There is much we can learn from people over the centuries. In this podcast series, we learn about some of J.John’s ‘Heroes of the Faith’, as described by his wife, Killy.
On Heroes and Heroism
9:49This series on Christian heroes has made me think about how the idea of heroism applies to you and me. I think that when we use the word hero, even in the Christian context, we can blur two kinds of people. The first are those who we admire as heroes because of their supreme ability: those remarkable scientists, doctors, painters, musicians and athletes who let their skills be guided and guarded by God. Great, but the problem is that most of us don’t have that sort of incredible ability.
Heroes of the Faith: Tom Rees
8:57Tom Rees was an evangelist who proclaimed the gospel, and here I should declare a personal interest: he was my wife’s great-uncle, the brother of Dick Rees, her grandfather, who was also an evangelist.Thomas Rees was born in 1911 and grew up in Watford. His brother Dick became a Christian, prayed for his brother’s conversion, and Tom received Christ at the age of fifteen. Immediately, Tom became involved in evangelistic activities, soon bringing friends to Christ. He left school to work but soon became convinced that he was to be an evangelist. He took on youth work in a parish church for three years but resigned when criticised for being involved with other churches. Tom then refused to be tied to any one denomination and was happy to work with any church that believed in preaching the gospel.
Heroes of the Faith: Lillian Trasher
9:41Lillian Trasher spent a lifetime in Egypt, where she created one of the world’s largest orphanages with small resources but enormous faith.Born in Florida in 1887, Lillian came to a living experience of Christ in her teens. She worked briefly at an orphanage where she found a love for children and learned how to care for them. She became engaged to a Christian minister in 1910 but, just days before the marriage, decided she was called to the mission field. When her fiancé refused to share that call, she ended the engagement.
Heroes of the Faith: Bede
8:37Although Bede, the great Anglo-Saxon monk, scholar and historian, spent all his life in north-east England, his influence spread across Europe and gained him the title the ‘Venerable Bede’.Bede was born in 673 in what is now Tyne and Wear in north-east England. At the age of seven he was sent to the monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, that he would ultimately become a monk. There, the Anglo-Saxon-speaking Bede learned Latin and Greek. In fact, he was to spend all his life at the monastery, which although isolated, was an outstanding centre of learning with a priceless library of over 200 books. There he became a deacon at the unusually early age of nineteen, a priest at thirty and, over the years, an increasingly renowned scholar and teacher.
Heroes of the Faith: Ida Scudder
10:04There is no more outstanding example of a Christian dynasty than the Scudder family, of whom it could be written in 1959 that ‘forty-two members through four generations had given a total of 1,100 years to missionary service in India’. Amongst that remarkable lineage, the most striking figure is Ida Scudder.
Heroes of the Faith: Brother Andrew
9:30When in September 2022 the Dutchman Andy van der Bijl, better known as Brother Andrew, died, many obituaries emphasised his dramatic role in the Fifties and Sixties as ‘God’s Smuggler’. Yet Andrew was a man who did far more than merely take Bibles to closed lands.
Heroes of the Faith: Darlene Deibler Rose
9:50Through her long life, Darlene Deibler Rose was a witness for Christ to people in the furthest parts of the world. Yet through her unforgettable memoir, Evidence Not Seen, of her brutal imprisonment by the Japanese during the Second World War, she has become a witness to many more people across the world.