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Because they Believed 2
Who flew with the 'Dam Busters' squadron?

Because they Believed 2

This second quiz, Because they Believed, includes another batch of surprising and uplifting stories of great (and, in some cases, less well-known) Christians.

In 1634 the villagers of a small community in the Tyrol vowed to God that if they were spared from a plague pandemic, they would perform, every ten years and forever, a public dramatic version of the events of Jesus' final days and Resurrection, by way of thanking Him for His intervention. The performances have been regularly staged ever since on that basis, except during World War 2, and with extra runs to mark significant anniversaries of the vow. What is the performance usually known as in English?
The Sound of Music
The Oberammergau Passion Play
Silent Night on the Mount of Olives
The Conqueror of Death
The Oberammergau Passion Play is the longest-established of its kind in the world. A typical summer season will consist of around 100 performances (4 each week, each of about 5hrs), with the major roles (including Jesus) shared by actors taking alternate turns. A 'typical Jesus', in the course of such a season, would spend 20 minutes on the cross each time (so 20mins x 50 = about 16 hours overall) in front of about 5,000 strangers in the audience. That alone is sobering food for thought, not far off 400 years on from the original vow.
The famous 1981 film Chariots of Fire tells the story of a devout Scots athlete who refused to run in the 1924 Olympics on a Sunday (the Sabbath, in his terms). What was his name?
Nigel Havers
David Puttnam
Harold Abrahams
Eric Liddell
Havers was the actor who played the role of one of the other athletes; Puttnam was the film director, and Abrahams was the (Jewish) fellow-athlete who also raised and represented issues of religious discrimination in the film. The actual athlete was Eric Liddell, who went on to be a Christian missionary in China and died there in World War 2 during the Japanese occupation. The film is also widely remembered for its stirring theme tune by Vangelis.
Brother Andrew published his co-written autobiography in the 1960s, entitled God's Smuggler.
What had he been smuggling; where to (or from), and why?
Christian believers out of China, where they were being persecuted
Bibles and other Christian literature into the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, where these were not allowed
Christian converts away from Islamic states
Money into Africa, to help funding the building of new churches
Brother Andrew (van der Bijl) has since done comparable work in other international arenas where Christianity is under threat.
At time of writing of this Quiz (late May 2014) the world has just lost one of its most characterful Christians, a black American who came to faith after several picaresque younger years, during which she worked in the performing arts, in the 'sex industry' and plenty besides. Among her many later writings is the plain verse testimony:

"When I say..."I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need CHRIST to be my guide."

Who was this remarkable lady?
Michelle Obama
Maya Angelou
Billie-Jean King
Whoopi Goldberg
Angelou recovered from an intimate personal assault while she was a young girl (after which she did not speak for five years), to become a powerful speaker and authoress on issues of spirituality, race / colour and social justice. She was positively associated with Martin Luther King and a close friend of Oprah Winfrey, and recited one of her poems at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration; truly a great figure of her interesting times.
In 1987 the Archbishop of Canterbury's Special Envoy to the Middle East was himself taken hostage while seeking the release of other individuals held by terrorists in the Lebanon; he emerged from captivity at the end of 1991 after 1,763 days and nights (during which, besides much else, communism had collapsed across eastern Europe). Who was he?
Robert Runcie
John McCarthy
Terry Waite
Simon Weston
Runcie (Answer 1) was the then-Archbishop, and McCarthy (Answer 2) was a fellow-hostage. There is perhaps a slight coincidental irony in Waite's surname, given the extreme enforced patience required through his ordeal.
Joni Eareckson Tada (b.1949) suffered a major personal setback as a teenager which went on to inspire and shape her extensive Christian ministry as a writer, artist, speaker and musician. What was the nature of her life-changing experience?
A car crash
A diving accident
The loss of both parents in a random shooting incident
As a quadriplegic, she has had a particular ministry to disabled believers and others, but by no means only to them. Her disability happens to be the result of her own momentary miscalculation as an exuberant teenager swimming at Chesapeake Bay; but she has thought through, lived with and transcended its results in a truly inspiring manner ever since.
Richard Wurmbrand was a pastor of Jewish descent, who was tortured by the Communists in his native country when he stood up for Christianity (the faith he had by then taken). In order to exercise his mind and retain his sanity during years of solitary confinement in a sound-deadened cell, he would compose sermons which he remembered, wrote out and published after his eventual release. He and his wife settled in the West and he died in 2001.
Which country had been his original homeland?
East Germany
Another truly remarkable and inspirational man.
Born the son of slaves in 1864, as a black person he received no formal education until the age of 30, yet the wise use of his gifts under God brought huge benefit to others, such as the crop rotation system and the development of several important everyday derivatives of the peanut plant. He lived right through to 1943 by which stage Time magazine had hailed him as a 'black Leonardo'. Who was he?
Martin Luther King
Harry Burleigh
George Washington Carver
Lincoln Harris
Another very fine individual whose life and spiritual convictions could be studied.
An Oxford graduate lawyer, he flew with the 'Dam Busters' squadron, was the RAF's youngest ever Group Captain, won the VC (and other decorations) and had had a somewhat untidy private life, before renouncing any involvement in armed conflict (after observing the Nagasaki atom bomb), converting to Catholicism and devoting himself to charitable causes, in particular the founding of residential homes for the disabled. Who was he?
Leonard Cheshire
Guy Gibson
Paul Brickhill
Douglas Bader
This is Leonard Cheshire as in the 'Cheshire Homes'; his wife was Sue Ryder.
This eccentric 19th-century vicar of Morwenstow (in Cornwall) took responsibility for giving a decent Christian burial to the bodies washed ashore from ships destroyed by the activities of the Wreckers. In 1843 he held the first Harvest Festival, which has since become an almost universal autumn service in the weeks shortly before when we now mark Remembrance. What was his name?
John Keble
Robert Hawker
Edward Pusey
John Newman
Parson Hawker was a colourful and thoroughly well-intentioned character, well worthy of your further research. Keble (Answer 1), Pusey (3) and Newman (4), meanwhile, were other and more conventionally eminent Victorian churchmen.


Author:  Ian Miles

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