History could have been so different! Sister North applied first of all to CMS to work as a missionary, but was turned down as "my standard of eduction was not good enough." Instead she was advised to work with Church Army for two years, and then re-apply.
Church Army, interestingly "accepted me without any difficulty."
Northy decided at the end of the two years to stick with Church Army, who after all "had taken me young and new and raw and everything...just as I was...they had given me good training and accepted me warts and all."
This reminds me of someone else, who took under his wing hot-headed fishermen, cheating tax-collectors, women of dubious reputation and known rebels. The only suitable candidate - educated, responsible, good with figures, careful with money - didn't turn out so well.
I hope Church Army NZ will continue to take risks in the people we welcome, train, equip, send out and support. John Wesley said "Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth". I say the same, perhaps replacing the word 'preachers' for 'local missionaries'
Michael or Jo?
1 week ago