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Thursday, August 17, 2006


Pastor Tom Whiting 31st January 1916 - 10th August 2006.

"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' - Mat 25:21.

In Part 1, I shared that I am posting excerpts from a small booklet that each person was given at the funeral service of Pastor Tom, aged 90. Here are some more…

In 1947, Howard Carter,
the great English preacher, knelt at the side of our communion table and prophesied over me. These prophetic words have seen their fulfillment in my life and ministry.

During ten years of fruitful ministry in the West London District (England) of which I served as Chairman, I felt the leading of the Holy Spirit causing me to make myself available to travel around the world to minister.

Early in 1949,
I was waiting on God when I had a vision of a New Zealand soldier with his hat turned up on one side. The Spirit of God burdened my heart about New Zealand. At the same time Donald Gee and John Carter received a letter from New Zealand asking them if they could recommend a young Pastor to go to that country.

About six weeks later, I was in a Ministers meeting of the Assemblies of God in London when I literally bumped into John Carter. He drew me to one side and said, "Brother Whiting, I want to see you. Have you ever thought of going overseas?"

John Carter went on to explain that Donald Gee and he had received a letter from New Zealand asking them if they could recommend a young Pastor to go there. Astonished, I explained to him that I had been meaning to write and ask about New Zealand and told him of my vision of the soldier and my understanding that God had burdened my heart for that country. John listened to my story with great interest.

We contacted every shipping firm and agent in London. They all said it was impossible to leave England in less than three years. In April, at the end of six weeks as John had promised I received a letter from the General Secretary of the Assemblies of God which asked me if I had made a decision about going to New Zealand. I told my wife that I was going to pray: I was on my knees for three minutes when God came and shook me. I leapt up from praying and I knew that had to go to New Zealand. I told my wife and we made the following covenant with God:-

l. I would resign from the Church immediately and give them one month's notice.
2. I would not ask anyone for any ministry.
3. I would not tell anyone, or make any announcement from the platform that I was paying our own fares for the four of us. Only my family and very closest friends knew what we were going to do.

Two weeks after I made the Covenant with God, I received a letter from the High Commissioner in New Zealand giving us a 'Priority Passage' and asking us to be ready to sail in eight weeks. Finally, we embarked on the vessel to set sail for New Zealand. God had indeed provided for all our needs.

One of the ports of
call en route to New Zealand was Suva in Fiji. I was invited to speak at a series of meetings while the ship was in port. At the meetings, the Power of God fell, and many people were baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Missionary said that they had not had such powerful meetings on the island for a very long time.

We eventually arrived in New Zealand at Wellington,
where we were met by the secretary of the Church and taken to Littleton after a night on the ferry. The secretary, a small tough Scotsman said that he was the bearer of bad news. The house which the Church had planned for my family and I to live in had been sold and they had to find other accommodation. I replied, "Don't bother about things like that, God has met my needs before". He did and we were soon moving into a brand new house.

During the first year I was there, I built up the work in the children's church until there were about two hundred youngsters involved.

I was elected Chairman
of the Assembly of God movement in New Zealand after about twelve months of arriving in the country. This helped me enormously to get to know the other pastors in the organization.

I also was able to request
from the British Assemblies of God suitable ministry to assist the New Zealand Fellowship. Some of those who came from Britain were Spencer May who became the Principal of the Bible College, Benny Finch served as General Secretary of the Fellowship and also a Lecturer and then Principal of the Bible College. Stan Powell came over and served as pastor. Other visiting ministries from Britain were Smith Wigglesworth, Howard Carter and Willy Burton.

I will continue with Part 3 on Monday 21st August, with more adventures stories from Pastor Tom, and his subsequent call to Australia and much more, don’t miss it!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a Godly influence to those around me, and to those I meet in my day to day life, just as Pastor Tom was. I ask this, in the wonderful name of Jesus and for His glory! Amen!

Be encouraged!

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