This is my story, this is my song
My story – unlike some of my colleagues who have travelled thousands of miles or who have preached in the four corners of the globe in their work with Langham and have viewed first hand, what is in my opinion, the mind-blowing work of Langham Partnership – is not about travel or about seeing the extraordinary work Langham Partnership has been involved in following Uncle John’s vision for the Majority World.
The stories I come into contact with on a daily basis are about commitment, bravery, vocation, and are about people travelling for several days to collect books for their college libraries or to be trained how to preach to members of their churches or how to evangelise to people in remote villages. Everyday I am humbled by those who live and work and minister in far less than ideal conditions who contact me asking for books for their small bible college library.
Today one of my contacts in an African country, who is thousands of miles away from home and is suffering with severe health issues whilst living in a village which is flooded regularly, contacted me to show his appreciation of the box of books he had received. This gentleman could be forgiven for getting on a flight home and receiving medical attention. But no, he is fulfilling his own calling and staying in challenging parts of Africa who only have a form of power once a week but are overwhelmed when they receive that box of books which we have given a Library Grant to for the small Bible College they are volunteering in. This gentleman ends his email by saying he prays for me and prays I keep safe and well!
Other people I communicate with are local Langham volunteers, people who travel over rough terrain for 3 days to give training to those who have also travelled to receive Langham Preaching training risking their own safety and risking being attacked on the road side.
Everyday I am humbled by those who live and work and minister in far less than ideal conditions who contact me asking for books for their small bible college library.
I am privileged to sometimes receive photographs of the Majority World students who are holding their very own copy of a bible commentary. A commentary they received because of donations to Langham Partnership. The students smile and show so much joy at being given their very own copy of the bible commentary, it is truly humbling but also encouraging.
My daily work is based in the Langham Service Centre in Carlisle in the UK, and my specific daily role is in communication with those we seek to support– the librarians in Bible Colleges, the Langham Preaching Co-ordinators, and the Langham Scholars who need books to help them in their studies. Part of my role is also processing, picking, packing and shipping books in the warehouse and preparing shipping documents to ensure safe passage into challenging countries.
Shipping books to Africa and Asia and South America is not always easy. Local import regulations must be adhered to, and strict shipping schedules must be met to ensure safe arrivals of shipments on time in order to be distributed at an event. Shipping of Christian textbooks also bring their own challenges. Weather conditions often present difficulties and regularly delay planes and ships which have a knock-on affect on delivery. All this contributes to the joy of international shipping.
However, those challenges are insignificant when compared to the challenges others face in the Majority World. I’m just glad that I get to partner with them and support their God-given ministry.
By Wayne Johnston