Be the Voice of Truth – In Memory of Michael Bourdeaux
He summed up his life in his final book, One Word of Truth: The Cold War Memoir of Michael Bourdeaux and Keston College (2019). From the moment that I obtained and opened his memoir, I knew that his time was short, seeing that his final wishes were written on the last pages of the book.
On these pages we see what’s most important. He writes that the invisible hand of God guided his life and the Divine Presence, and even direct intervention of God, was evidenced at every turn, including the founding of Keston College. We read words of gratitude for his family, and thankfulness for the privilege of serving his local church community.
We also read about a turning point in his life—the time when he met with the nuns from Ukraine, who asked him to be their voice, to speak on their behalf and to tell the whole world the truth about the persecution of believers in the USSR. The sad truth and disappointment that we realize now is that little has really changed in Russia today and hope is fleeting. However, Bourdeaux ends with a glimpse of faith, seeing the possibility of reform, even though no one knows when, as younger generations push for democratic changes. He says with hope that this generation will value the truth of a single word more than the whole world and will uphold the truth above political correctness, fear, and personal gain.
Throughout his whole life, with his whole being, he answered the call of the sisters to “Be our voice.” In their request he also heard the voices of thousands of martyrs for the faith, and the call of God to serve the oppressed through his writing, giving voice to those deprived of their voices and freedom.
As I remember Michael Bourdeaux, I feel grateful for the privilege of knowing him and learning from him. But I also feel a great sense of responsibility to do as he did, to say at least one word of truth with the kind of belief, faithfulness, and love as he spoke.
Michael Bourdeaux believed in and served the Truth during the darkest days of the Cold War. He passes on his belief to human rights activists and researchers, missionaries and clergymen who live in an equally difficult time—the era of post-truth. Times come and go, empires are born and die, curtains rise and fall, but the Truth remains the Truth. The one who serves the Truth, remains true to himself and his calling.
Thank you, Michael Bourdeaux, for your kind example.