As promised, this article will tell you about how Valo and I got to have a lovely evening meal in the Houses of Parliament in London, England. It typifies the special blessings that God has showered on us that we never deserved, but that God is pleased to send to His children.
As I was concluding my pediatric training at Baylor, I had to make a decision regarding the military. This was during the Viet Nam war, and according to the law I could be drafted into the service any time up until I was 35 years of age. Wanting a bit more stability in my life, I opted for the Berry Plan, which allowed me to finish my pediatric training and then go into the military as a specialist, and pick my branch. I chose the Air Force and they sent us to England, where we served for 3 years, as I took advantage of concurrent travel for the family (Valo, and Sam and Scott who were 9 months old when we departed from McGuire AFB in New Jersey)
We were blessed to live in the little village of Eynsham, which is 8 miles from Oxford, and had its thatched-roof cottages. We could jump on the double-decker bus at the stop around the corner from our apartment, get off at the Oxford train station and take the train to London or on to Dover to board a hovercraft to France and catch a train to Paris, for instance.
During our stay I was contacted by Dr. Joseph Merrill, the president of Baylor College of Medicine. He told us of his upcoming visit to England and wondered if we would like to join him for a meal in the Houses of Parliament in London. We didn’t have to think that one over too long! I don’t recall what all was on the menu, but it was very nice, and we enjoyed the occasion thoroughly even though Parliament was not in session!
We were also contacted by the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor, Dr. William Blattner, who wished to visit us on his trip to England. We did have a lovely meeting, and we took him to Stratford-On-Avon to a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theater – Romeo and Juliet. Sometimes I had to pinch myself to realize that we were actually there and enjoying these things!
There is so much more to tell about living in England – we loved it there. We joined a little Baptist church in Eynsham, and we have felt at home any place we have been in the world. There are always Christian brothers and sisters to make one feel comfortable.
That brings up the topic of “citizenship”. Yes, we are citizens of the United States of America (how blessed we are for that!), but even more importantly we are “citizens of Heaven”. That’s what the Bible calls Christians. It’s a fact that all who have not called upon Christ Jesus for salvation are still “citizens of Hell”. Yes, all one has to do to spend eternity in that horrible place is nothing! If you think you are in that category, don’t wait another day to ask His forgiveness. We are in the last of the end times, and you do not want to be “left behind”. There will be opportunities to accept the Lord after the Rapture and during the Tribulation, but it will not be easy in those bloody times. “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” Next time I’ll tell you how I blew a vein in the President of Panama!