After completing his basic training, John, along with hundreds more young Englishmen, was shipped to Egypt. There, in a "holding station" they waited until it was decided where, for the duration, each man would serve the British Crown. During those waiting days, John became acquainted with an officer who worked there and, as God would have it, they became friends. "A man who hath friends must show himself friendly; and there is a friend who sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24). One day his new friend said to John, "Where would you like to go? It is my responsibility to assign each of you men to the place where you will serve." "Does that include Palestine?" John asked, and was assured that, "Indeed, it did!" And that is where he was sent! For two years he worked in an office on Haifa docks, and watched as Britain betrayed her promises to the Israeli people to return to them their land.
The first Sunday that John was free from duty, he made his way up Mt. Carmel, rich in biblical lore. As he walked up the cobblestone street, about half way up the "mount," he was surprised to see a sign hanging from a small structure that read: "Gospel Hall," a name common to those in Britain, called Plymouth Brethren. Questioned by the Christians there, he was welcomed inside, and felt quite "at home," for these people were much like the Christian's in Cardiff, Wales - who worshipped as did his family. Testimonies were given, and John was encouraged to speak. At the noon hour he was invited to a meal with one of the families, and soon after, he was asked to preach to the church. Thereafter, because there was no regular pastor, he was asked to preach whenever he was free from duty, which as things turned out was most Sundays. That is where God taught John to preach — in a little Brethren Assembly situated on a side-street on Mt. Carmel.