A meaningful moment for me was the dedication of the Plegt Anker Bible Camp in April 1999, by brethren John Roberts and Michael Owen. I still feel the thrill of achievement accomplished, a dream come true. More than fifty of us put up with very Spartan arrangements at Bible School that year, but the triumph was sweet, and it was beautiful. The visitors boosted us with their obvious appreciation of our struggles and efforts. That’s what “brotherly love” is all about.
One day we had a birthday party for two very old brothers. It was a testimony to the uniting power of the truth that these two brothers, so different from one another, could be so close through Christ. At the time, one was married with a large natural and adopted family, and a home always full of people and vitality. The other was single and lived in one tiny room. One was a pioneer, a founding member of ten Caribbean ecclesias and visitor to another two hundred worldwide, a zealous outgoing preacher and teacher, effervescent and full of the joy of the truth. The other was a faithful steward of one ecclesia all his life, a quiet and thoughtful exhorter, solid as a rock, full of faith, hope and charity. We need both types in our great spiritual house. It is so tragic when brothers believe that they don’t need each other, and demand only one sort of response to the truth. The love between these two old brothers was so touching. One great joy of the occasion was to see the young generation acknowledging and following the spirit of these two old stalwarts so obviously filled with love for one another.
I was recently attending a fraternal gathering in Georgetown, Guyana. As part of the afternoon program, there was a special presentation, done by Sunday school students and a few younger brothers and sisters: each of the young people, in turn, talked about one of the older brothers and sisters in the ecclesia — giving some biographical data, and remembrances of the work for the Lord done by each of the oldsters. An especially touching moment was when the presiding brother — himself a youngish brother — spoke of a particular sister who had labored long and hard as a Sunday school teacher. He concluded with these words: “Sister Sarah, do you remember how you used to teach us the [such-and-such] song? You worked so hard at that, and you probably wondered what difference it made… but I can testify here and now… I still remember that song!” And then and there he started singing the old children’s song, and one by one, around the congregation, all the other former students of sister Sarah joined in.