John's 40-year Christian adventure
2005: John Wright (pictured right), a lay reader at Stoke Holy Cross church near Norwich and an international director of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, recounts some of the recent adventures in his 40-year Christian journey.
I am in my fortieth year as a Christian and am reminded that Moses was 40 years in the wilderness before his ministry started. It has often seemed like that. It is also the 13th year since the end of the 17-month Britannia Park Trial and three months in prison. Again I am reminded that Joseph and David were 13 years in prison and the wilderness before they were lifted up.
In early September 2005 when half asleep I had a vision of a computer screen from which flashed the words ‘Xiang Fu.’ It turns out that this is a blessing in Mandarin given to a man in his old age. The subsidiary meanings are to swear allegiance to someone, to subdue something and to be conformed to someone. So when we swear allegiance to Christ and subdue the flesh we are conformed to His image!
Two missing elements in Susan’s kitchen have been sharp knives and good saucepans. In November a young Dutch boy called Toon appeared in a new Range Rover with a boot full of top of the range BergHaus German saucepans and knives. The saucepans, with built-in thermometers, have a unique nearly water free cooking system that retains the nutritional value of the vegetables.
They cost £950 for a box of nine saucepans. Well beyond our means. But Toon told us he had just cleared the warehouse and would have to pay VAT at Customs on his way to Holland. If we paid £150 we could have them, so we did! Over a cup of coffee Toon was born again and gave me a big hug of joy. A few moments later he came back from the car with an attaché case of knives selling at £450 as a present! Was he an Angel? He has been handed over to FGBMFI in Holland so no doubt we will find out!
Also in November I got into a Tube Train in London on my way to Liverpool Street Station. I sat down next to a well dressed man of about 45 and asked him if he was a Banker.
It turned out that he was Deputy Chairman of a major Merchant Bank so I told him how God had told me to start a Bank in Norwich when I had no money or knowledge of banking. He told me he was also a Christian converted under my old friend David MacInnes at St Aldates, Oxford.
I offered to introduce to him another Christian Banker who ran a corporate finance boutique. This resulted a few weeks later in the prospect of some business on which I will receive, without asking, an introductory commission of £1,500 per month. It does pay to talk to strangers.
Then in December a leader in the Telegraph commented on the amazing grace given to Christians like Abigail Witchell to forgive those who have harmed them or who have killed loved ones. The leader commented that we should try to be nice to people we love to hate like traffic wardens.
So I wrote to say this was nothing new as The Stoppa Coppa Society, which I founded in 1980, had been doing just this for 25 years. All you have to do to be a member is to stop policemen and traffic wardens and say to them, ‘Excuse me, Officer, I just want you to know we appreciate you; without you we would have chaos. Live up to your high calling.’ My letter was printed and as a result I have been on BBC Radio Essex and Norfolk, an article is planned for the Sunday Telegraph, BBC5 and national ITV.
‘The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich;
He bringeth low and lifteth up!’
To read more about the Stoppa Coppa Society click here.