As Many as the Stars by Robert Glover OBE
Stunning biography documenting the following of God's call to radically transform the Chinese government's policy on care welfare
As Many as the Stars
By Robert Glover OBE
Hodder and Stoughton
Reviewed by Martin Poole
On the last page of his book Robert Glover quotes Ephesians 3:20 about the God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...” If you have ever wanted to know what this looks like, Robert’s book gives an amazing and faith building account of “immeasurably more” as he unpacks the story of his work in the most populous country of the globe.
Robert comes over as a man’s man, football loving, training with Norwich and later serving as a submariner in an environment of hard drinking, coarse language and ribald humour. After leaving the Navy his dream of playing professional football ended as a result of a serious on field injury whilst with Portsmouth FC.
His career choice finally led to an appointment at a school for maladjusted boys where his football skills led to Robert performing the role of “house father” and forging good relationships with his charges. Fast forward and Robert is working for the Guernsey Children’s board with a brief covering residential care, fostering and adoption and responsibility for a secure care unit. As a committed Christian Robert was to encounter the “Toronto blessing” and at a meeting was given a prophecy “…you are going to be a father to as many children as there are stars in the sky”.
Robert’s experiences in Guernsey led him to the strong conviction that to place vulnerable children in families was far better than their being assigned places in institutions. In Robert’s heart a once dormant but now dominant interest in China took over. Due to the country’s one child policy, millions of orphans were kept in spirit crushing care homes. In amazing ways God provided funding and contacts and the result was that an opportunity to pioneer the placing of orphans in families starting with China’s second city, Shanghai.
This was to progress to the placement of more than 250,000 children across great swathes of the huge continent. At a formal banquet in 2018 the estimate of children placed had quadrupled to more than 1m! In the course of what can only be described as bringing hope to the helpless on a colossal scale, Robert was honoured for his work by the Queen bestowing an OBE.
Also remarkable is Robert’s ability to work in harmony with the communist regime and his accounts of life in China are a helpful balance to the largely negative western perceptions. While totally committed in his following of Jesus he stresses that Care for the Children – the charity which primarily funds the work – is not a Christian organisation. “We didn’t proselytise the children, families or staff”, although a disproportionate number were believers.
In Robert’s book incidences of God’s clear guidance and provision tumble out from page after page and it would be nigh impossible to fail to be uplifted from this stunning biography.
The Revd Martin Poole is a retired Baptist minister having served at Tabernacle Penarth, Godalming, and Eastleigh churches