For such a time as this – reflections on UCB radio broadcast

I was invited, as the General Secretary of TISCA, to be a guest on UCB1 (United Christian Broadcasters) radio. Here is my blog reflecting on the day…Alastair Reid 

For such a time as this 

I was privileged this past week to be a guest on United Christian Broadcasters’ UCB1 radio programme, Friday Round Up. This was an opportunity to comment on some of the week’s news items and to relate them, where appropriate, to my experience and also to the work of TISCA. 

Radio broadcast 

with Vicky Gibbens on UCB1

Vicky Gibbens was the Presenter of the programme and we were able to comment on news items ranging from public exam league tables to Wayne Rooney and gambling’s sponsorship of sport, from the full bursary offered to a young Ugandan boy, Julius, to Greta Thunberg and climate change activism, from re-usable coffee cups to a smartphone app for parents to track their children. I enjoyed the ‘banter’, the opportunity to talk about TCKs (third culture kids) and also the chance to say something of TISCA’s work in reaching out in fellowship to Christian Heads, Chaplains, Teachers and Support Staff. One thing in particular, however, stood out for me. 

Word for Today 

My wife and I have been supporters of UCB since the 1990s. We have made use of their superb daily devotion,Word for Today, since that time when we were teaching at Glenalmond College in Scotland and then at Dean Close School, Cheltenham. It was in the late 1990s, whilst a Deputy Head at Dean Close and applying for Headships, that a UCB devotion spoke to us as a family, and not for the first time. I had applied for several posts, and been interviewed a number of times, but without being appointed as a Head. A friend of ours (who was to become the General Secretary of TISCA) directed me to an advert for Hebron School, Ooty, in south India.  This friend wondered if I’d be interested in teaching and serving overseas. As someone who had been brought up in Africa, I warmed to the idea and was somewhat surprised that my mono-cultural wife was even interested! 

I duly applied to be Principal of Hebron School in India but heard nothing for many weeks. On the same day, but separately, my wife (Rosalyn) and eldest daughter (Alix) were struck by the Bible passage for consideration in UCB’s Word for Today that day:

Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time  1 Peter 5:6 GNT.

Rosalyn and Alix came to me and said that they believed this was God’s word for me at that time. Very shortly afterwards, Hebron got in touch and the process began for our move to India in 2000. 

God’s own good time 

I believe that this was indeed God’s ‘own good time’ for us. More than that, however, it was soon to be UCB’s time, too. We traveled to India with a UCB cassette tape which had been produced as part of the radio station’s drive to gain a license to broadcast freely in the UK. The song on the cassette tape spoke to us as well as to UCB (which received its analogue license a little later): ‘For such a time as this’ (a text from the Book of Esther), sung by Wayne Watson. The chorus runs as follows – 

For such a time as this 

I was placed upon the earth 

To hear the voice of God 

And do His will 

Whatever it is 

Several times in my life I have reflected on this. We can desire something with all of our hearts – we can even pray for it to be God’s will for us – but it’s only in His time that we are equipped, and remaining reliant on His strength, launched into new beginnings of His choosing.

What is it you desire at present?

Take heart from the concluding verse in the song: 

Can’t change what’s happened till now 

But we can change what will be 

By living in holiness 

That the world will see Jesus