... in Birmingham (England) in 1957. The conference began with each of the prospective candidates having to present themselves to the group (about 30 of us altogether). Joe was one of the early ones and he made everyone's eye's open with amazement as he spoke. "My name is Joe Kitts", he began in his then broad Lancashire accent.
"I'm a coal miner from St. Helen's. I was born in 1926. I was born again in 1937......." There were many of us there who had shared Joe's conversion experience. But in a conference like that, you were usually careful in the way you expressed that kind of thing. But Joe's forthright words encouraged us all to do the same and it became almost like a testimony meeting much to the dismay of those of a more liberal or catholic tendency.
That was Joe. We have maintained our friendship over the years. I visited him a few times in Truro and spent a week there doing a teach-in on Mission based on our work in Chile. Our friendship was renewed when he and Freda returned to the UK and Barbara and I have tried to visit Joe as regularly as possible in the home where he has spent the last couple of years.
Hope you get some great testimonies from people who have been blessed through Joe's life and ministry. He was an extraordinary man of God.