The Scottish Mission is launching its first-ever series of evangelistic meetings in Shetland on the 19th and 20th of May. A small group of pastors under the leadership of Anthony Kent have been on the island since Sunday, seeking to raise awareness in various innovative ways which included a series of commemorative bicycle rides around the island in memory of Philip Reekie, a Scottish bicycle-riding bookseller whose efforts resulted in generations of transformed lives in Australia more than 120 years ago.
As the week drew to a close and the start of the evangelistic meetings came closer, the pastors were pondering how they could raise awareness even more. As they were walking through Tesco to purchase supplies, Pr Wilfred Masih, one of the team members, suddenly stated, “I’m going to call the BBC. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.”
The other members of the team immediately encouraged him to do that and as they were driving home, Pr Wilfred found the phone number and initiated the call. To everybody’s great astonishment, Adam, the presenter of the evening Shetland programme, invited him to the BBC studio immediately. The BBC radio office was just around the corner and 10 minutes later, Anthony Kent and Wilfred Masih found themselves sitting in front of the microphones answering the presenter’s questions.
The interview went well and the presenters indicated that they would try their best to give the story air time in the Shetland section of the BBC Scotland news programme which airs at 5:30 every evening.
“At 5:30, we all sat gathered around the table at home, waiting for this interview,” says Pr Jimmy Botha. “We listened to all the news reports of the day. This included coverage of issues relating to local tourism, planning applications, a driver who lost his license for careless driving, and other matters. At the end of the half-hour programme, they introduced the section promoting upcoming events. The events were listed in rapid succession, and then there was a 10-second clip in which the presenter announced our event.” They did not play any part of the interview. Instead, the announcement said, “The General Conference Ministerial Association will be holding religious meetings in the Isleburgh Community Centre on Friday evening at 6:30 and Saturday Morning at 11.”
“That was it!” says pastor Jimmy, as he chuckled. “We were so excited about the interview, but the radio programme producers had run out of time as they focussed on other big issues of the day. The Lord really works in mysterious ways.”
The whole team is excited for the meetings that will take place this evening as a few of the people they have met during the week have indicated that they are coming.
These meetings are a central focus of a larger “Reflecting Hope Scotland” evangelistic campaign targeted at North and North-east of Scotland, including Aberdeen and Inverness.
To read more about this Mission initiative, please visit the following links: