Brother Andrew wanted to be a failure
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- One
the first things I noticed when I moved to America back in 1982 was
that people in this country love success. But back in Britain, where I
had lived for most of my life, failure is looked upon as the way to go.
Cover of The Book of Heroic Failures
So it was not surprising to me when
Stephen Pile back in 1976 began "The Not Terribly Good Club of Great
Britain." In order to join you simply had to be "not terribly good" at
something -- and preferably downright awful.
The Club was immortalized by the publication in 1979 of "The
Heroic Failures," written by Stephen Pile and was a celebration of
human inadequacy in all its forms. Like the not terribly good burglar
who wore armor to protect himself from dogs and householders, only to
be caught on his first time out due to the terrible noise the amour
made and the fact that, weighed down by all that steel, he couldn't run
A surprising applicant was Brother Andrew, the author of the
best-selling book, God's Smuggler, who was one of 30,000 people who
applied to join. Andrew wanted to be club's chaplain and in his letter
of application, he pointed out that he was a "failure" as, in those
days; he could never draw a crowd when he visited Britain from his
native Holland, and also because he was the only student of the Bible
College he attended in Glasgow who never graduated.
The Dutchman also wrote that he represented Jesus Christ,
many thought was a failure because he was crucified. "Actually,"
Brother Andrew told me later, "I wanted people to realize that out of
great failure came great success; salvation for millions of people."
Unfortunately, for Brother Andrew, "The Book of Heroic
Failures" became a great success and Pile had to excommunicate himself
from the club and then close down it down. The reason was that he had
become a success!
Maybe there is a lesson in this for all of us to learn from
this; that God specializes in using failures. Brother Andrew is a
wonderful illustration of this with his ministry to the persecuted
Christians of the world -- called Open Doors with Brother Andrew -
which has helped millions of suffering believers in some of the most
restricted countries on earth.
Note: This article is taken from Dan Wooding's commentary on
his Front Page Radio show carried each Sunday at 5:00 PM on KWVE 107.9
FM in Southern California.
Note to the broadcast media. Front Page Radio, which is 28
minutes long, is available for broadcast on any Christian radio
stations around the world. If you would like more information on how to
get the weekly program, just send an e-mail to Dan Wooding at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Dan Wooding is an award winning
journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is
the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints
in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten
years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC.
Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his
autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron
Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com.
(Photo: Brother Andrew with