following are a few of those:

*  The president of a university that I worked at several years ago use to close our administrative staff meetings with the saying, “Let’s enjoy the journey.”

*  A friend, who was a radio talk show host for many years, use to close his daily program with, “Don’t let anything steal your joy.”

*  The late Fenton Moorhead, a pastor for many years and one of the co-founders of Living Water International, use to close every message by saying “Remember, with Christ in your life, the best is yet to be.”

*  A missionary friend and co-worker uses this as a parting statement, “Keep the faith, just don’t keep it to yourself.”

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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles