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Our epiphany moments


As Christmas transitions into Epiphany, everyone is invited to reflect on the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and the impact His coming has had on our lives, particularly in terms of our commitment to HHI.

Committee members have decided to share their personal Epiphanies – telling of those significant, sometimes pivotal moments that prompted them to become involved in the challenge to serve those in need. See below, as a new one will be added every day or so.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’   Matthew 25: 40

The Servant King

Graham Kendrick

Over to You… 

Epiphany, in the church calendar, comes to a close and, although our individual and sometimes collective epiphanies will continue, it is time to move into the New Year ready, with God’s guidance, to meet the challenges of the ‘What ifs..?’ that come our way.

In order to continue to meet the needs of those we seek to serve, HHI looks forward to your ongoing support and, as always, asks for your prayers.

Remember … HHI needs YOU!

The Summons

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known?
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract, or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?

Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name?
Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same?
Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen
and admit to what I mean in you and you in me?

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

Hil, pp the committee and trustees

The ‘What if’s’  in life  ( or God’s re-directions?)

 There are many coincidences in life and moments which for everyone are crossroads or turning points in their lives and the choices made then change their futures.

For those of us who are Christians many of these choices and coincidences do not happen by chance but are directed by God.

Like the other members of the HHI Board and Management Committee I am privileged to be a Trustee and a committee member and I thank God for the ways in which I came to be involved with the Charity and for the meaning and purpose which my involvement in it have given to the last ten years of my retirement from work.

There are several points along the way in my life which have been significant in leading to my involvement and my commitment to Health Help International

First of all I knew Ron Prosser when we were teenagers and fellow Scouts in Strathaven. That was in the 1950s and our paths did not cross again until fifty years later.

What if …  Ron had not decided to come up to Scotland in July 2007 to join others of his fellow Scouts from these early years?

What if …  Ian Gow and I had not invited him to join us for a meal before his return flight to Wales?

What if …  Ron had not told us a little about the Charity he had founded and done it in such a way as to inspire both of us to want to do something to help Health Help International?

What if …  I had not happened to be still involved as a leader of the Strathaven Explorer Scouts  and was able to lead parties of them to Zambia in 2008 and 2011 to work for HHI and thereby got to know Jute Williams?

What if …  Ron had not invited me to go to India with him in 2010 and when he was subsequently not able to go what if I had not gone anyway and come to know Edmund Plummer and inspired by that first visit gone back with him on ten further  occasions?

What if …  Edmund had not asked me to become a Trustee and I had not accepted his invitation?

If none of these had happened I would not have met Tom Sutherland (whom I came to regard as a Saint) and been led to write the story of his life and work in India supported by HHI and I would not have been able to bring together the team of dedicated members of the Strathaven Friends of HHI committee whose commitment and support for HHI is no less than my own.


Hymn: “I have a dream” a man once said (

“I have a dream”, a man once said,
“where all is perfect peace;
where men and women, black and white,
stand hand in hand, and all unite
in freedom and in love.”

But in this world of bitter strife
the dream can often fade;
reality seems dark as night,
we catch but glimpses of the light
Christ sheds on humankind.

Fierce persecution, war, and hate
are raging everywhere;
God calls us now to pay the price
through struggles and through sacrifice
of standing for the right.

So dream the dreams and sing the songs,
but never be content:
for thoughts and words don’t ease the pain:
unless there’s action, all is vain;
faith proves itself in deeds.

Lord, give us vision, make us strong,
help us to do your will;
don’t let us rest until we see
your love throughout humanity
uniting us in peace.

A Personal Epiphany or Why I do what I do.

There was no escape!  Having been immersed in the Methodist tradition, which cultivated within me a highly developed social conscience, it was a given that I would definitely be involved in some way, with charitable works. Throughout my youth I rallied many causes and desperately wanted to change the world – always striving to make a difference! It was ‘in me’!

So why HHI?

