Silent Challenge Author:Ivor Powell Foreword — Long ago, an arrogant Philistine faced the trembling Israelites and thundered out his mighty challenge. Goliath of Gath was such a man-mountain that even his voice struck terror to the hearts of his opponents. Yet in due course his words fell upon the ears of a lad called David. The challenge was accepted, the enemy overthrown, and ... more »a people in bondage set free.
In like manner, three and a half years ago the challenge of Africa fell upon the ears of one of the smallest Churches in the land. Heathenism, sin, indifference, seemed to be mocking the cause of God, and ultimately the Baptists of Southern Africa decided to answer the challenge. In order to help in the conflict, I left my homeland and came to stand with my brethren. Now at the end of the first phase of the battle, we are looking back over our experiences.
If variety be the spice of life, then not one of my days has been dull. My meetings have been held in crowded University lecture halls, in stately City Halls, in awe-inspiring Dutch Reformed Churches, in our own Baptist Churches; and at the other end of the scale, in dilapidated tumble-down shacks in verminous locations. I have had all types of listeners, from the immaculately dressed to the poor heathens clad only in their rough tribal blankets. Nightly I have endeavored to tell my audiences of the best Friend in the world. Sometimes the educated have sought argument; sometimes the wondering eyes of tribesmen have seemed to ask, "But who is Jesus?" whilst on the innumerable occasions faces, both black and white, have shone with sheer pleasure at the mention of His name. For the humorist, Africa can be a Paradise; for the man with a soul, it can be a Gethsemane. There are countless thousands of poor people for whom the sunshine is limited. It reaches their black backs, but never their hearts.
I invite you to accompany me through the scenes here-after depicted. As you proceed, listen well. If your hearing be good, you may hear the voice of Africa.