I am not used to throwing my voice to the back of a room and find it difficult and extremely tiring. I am not used to singing loudly because using a microphone means I can sing normally and the microphone does the work. I had forgotten how sweet a single recorder can sound. Yesterday made me hunt out my own and play for a while, there is a plaintive cry to the recorder that lends itself to ballad music and for example Iona Community singing. When I sing or speak it is never for me and I was so blessed yesterday to be strengthened to belt my voice against the back wall. I got stuff wrong, I always do and always will but was touched by comments after the service. I will never be considered outgoing like Carlow born Manie Payne, co founder of the Peniel Mission in Los Angeles. I hope eventually to write hymns as beautifully as she did.
Manie Ferguson was more outgoing than Theodore and was the guiding force for the expansion of the ministry. After his death in 1920, “Mother Ferguson” continued to direct the work until her death in 1932. Under Manie’s direction, the Peniel Missions sought to provide a ministry for single women. This appears to have been a primary motivation in the growth of the movement. The women usually lived in rented rooms near the rented hall where they conducted evangelistic services. They boldly testified on street corners and in bars and houses of prostitution. All workers were unsalaried, but the local mission paid for most of their expenses. Even the Fergusons were not paid by the mission, but lived on the rental income from three small houses they owned.
Joys are flowing like a river,
Since the Comforter has come;
He abides with us forever,
Makes the trusting heart His home.
Blessèd quietness, holy quietness,
What assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,
How the billows cease to roll!
Bringing life and health and gladness,
All around this heav’nly Guest,
Banished unbelief and sadness,
Changed our weariness to rest.
Like the rain that falls from Heaven,
Like the sunlight from the sky,
So the Holy Ghost is given,
Coming on us from on high.
See, a fruitful field is growing,
Blessèd fruit of righteousness;
And the streams of life are flowing
In the lonely wilderness.
What a wonderful salvation,
Where we always see His face!
What a perfect habitation,
What a quiet resting place!