The personal touch is a key feature of HHI and the way in which HHI focusses on the individual -person, place or thing is what makes it so different from many other charities.

For example, Prisca Hatembo received a wheelchair from HHI which enabled her to attend secondary school. HHI UK then funded her through university and teacher training and after volunteering at Muumba school, she gained employment there with the Ministry of Education. However, her story doesn’t end there. Prisca is still very much involved with HHI, but these days in her new role as an HHZ trustee. Wow!

And who would have thought that Chris Byrne’s feedback on the sanitary ‘set up’ in Naanga Special School in 2015 would lead to all the developments that have taken place since. What started with a new easily accessible toilet block, soon saw a ‘cooking on gas’ kitchen, and a fully furnished and dining / multi-purpose recreation room which also includes a high-tech computer set up.  Thanks to the generosity of one committee member, its official opening saw a Christmas/ Back to School party thrown in for good measure. And, if that wasn’t enough, brand-new accommodation for the Headteacher has been completed!  It’s tempting to say, ‘job done’… but, as our track record shows, that might not be the case!!!

Strong links are also maintained with each individual and organisation that supports HHI.  Indeed, HHI would find it difficult to sustain its work without the compassion and generosity of those who do not fail to give what they can.  We keep in touch through supporter’s events, mailing ‘Tidings’ and, most importantly, sending a handwritten ‘Thank You’ acknowledging every donation.

Becoming involved with HHI made things very personal for me.  From someone who had to switch off the TV when reports of the helpless plight faced by people, especially children, were aired, to the person who stood, unafraid, in the malnutrition ward in Monze Mission Hospital, came my ‘significant moment’.  And why?  I was touched by what I saw there, but this time I was filled with hope. I was blessed with the God-given peace and understanding and realisation that I was where I was supposed to be.

I cannot, as I wished all those years ago change the whole world but, with God’s guidance and in conjunction with my HHI tribe, WE can make a difference one person, thing, or project at a time! Yes!


Mission Call

Some while ago I was sorting my beloved childhood books.  Perhaps one of my favourites is the Ladybird edition of ‘The Story of Samuel’.  Samuel had his “call from God” confirmed by Eli, the Temple Priest. Yes, God had called the child Samuel to serve Him and, of course, Samuel did.

Samuel’s calling to serve is an example of what we try to do in HHI – we serve God by recognizing Christ in the situations where we are asked to help. By following His example, we support and care for the ‘untouchables’, the sick, the disabled, the poor and the disadvantaged.

Our alternative catalogue has a gift which may be purchased for £5 simply called: A Gift for a Child £5. My “flash of light moment”!

Christ’s -Mass is on its way.  So, what is my Gift for the Godchild? Certainly not Gold, Myrrh or Frankincense – “Best not to best the Best” they say!

So, I follow my call to serve and see God’s love in the face of a child, a stranger, and the untouchables of today.  HHI lets me be the “missionary” I am called to become.


Every Good Path – Right and Just and Fair 

I became aware of HHI soon after it started, around 2000, when Ron Prosser was HHI. Impressed with the work and his dedication to serve others, my wife and I started to support the charity. And Rivertown Church regularly filled the 20p Ambulance money collection box.

When I had the opportunity to retire at 55, June and I discussed the financial implications involved and what I could do with my spare time. It wasn’t going to be an easy decision, but one thing kept surfacing in my mind – could I help HHI more?

I asked one of Rivertown’s prayer warriors, Margaret, to pray for my situation and for guidance in making this life changing decision. After about two weeks I began to get impatient – a lesson in itself; to recognise that God works in God’s time not ours. I asked her if she had an answer? “All God told me was that you already know the answer” she replied. My response? “That’s a fat lot of use” or words to that effect. Then, later that day, I remembered I had woken that morning with Proverbs 2 6-9 on my mind. Now, Proverbs is not one of my go-to books unlike Psalms or James but there it was – in my head. It says:

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. Proverbs 2:6-9 NIV

I retired.

