to the Beijing International Christian
Fellowship Men’s Fraternity
David Kilgour, MP (Edmonton Southeast)
and Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)
a great honour to be have been
asked to share a few thoughts
this morning and to see so many
believers from all numerous
parts of the world. My
time is very limited so let
me get on with it:
an anecdote about something
that happened in the Great Hall
of the People about five years
A number of us traveling
with a ministry of Campus Crusade
for Christ, Canada, were invited
to a dinner there, hosted by
some senior officials from the
National Peoples Congress.
the meal, Marvin Kehler of Vancouver,
who was then head of Campus
Crusade - Canada, and is with
us here this morning – was recounting
how his growing commitment to
Christ had improved his own
business practices. One of our hosts, a lawyer, kept insisting
that what Cina needed was more
laws to fight crime and corruption.
Marvin was in effect
saying that when men and women
have the Bible in their heads
and faith in their hearts, there
will be more fair dealing in
the market place.
We are all sinners, of
course, and believers – including
King David of the Old Testament
– can do very bad things.
Canadians hoped that our hosts
got the point that evening –
that encouraging religions to
flourish in China would help
on crime and many other fronts.
We were allowed to pray
at the end of the event for
our hosts and even to give them
copies of the Jesus film.
a month ago, while in Guangzhou
(Canton), I was pleased to learn
that registered religions, including
Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity,
are now legal at least in Guangdong
province. Our delegation visited
a Christian church and prayed
there and earlier did the same
thing at a Buddhist temple.
John Paul II
a word about Pope John Paul
II, who as you may know, celebrated
World Youth Day this year in
Toronto, along with the largest
gathering of people in Canada’s
The estimated turnout
for the final mass was from
800,000 to 1.2 million.
since read John Paul II:
Man of the Century, by John Kwinty, who spent eight years
researching the book.
My wife, Laura, thinks
I am 51% Protestant and 49%
Catholic, but let me tell you
that it was one of the most
fascinating books I’ve ever
of the points Kwinty makes is
that if any one individual “won”
the Cold War, it was John Paul
and his constant demonstration
across Poland and elsewhere around
the world that Christianity must
stand always for the dignity of
all human beings.
That position, demonstrated
on countless occasions by deed
and word, by a worker/priest and
later Bishop, Cardinal, and Pope,
proved decisive in winning hearts,
minds and souls across Europe.
Peoples’ World Assembly
just been my immense good fortune
to attend the 6th World
Assembly of Disabled Peoples International
in Sapporo, Japan.
There were more than 3000
delegates from 109 countries and
an estimated 3400 volunteers to
Persons with many forms
of disability were present at
the closing ceremony and banquet,
and let me tell you that it was
one of the most spiritually inspiring
events I’ve ever attended.
There were women, children,
and men from almost everywhere.
What an extraordinary community
of positive-minded individuals.
Japan now appears to be
leading the way in access to transportation
etc. for people with disabilities.
The next assembly I believe
will be in South Africa in 2006.
me close with a true story about
Nelson Mandela, which took place
some time after this other man
of the century was released from
Robben Island but before he was
elected president of a newly democratic
South Africa in 1994.
young man who told my wife and
myself what happened was traveling
with Mandela when the President
visited Canada about 3 years ago.
He was sitting among a
large crowd at a university graduation
ceremony when Mandela arrived
as the guest speaker.
was, he told us, a momentary delay,
as the chancellor of the university
and Mandela each refused to go
through a gate before the other.
Once on the platform, the
chancellor went to the mike and
stunned the crowd by what he said:
think you know Nelson Mandela,
but I know him better.”
He went on, “Many years
ago, the two of us practiced law
in Cape Town.
I attempted to apply the
laws of the day; he attempted
to bring justice for people. Years
later, as a judge, I found him
guilty and sentenced him to life
that point, the chancellor broke
Mandela, the young man
said, walked over and hugged his
He then took the mike and
said simply, “How can I ask South
Africans to forgive and reconcile
if I’m not prepared to do so myself.
I forgive you.”
young man who said he was another
very angry South African when
he got to the ceremony, found
it to be a life changing experience.
When my wife and I met
him, he had become a Christian.
bless you all, and God bless the
work of this ministry.