Tuesday 31 March 2020
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
I was recently asked to write down 3 people who inspired me on my Christian Journey, including someone from history, from recent times and also someone known to me personally.
The one from recent times, took some thinking about. I finally settled on Canon Andrew White who became known as the Vicar of Bagdad. He went to Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussain and re-established St Georges Anglican Church which Saddam Hussain had closed and mostly destroyed in 1991. The congregation grew rapidly to 6500 members at its peak.
But life in Iraq post Saddam became increasingly more dangerous and in 2004 White was kidnapped, but after a miraculous escape continued to serve as Pastor at St Georges providing love, care and practical help to both Christians and Muslims. White also formed the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East through which he served to meet humanitarian needs, to raise awareness of the persecution of Christians, and to bring Jews and Arabs together.
Through all this time White has lived with multiple sclerosis, which despite sometimes making him sound like a very drunk vicar has never held him back from public speaking and a schedule that would leave most fit people burnt out in a year. He remained in Bagdad until 2014 when the archbishop of Canterbury withdrew him as his life was under threat even more than it had ever been. He never lost his sense of humour and desire to bring peace he told reporters “When I invited Islamic state representatives to dinner they said, 'Yes, we’ll come, but we’ll chop off your head,' rather kind of them to warn me” Andrew said.
Canon Andrew White is a living inspiration of someone who is more than a conquer, how? Through Jesus who loved Him, why? Because perfect Love casts out fear. Has it been easy? No. Were all the situations he went through good? No, but there have also been so many blessings.
We’ll be exploring today what it means for us to be living as More Than conquers from Acts 14.
“Yes, the enemy forces will set themselves against you but you will breakthrough them. Don't fear the things you see and hear because the Lord is with you. His power within you makes you more than a conqueror.”