Since 2008 I have been active in supporting HHI and have had the privilege of visiting our work in Zambia and India several times. I have firsthand experience of HHI fulfilling its purposes; doing God’s work and spending every penny donated on the people who need our help. In recent years, I have been less active but my next trip to India in February will undoubtedly rekindle that spark God lit all those years ago.  I look forward to my new epiphany!


My epiphany ‘moment’ came while I was preparing a sermon entitled, ‘Where would you put yourself on the list of heroes of the faith?’, based on Hebrews 11.

Jesus said, “Of men born of women none was greater than John the Baptist, but the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Chinama, a lady supported in Pastor Sam’s Hospice from the early days of HHI, came to mind. She was mentally deranged; all she could do was rock back and forth on her heels singing ‘Jesus loves even me.’

It totally blew me away to realise that she is one of those greater than John the Baptist as are we, because we are all this side of the cross!                                                      Thanks be to God.


Epiphany – or why I am so involved in HHI

I was asked to become a trustee of HHI in 2000. I was assured that it only involved four hour-long trustee meetings a year, and, as I had recently reduced my working hours and had a bit more time, I agreed. Little did I know

Ron encouraged me to go with him on one of his trips to see the work of HHI for myself, first-hand. I was too busy, but he persisted and eventually I gave in. So, I went with him to India in 2007.

India is the only place on the planet that I have ever experienced culture shock. But it didn’t last, and very quickly I decided that I liked the place and its people, even if a lot of what I saw shocked me. Part of the Indian culture is hospitality – giving food. Ron would always look at it suspiciously and ask me – “has it got curry in it?”. I became the king’s taster.

CRABS hostel

About the third day we visited CRABS, a hostel that had been set up for bystanders – relatives of patients in the hospital who look after them – but over time it had become occupied by people who needed hospital treatment, who had started a course of treatment but then their money had run out and they couldn’t finish it. We took some basic supplies to help them. They told us their stories, their needs, their desperate plights, and begged us for help. We said that we would do what we could do to help, but we knew that we didn’t have the resources to do anything significant. And they knew it too. And as we handed out our platitudes, I could see the hope in their eyes die.

I am not an emotional person, but I came away close to tears. Some of these desperate people were children, the same age as my children were at the time. That night I could not sleep. For me that is most unusual – I normally fall asleep within a couple of minutes and can sleep through anything short of nuclear warfare. What I had seen and experienced went round and round in my mind. After tossing and turning for what seemed hours, I called out –

“God, why don’t you do something?”.

The theologians will tell you that God doesn’t answer that sort of question. Well, the theologians are wrong. Into my mind came the words – not a voice, but words formed directly into my brain:

“I am doing something. I’ve brought you here.”

That was not what I wanted to hear. The room spun. But it was what I needed to hear. I took over the Indian side of HHI’s work and have looked after it ever since.

And in many ways the years since then have been the best years of my life.



I am grateful for the opportunity to add one of my epiphany episodes.  I could write about many occasions following the original one which happened in India when I prayed for God to show me what He wanted me to do.  He not only inspired me but also sent the All-Bran box of money.  But that is not what I am referring to for you all know that one.  Read it here.

No, it is the reading and listening to the stories from people like you all who put pen to paper to let others know how God touched their hearts and minds giving them their own very personal epiphanies.

Yes, these are the inspirational stories that have continually set the ‘Joy Bells’ ringing in my heart down through the years. I never expected these occasions to arise and the fact that so many have experienced them, and are still doing so, are surely testaments to the truth and power of God’s love for the weak, poor, and needy of His world. Christmas joy to you all. Thank you.

This wonderful song has also spoken to me so much this Christmas.


‘O Holy Night! the stars are brightly shining.
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and darkness pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices,
O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace,
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raising,
Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the Lord, O praise his name forever!
Noel, Noel! O night, O night divine!
Noel, Noel! O night, O night divine!


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