Abraham, P. and Moyes, Gordon (2002). GD: A Legend in Our Times. A brief sketch on the life of G. D. James. India: Life of Life Books. 229 pages
The book is a tribute to the legendary Dr G.D. James whose vision is mission to "preach the Gospel in season and out of season," by any available method, in order that God's Name be exalted among the nations, in every tribe, tongue and country"' (p. 48). The Lord honours his passion and the pages of the book unfold like a concertina chart of God's work of wonder in the life and ministry of Dr James. He is affectionately known as GD.
His name was Gnanamuthu when he was born in 1920 on "Christmas Day" into a Hindu family in Tamil Nadu, India. The staunch practicing Hindu was sent to a Christian Mission school but the study of Scripture became a subject of life transformation when he had a confrontation with The Man. His booklet on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Man You Must Confront has been translated into ten languages and has reached the ten million mark! The first fruit of his gift of evangelism was the conversion of his immediate family members who had badly ill-treated him. Read the poignant account of GD's unhappy childhood in chapter 2 and it will strengthen those with similar experience to triumph over the odds by the grace of God.
He desired to be a medical doctor but chose to obey the will of God to be a physician of souls and after 62 years, he is still in active practice. Dr Violet James-Nathan, the fourth child and third daughter of GD gave a brief but an amazing account of her father's life goal to "evangelise the unevangelised" and to "train and send forth the national evangelists and missionaries into the harvest fields of Asia" (p. 12) in chapter 1. She traces the missionary journey of her father from India to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand and the formation of the Asian Evangelistic Mission (AEF) which is now known as the AEF International. AEF was the first indigenous Asian mission established to reach out to Asians wherever they may be found as Asian migrants in Australia or as foreign workers in Singapore (chapters 6 and 7). Beyond evangelism, AEF sets to nurture and equip Asian converts to evangelise and plant indigenous churches and the data of the God-given success is available. Thus, the records of GD's pioneering mission work and the ministry of AEF in Singapore and Malaysia should not be forgotten but be included in the church history education for the young in these churches mentioned in chapters 3 to 5.
Readers may be bothered by the repetitions in various chapters but the perceived weakness strengthens the reliability of the biographical sketch of GD as seen and experienced by different individuals and contributors including his beloved wife and children. Unanimously, they present Dr G. D. James' as a man who bears the marks of God's faithful servant and a missionary who is "sendable, bendable, dependable and dispensable" (p. 172). His sense of humour makes reading the book a joy and jokingly engages his readers in serious listening and thinking,
It is a biography of
a God's servant worth reading to give praises to our Almighty God
for GD who "after 62 years or more, scores of converts are serving
the Lord as pastors, elders, church-planters and missionaries in
Malaysia, Singapore and in other parts of the world" (p. 80).
I am one of them. Dr G.D. James was the evangelist when I
responded to the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. Again,
he was the preacher at an Asia Evangelistic Fellowship camp when I
committed my life to serve the Lord. I am now serving as a
full-time lecturer at the Biblical Graduate School of Theology after
more than a decade of teaching in another theological college.
Thank you, Dr G. D. James and I praise the Lord for your influence
in my life.
(Reviewed by Dr Ng Peh Cheng)
me try a little harder
me pray a little more
me go a little farther
I’ve ever gone before
me sing instead of sighing
I pass beneath the rod
my life burn out for others
of self and more of God
me see the ones about me
for the peace I know
the spirit of my Savior
let me ever show
me lift the one who’s fallen
the lame upon the way
the weary, calm the suffering
thou wilt come someday
Lord, yes others
this my motto be
me to live for others
I may be like Thee
Chapel on 9 April,
2003, was taken by Ms Valerie Lim, who is a Research Associate of
Global Mapping International, whose headquarters is located in
Colorado Springs, USA. Valerie gave a fascinating account of this
important support ministry for mission work. Founded in 1983, GMI
develops geographic databases for missions through creating
custom-made maps which are used to enable mission agencies and
all interested in missions to project their work, review what has
been done, and do a host of other functions. In so doing it helps
mission agencies to be better focussed in their work and promotes
prayer for missions. GMI's research and development focus is
supplemented by production and publishing of mission research
material on CD-ROM. It also provides consultation and training in
the use of Information Technology for mission work. BGST Library
thanks GMI for the gift of a full set of their CD-ROM.
Blessed Birthday to ...