Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

Pre-Triennial study booklet: Being Faithful Witnesses: Serving God in a Changing World

Contents

11. Proclaiming the Good News

Dan Cammack Northwest Yearly Meeting

In 1647 George Fox heard these words, ‘There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.’ His heart leapt for joy, and Fox began proclaiming the good news about Jesus to his contemporaries in England. The message soon spread to surrounding countries and the Americas. Thousands of people responded by fixing their eyes on Jesus, tuning their ears to hear His voice and following obediently after Him.

In the following centuries Friends have continued to carry the good news about Jesus throughout the world. Some of my own family have been a part of taking this news to the Aymara people in the Andes mountains of Bolivia and Peru.

My great-aunt, Helen Cammack, was among the first group from what is now called Northwest Yearly Meeting (USA) to go to Bolivia. Helen, a single woman and a school teacher, arrived in La Paz in the early 1930s. Because there were few roads and vehicles, Helen obtained a mule she named Princess. She spent much of her time founding schools near Lake Titicaca. She also began to compile a dictionary of Aymara words. On more than one occasion Princess managed to get loose during the night. Helen would have to get out of bed and wander through the countryside looking for her naughty mule!

On a visit to the Pacific Northwest Helen delivered a message based on Jesus’ words in John 12: 24: ‘I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’ Not long afterwards, in 1944, Helen died of typhoid fever in La Paz. There were only a few hundred Friends in Bolivia at the time.

Now it is 2002, and my family and I are concluding fourteen years of missionary service in Peru. In just a few weeks we will board a nice bus and head for La Paz. Along the way we will see many, many meeting houses. We will ride through the area where Princess played hide-and-seek with Great-Aunt Helen. When we get on the airplane bound for the United States, we will be thinking about the approximately 10,000 Friends that make up the yearly meetings of Bolivia and Peru.

Thank you, Jesus, for allowing us the privilege of proclaiming the good news!

Queries:

- What is your understanding of ‘proclaiming the good news’?

- How do you respond to Fox’s realization that there was one, Christ Jesus, who could speak to his condition?

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