Wearing her dress with bullet holes in from a bandit attack in the Congo – 80-year-old missionary Maud Kells OBE spoke to a packed audience at the Keswick Convention.
Maud has served as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than fifty years. She spoke at Keswick Methodist Church this week about her life of dedication to the Lord, the Congo and of a life well-lived.
The inspiring woman, who lives in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, first travelled to the Congo by boat in 1968 and over the years, with many subsequent visits, has built a maternity unit, an operating theatre, a surgical ward, a primary school and office block and a pre-school nursery.
This week, she spoke to Conventioners about her life and the people of Mulita, Congo before holding a book signing. The event was so popular that a repeat talk is planned for later in the week.
Maud said: “Seeing Jesus face to face will be far more rewarding than any honour we could be awarded on earth.”
Her talk is one of a number of seminars taking place at the Convention this week. Other subjects include the churches’ work on mental health and helping children to long for God.
Thousands of Christians from all over the world have been enjoying activities, fun, worship and learning at this year’s annual Keswick Convention.
The event, which has been a staple on the Keswick calendar for over 140 years, has seen visitors and volunteers enjoy Bible readings from John Risbridger and Vaughan Roberts encapsulating this year’s theme – Longing.
A host of speakers have given talks at the annual Convention which began on Saturday 13 July and will run until Friday 2 August.
An in-depth weekly lecture has been presented by biochemist Professor Keith Fox from the University of Southampton on challenges that Christians faced in Bioethics.
This week, worship is being led by popular Christian music ensemble EMU Music in the Main Tent at Skiddaw Street and various speakers are speaking on the book of 1 Peter in the Bible during the evening meetings.
Conventioners have also enjoyed the chance to take time out visiting all that Keswick has to offer and get their popular Friends of Keswick card stamped as they enjoy the town. This Thursday, an afternoon concert will be led by jazz group Kairos Ensemble. This will be held
in the main tent at Skiddaw Street, from 2.30pm. Tickets are £5 or £15 per family. They will be available at the Convention reception.
Visitors have also been treated to teaching and training events to enhance their own churches and a screening of the Secret Life of Pets 2 was set to be held a second time at the town’s historic Alhambra Cinema.
Conventioner Joy Cowper from Warrington said: “I have been a Christian for 55 years but was invited to attend this year’s convention by some close friends of mine. It is great to see services in traditional and contemporary traditions and to see people worshipping together.”
Gemma Wraight is visiting this year’s Convention from Capernwray Bible College, Carnforth, Lancashire. She said: “I have come to the convention for the past ten years, for the good Bible teaching and the excellent speakers.”
Week Three will see the return of Keswick Unconventional, a busy programme of lunchtime, evening and late night events where faith meets the arts, including a drawing workshop and fire-etching, comprising fire, acid and water led by Kaori Homma.
The final lecture of this year’s Convention will be hosted by Tim Farron, MP for Westmoreland and Lonsdale on Thursday 1st August where he will look at why Christians should be engaging in politics in these unprecedented political times.
Topical issues will be looked at by guest speakers including Dai Hankey who will talks about modern slavery and mercy ministries.
The morning bible readings will be hosted by Ray Ortlund looking at the book of Romans and a concert will be held on Tuesday evening by established Christian singer / songwriter, Andrew Peterson.
There will be a repeat performance of James Cary’s popular production, A Turbulent Priest, which looks at the life of Thomas Becket who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until 1170, mixing humour and history.
For more information on this year’s Keswick Convention programme and times please visit www.keswickministries.org
Keswick Unconventional – what’s on (Saturday 27 July – Friday 2 August)
• Lunchtime concerts Monday to Thursday 1.15pm – 2.15pm. Venue: St John’s Church
• Tuesday 30 July: 3pm- 4pm. Fire etching workshop outside Keswick Pencil Museum.
This is an opportunity to make art with KU artist-in-residence, Kaori Homma. Learn how to make a fire etching and hear more about how Kaori approaches questions of longing through her art. Limited places. Tickets cost £5 and are available from the Convention reception at Skiddaw Street.
• Wednesday 31 July: 3pm – 4pm: Drawing workshop outside the Keswick Pencil Museum