Former Committee Chairman, Graham Cole passed into the presence of his Lord on March 31st, 2020.

We express our sincere condolences to his wife, Pam, and the family at this time. Please remember them in your prayer.

 

 

Tribute

I first met Graham when I visited his home fellowship for deputation meetings on behalf of the Mission.  Although I didn’t know him very well, I was impressed by His love for the Lord, his love for God’s Word and his evangelistic zeal. I suggested to the Mission Committee that he should be invited to join the Committee and he was duly appointed in November 1992. His banking background was invaluable when it came to matters of finance. Graham became chairman in 2004 and held that position for many years, eventually retiring from the Committee in November 2015.

During those years of working with Graham, I came to value him more and more. It is difficult to speak too highly of Graham. All who worked with him held him in the very highest esteem. If I had to summarise his life and ministry in one phrase, it would be the character from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, ‘Mr. Valiant for Truth’, for that seems a fitting description.

Any hint of compromise was totally foreign to Graham. He stood foursquare on the truth of God’s Word. He radiated his love for the Lord and was always eager to share the truths of the gospel with others. I saw him in action at Epsom Races and at Tower Hill in London, one of the sites where he preached fearlessly on many occasions. The gospel message he proclaimed was never in any way obscure. It was straight to the point – Heaven or Hell at the end of life’s journey, always centring on the cross.

Alongside his work with the Mission, Graham took a major role in the work of the Gospel Hall that he and Pam attended in Welling, being involved in leadership generally and in the children’s and young people’s work there for many, many years. One of his unique ministries was the visits he made to Bexleyheath Broadway late on Saturday nights where he would mingle with those coming out of the pubs and clubs and offer gospel tracts. He often suffered abuse and sometimes physical danger but nothing would deter him. He was set for, “The defence and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7) that Paul spoke about. Again, that is how we shall remember Graham.

Mention must be made of his sense of humour. We were never in his company for long before laughter would be ringing out. So, we thank God for all our memories of Graham, knowing that he has been an outstanding example to us. We do pray for dear Pam and the other members of the family at this time of sadness, thinking particularly of the difficulties that the current restrictions are creating.

Alan J. Greenbank (Retired General Secretary)

 

The Committee met online on the 25th March to discuss various things pertaining to the work of the Mission. Whilst we still have the usual business to conduct, obviously the Coronavirus situation has dominated much of our discussions.

In the light of Government advice, on 17th March a memorandum was issued to all Staff and Associate workers suspending all normal open-air activity. This includes preaching in the open-air and also distribution of tracts (on the street and also through letter boxes). There is a Government ‘stay at home’ policy currently in force which forbids anything but essential travel (for food, health reasons or work (where you cannot work from home)). We understand the frustration of wanting to share the gospel outside at such a time as this, but we must act in accordance with Government advice and maintain a good testimony. We would not wish to be seen as ‘irresponsible’ at the moment which would bring shame upon the gospel.

However, we are looking to develop further online resources to reach out during such times. Our hope is that staff and supporters to share these widely through social media, emails and messages. We are encouraging our workers to spend time reading, praying, studying and preparing new resources (open-air talks, videos etc.). We have also, inevitably, cancelled the Leeds Team Event, Family Conference and also the Tissington Well Dressing outreach. We will keep other future events under review based upon the latest advice from the Government.

In support of our workers, the Committee’s decision at this time is that we will continue to employ staff on full pay.

We look forward to the time when we can be out once more, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ in the biblical, effective and face-to-face manner of open-air evangelism!

Latest, up-to-date, Government information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

As believers we look to our Sovereign God and cultivate a deepening reliance on Him.

Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.’

(Psalm 125:1-2)

 

26th March 2020

During a time when we cannot be outside sharing the gospel as we would like, we are developing our online resources. We will be posting these on social media at regular intervals and would encourage you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ these.

By doing so, more non-Christians are brought into contact with the gospel online. Even if we cannot (at the moment) reach them outside, let’s try and witness for Christ on the internet.

https://www.oamission.com/watch/

A video version of our popular gospel leaflet.

Why not like and share it online?

 

 

It is with regret that we announce the joint OAM-UBM Training Day will not now take place on Saturday, 21st March.

Many expressed an interest in attending (over 130 bookings) and so we shall be postponing until later in the year. Further details will follow in due course.

Former Evangelist Derrick Cole went to be with the Lord on December 28th, 2019. Your prayer for his family would be appreciated.

Derrick served as an Associate worker from 1991 before being accepted as a full-time Evangelist in 1993. Derrick was regularly in the open-air at Bilston, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. Retiring in 2009, but continuing when he could as an Associate worker once more.

Here is Derrick’s testimony, in his own words:

‘I first heard something of Jesus Christ when at the age of three, I was sent along to a local Methodist Church Sunday School.

I first remember being moved by the message as a twenty year old while doing my National Service in Germany.

From the radio in the Barrack room came the voice of Billy Graham.

I remember pleading with my room mates to leave the radio on so that I could listen.

Five years later and now married, I went along to hear Billy Graham in person at one of his big Missions.

Although an interest in spiritual things was awakened within, my search for meaning in life took me down all sorts of other roads including the occult.

It was through my own children attending Sunday School and my accompanying them to a special service, that brought me again under the sound of the gospel.

However it was not for another nine years that I became a Christian.

I was working for the Probation Service at the time and filling my life with pubs and clubs, though not neglecting my family who were very important to me as well.

I gradually became aware of being a sinner before God and a deep sense of my lost condition came over me.

I found wonderful relief one day when I took myself off to a wood to be alone, and there fell to my knees asking the Lord to have mercy upon me.

I soon felt a tremendous burden to speak to others about God’s amazing grace and have done since.’

We thank God for Derrick’s life and witness.