Nicolas Winton put his life in danger and worked hard to rescue Jewish children because, “It seemed to be needed and I was in a position to do it, so I did it.”
At the annual Israel Night at Gosford Bro Paul Waite spoke of their experience with the project to honour Nicolas Winton and his transport of Czechoslovakian Jewish children. The question was asked: would we have raised such a large sum and opened our homes to these children as some Christadelphians did? Nicolas Winton could have done very little without help.
We were asked, especially the young of us to consider what we can do. That it might not be enough to say,
“today I have done no harm”
But rather to say,
“Today I was given an opportunity, today I did some good”
Only 2 nations of the whole world agreed to take the children Britain and Sweden, though Winton wrote to them all. The Christadelphians who raised such a large sum as the British government required and opened their homes to the children in an era of privation, had a great influence on others by their actions.
A reference is made to the actions many years later by Kitty Hart
in Return to Auschwitz
“Like myself, he found the Jewish community less than helpful, but was looked after in a camp near Ipswich and then brought to Birmingham under the auspices of the Christadelphians. They were very kind to the children in their keeping, and never made the slightest attempt to sway any of them towards their own religious beliefs.”
How great the influence of Bro. Overton’s actions were is a curious point raised by another Jewish woman, Vera Gissing, in Pearls of Childhood: The Poignant True Wartime Story of a Young Girl Growing Up in an Adopted Land, wrote
“[Honza] was then sent to a hostel for refugee boys near Rugby, run by a shopkeeper, Mr. Overton, a truly remarkable man. As a practising Christadelphian he had striven tirelessly even prior to the occupation of Czechoslovakia to convince the British government that Jews in occupied territories were in great danger and that something must be done to save the children, first from Germany and Austria, then later Czechoslovakia. He lobbied members of Parliament and gathered a circle of supporters to form a pressure group.
(for more see The Christadelphians in Jewish History)
(for an article from the BBC on kindertransport
It was pointed out that nothing happens without a cause.
We were asked to ask ourselves, “What can I do?”
Though it does not save us, our faith is shown in our actions. We can be God’s tools and we can make a difference, to work for him, to be his employees.
Christadelphians.net reminds us of a key understanding or our role even now,
Men were not ushered into being for the purpose of being saved or lost! God manifestation not human salvation was the great purpose of the Eternal Spirit.
We have a great example, as was pointed out by Bro Paul who quoted the Apostle Peter. When Peter understood first the salvation of the Gentiles through Cornelius, he said
“Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the slanderer; for God was with him.” (Act 10:34-38)