Friday, May 31, 2013

God's Needle, edited by John Butterworth, is the story of Lily Gaynor. I don't recall meeting anyone from Liverpool who did not have an active sense of humour, and Lily is no exception. She can also tell a good story. Put that together with a deep relationship with God, and pioneer work in one of the poorest countries in the world in an area untouched by the gospel, and you have a cracking good read.
Lily's experiences at Missionary Training College are worth reading, as are those in Portugal whilst she learned the Portuguese language (and experienced a classic line from the Duke of Edinburgh!). But the purpose of her life has been to bring good news to people who had never had the opportunity to hear it. Lily combined that with nursing and midwifery in decidedly primitive circumstances. She also worked to translate the New Testament into the local language. The closing pages of the story are to my mind some of the most significant. After the missionaries had left, a Portuguese NGO discovered the clinic deep in the bush, and committed itself to restoring it and making it viable as far as possible with occasional visits from medical specialists from Portugal. This is no evangelical group, but they respect the evangelical work, and thus God has provided for the ongoing medical work in this area.
Lily will be at the WEC centenary celebration at Bulstrode on 8 June (for numbers not an open event), and we will have more of a launch then, but the book is already on sale, and can be bought through or Christian bookshops.

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