In 1882, Moody, 45, conducted a whirlwind campaign through England. On Tuesday evening, September 26, he preached from this verse. In the audience, 14-year-old Tommy Bewes, youngest of 12 children in a lawyer’s family, sat in rapt attention. Three days later, Tommy wrote to his sister, Evie:
“I am writing to tell you some good news which you will be glad to hear. I went to one of Moody’s and Sankey’s meetings on Tuesday & there I was saved. He spoke from the ninth verse of the third of Genesis. It is, ‘Where art thou?’ He said that was the first question God ever asked man in the Bible, and that is the first question that people ought to ask themselves….”
Tommy’s life was permanently changed, and he later became a prominent evangelical clergyman. His son, Cecil, by and by, was also led into ministry and spent over 20 years in missionary service in Kenya before returning to head up England’s largest missionary society. Cecil, in turn, had four children. One became a missionary surgeon in Africa. Another, a Christian businessman in London. A daughter became wife of an evangelical clergyman. And the fourth, Richard Bewes, was vicar of All Souls’ Church in London and a chair of the Evangelical Council in the Church of England. Altogether, over 100 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren flow from Tommy’s life, almost all of them involved In some aspect of Christian service.
Cecil Bewes was a missionary for 20 years in Kenya. He went on to oversee the Church Missionary Society. He was also closely involved in the annual Keswick Convention.
Cecil’s most well known book is a collection of letters he wrote to his teen-age granddaughter as she was recovering from illness. This collection of letters was recently re-released by Christian Focus Publications as Letters of Love (Daily Readings).