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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Testimony Part 2

Peter’s Testimony Part 2

Why on earth did you become a Pastor?
An enjoyable career!
After leaving school I worked at Warwick University where I trained as a Chemistry Technician. I ultimately became a spectroscopist. A big title which simply meant that the university paid me for thoroughly enjoying myself; working with wonderfully clever analytical equipment.
I met Pam and we eventually married in 1974. When the family arrived a university salary was no longer sufficient even though I had been promoted to a senior position. I went to work for a short while in the Environmental Health Department at Nuneaton Borough Council as a noise and pollution technician. I enjoyed the contact with the general public but for various reasons the job was not what I wanted and so after 2 years went to work in Chemistry at Coventry University where I once again took up the mantle of spectroscopist. Again I thoroughly enjoyed my job and even began studying for a Masters degree.

An active member of the church:
It was during this period as I had become more involved with my local church, as the young people’s leader, a member of the outreach team and Deacon of the church that I started to consider what I might do more directly in the Lord’s service.
When I was first converted a friend lent me a book titled “Tortured for Christ” by Romanian Pastor named Richard Wurmbrandt. The book was set in the times of severe communist oppression of the church and Pastor Wurmbrandt suffered terribly on account of his faith. Since that time I had been prayerfully concerned for the persecuted church in Eastern Europe and especially Romania. It was a joy to see the news of the Berlin wall coming down one night as I returned from an evening of prayer for the church in Eastern Europe.

A trip to Romania:

About 12 months later Joy; one of the young people from our youth group went to Romania as a volunteer worker in an orphanage in a town called Piatra Niamt. Pam saved up for a ticket for me to go to see Joy whilst she worked there, it is this that changed my life radically. To see the people who I had been praying for and to see their real needs was a life changing experience. The country was desperately poor but the church was spiritually rich beyond what I had ever seen before. Many had gone out before me and had interpreted the greatest need of the church to be financial and practical, but as I observed the Pastor and church in action a greater need became evident to me. Due to oppression the leaders had very little bible resources and many were very poorly taught. My previous desire for the church’s protection from persecution had been replaced with a desire to protect the church from the error of some western teaching that was flooding Eastern Europe by then. This was more likely to have a detrimental affect on the purity of the church than persecution ever did have.

What next?

Upon returning from Romania, Pam’s first question was what now, we both realised the profound affect that the trip had upon me. I felt it right to apply for a place at the Theological college of Wales (now West Evangelical School of Theology) I was accepted and even qualified for a Local Authority Grant for my studies. Chemistry gave way to theology. I enjoyed my studies there. As a family part way through we moved to Wales.

A great church in beautiful surroundings:
It was at this point that our relationship with the Evangelical Church in Ogmore-by-Sea came about. We had the privilege of worshipping with the church in the most beautiful place you can imagine. (If you have not been there you should really make every effort to, you will not be disappointed!!) We enjoyed living in the village and also loved the ministry of Pastor Vernon Salkeld and fellowship with the church.
During my studies at ETCW I believed the direction of my ministry would be to help the church in Eastern Europe to get good bible teaching and resources. This all changed during my time in the church at Ogmore-by-Sea. My love for the people developed more and more and unbeknown to me they were looking for a Pastor at just the time I would graduate. They prayed for guidance and we prayed for direction. Through a series of remarkable incidences we both came to the same conclusion and I was appointed to be Pastor of the church in September 1995.
God is good to His people and we have been blessed in more ways that we can ever explain. He continues to bless His church here in Ogmore-by-Sea.

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