During the summer of 2001, while I was doing my PhD studies at London School of Theology, with support from Langham Scholarship, uncle John agreed to support an unusual project: providing funding for an Eastern Orthodox Biblical scholar from Romania for spending a number of weeks in doing research at the Tyndale House in Cambridge.
My friend Dr. Stelian Tofana who did his PhD in Germany and only knew of liberal Biblical scholarship, was very impressed by the depth of conservative Biblical scholarship that he met at this prestigious academic institution. Even today, many of his Orthodox students are using extensively the amazing resources that Fr. Tofana found at Tyndale House.
Later on during that trip, uncle John had the kindness of receiving me and Fr. Tofana as his guests in his apartment, close to All Souls Church in Langham Place. It was a for us an unforgettable meeting, where the gracious host made us feel at home in that modest abode. I will always cherish that time in my memory.
Thanks, uncle John, for this visionary decision, that still pays dividends in terms of the Evangelical-Orthodox theological dialogue in Romania.
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This was my first visit is John Stott’s home. A few months later, I had a new amazing opportunity of visiting again that place. Uncle John had an interesting tradition. Once a year he was inviting a group of people (ten or twelve, I do not remember well) to have lunch in his home. An American lady was cooking that meal for his guests (a whole salmon baked in the oven was always part of the menu).
I was one of the lucky invitees in the early month of 2002, together with my friend Silviu Rogobete, who was himself a Langham scholar. It was a very special time. We had the opportunity to talk with Uncle John about our studies and about our plans for the future. We also came to know a little bit the other guests, although, I must confess, we did not keep contact with any of them.
This is another memory that I will treasure along the years.