Editor's Letters
by T. Austin-Sparks

November-December, 1970

BELOVED FRIENDS,

We asked for much prayer for the conference in Switzerland in September. It is therefore due to you to be told of the Lord's very great faithfulness in answering. Many who have been at these conferences over a number of years said that this was the best ever. As you know, after twelve years at Aeschi, and more years in other places, we had to find a new and larger hotel this year. This was found (through the help of one of our old friends) and everyone said that there could be none better. It made it possible for practically all our guests to be under one roof, in very comfortable provision. There were also daily visitors in addition to the resident conference company. The management and staff were most helpful, and the Lord gave us beautiful weather throughout. We have often remarked that, apart from the ministry, the fellowship at these conferences is a very great blessing, for so many come from lonely places where fellowship with other believers is very limited. Our company was composed of friends from some twelve nations, such as France, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, India, Australia, Yugoslavia, United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

The ministry was fulfilled by Mr. Poul Madsen, Mr. Roger Forster, Mr. W. E. Thompson, and the Editor.

The gathering around the Lord's Table on the closing day of the conference was both precious and wonderful. It was just as though the nations were waiting at the door in order to move in to lay their tributes of praise at the Lord's feet. The opening of that door to worship just found a spontaneous stream of thanksgiving which would have gone on much longer than time permitted. It was a miniature of that vision of saints from all nations worshipping the Lamb to which we are looking forward.

Valuable help in the interpretation was given by our brothers Rohrer, Wollf, and Vaiss. The messages, in whole or part, will appear in the Witness and Testimony, and we should very much have liked to have put in this issue a full message from each speaker, but the completion of some series makes it necessary for us to hold these over until later.

We have come from that conference feeling quite truly that it was really of the Lord, and much conflict beforehand was well explained.

So we thank all who prayed with and for us, and we greet all who were with us.

Now, with this issue of the paper we complete another year. It is truly of the Lord's grace that we have done so, for it has been a year of unusual pressure and difficulty. There have been times when we have wondered whether our ministry was not drawing to a close. It has not been easy to reconcile such a contingency with the many - and growing number of those - who express their sense of need for what the Lord gives through this medium. But that event must come at some time, either by our personal homecall, or by His coming. The Lord has given us a motto for 1971 which, while encouraging and assuring us, seems to point to need in the coming days. It is not easy to believe that things can go on much longer as they are in the world. Much easier is it to believe that His coming is drawing very near. Amongst the various 'signs' in the national, international, political, industrial phenomenal, etc., the moral degeneration has always been a very clear pointer to an intervention on God's part; what the Bible calls "the cup of iniquity". Surely this cup is fast filling up. In Noah's time it was said that 'every imagination of man's heart was evil'. The Pilgrim Church longs for home. Nature groans within itself. Iniquity cries in the streets. We all say: 'Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!" But the urge is upon us to take from the Lord's hands all that He is prepared to give us to feed the hungry sheep. Pray that the strength needed may be given, and that we may still "bring forth fruit (even) in old age".

Thank you truly for all the help you have given through this year, and the Lord make your cup overflow with His goodness.

Yours in His unfailing grace,

T. Austin-Sparks


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