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To An Old Missionary, Rising
by Elliot Tepper

"So on the deep and open sea I set
Forth, with a single ship and that small band
Of comrades that had never left me yet."

Dante, “Voyage of Ulysses”


Who will sail with me again?
Who will dare the old dangers, thirsts, and heats,
Their terrors and monotonies,
Those little pains that punctuate your glory?

Who is still fit and hale
To show their face,
To raise their sail to autumn’s waning winds of grace,
And risk again Euroclydon’s furies?

I think
I do not stand alone,
But in company.
The early winter winds have roused
Many ancient warriors from sleep.

They have been to sea before.
They know,
Out there,
Beyond the shore, in unknown skies,

Hidden,
Still hangs hail’s steel pelleted rage,
And drenching, wetted early snows.

Yet they fear not to tread the waves again.

O, beware the south,
Whatever time of year,
Where lurk warm, but wayward hurricanes,
And the lesser unnamed squalls
That stirs the sea before
And during winters reign on earth.

Yet I remember those gentle breezes calling, too.
And they awake in me memory’s longings:
Of comradeship, of star filled skies,
And the deep double light of moonlit seas,
And moon in summer.

O, the peace,
The peace of the leeward anchorage
And the foretaste of heaven!

I know the winds will not keep their place,
Nor respect my rest,
But ratchet up to roar and threaten
All further terrestrial, maritime advance –
And rip at life’s remaining riggings.

How strange.
How fitting.
What was meant to cower, draws.

It is not the danger,
Nor the sweetness we crave,
But you,
And your ways in war or anchored rest.

For in like and unlike ways
You wake nobler things in me
Than can be gathered in the fairy petals

Of a dream’s mid-summer night,
Or in the bleak and white jaws of winters bite.

You are Divinely sly.

In comfort and duress
You summon me back into battle.

Come,
Let us ride the storm out together.
If we can,
We will go against the tide towards home.
If we cannot,
We will go with it until we die.
And dying,
Learn where our new home lies,
Together.


Elliott Tepper for A.S. Worley, who dared and dares, still,
"The Old Dangers" --- 10/2003

_______________________________________________________________


Faith for the 'Betel' work came through Elliott Tepper and the following comments are by Norman Grubb who wrote the forward for the book "Rescue Shop within a Yard of Hell" which tells its story by Stewart and Marie Dinnen.

"I am an old friend of Stewart Dinnen, one of our former WEC leaders. I am delighted that he, with Elliott Tepper and Kent Martin, has put together the stirring testimonies which comprise this totally surprising development in our Spanish work.

Faith always means shocks, because it causes something to happen - a release of God's power - not as a result of human reasoning but as a manifestation of his purposes for the world, just as Jesus himself was.

To me it was a jolting shock to hear Spaniards of the toughest sort becoming such vigorous immediate responders to truth. Which of us would have chosen to deliver the revolutionary gospel to heroin addicts, thieves and prostitutes, and then have expected such a dynamic relation? It is just like the Lord to take on what appears to be impossible and turn it into one of the most dramatic responses to the saving truth of Jesus in Europe today.

I have watched for years to find men of the same quality and recklessness as C.T. Studd, and when I heard Elliott describe his approach to building Betel's centres, I said, 'Ah! Another C.T.Studd in the making!'

The following was written in the same book as the dedication...

Because Betel, through the gospel, is simply restoring the image of the Father to a generation which has lost it, we would like to dedicate this book to the 'FATHER' . Firstly, to the 'Father of lights' from whom every good and perfect gift comes. And then to our fathers, both natural and spiritual, who have in their measure transmitted that great heavenly heart and image to us, that we might pass on what we have received to others.

We would specifically like to acknowledge the fragrance and spirit of the Father which Norman Grubb, Costa Deir, A.S. Worley and many others have breathed into Betel so that we, in turn, may bring forth new generations of sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers for the kingdom of God.

'Yea, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, until I have declared thy strength unto the next generation, thy might to every one that is to come!'
Psalm 71:18.