For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
1) Unexpectedly, I was impressed more by similarities than by differences among the representatives of 68+ countries. In my small discussion group were individuals from Malawi (south central Africa), Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Greece. From the very outset, when the sharing of problems was candid the empathy was remarkable. Church issues, family issues, and personal faith issues seemed to be so similar that we could feel each other’s strains immediately. This was a surprise to me.
It is not easy to spot the epoch-making people while they are alive. That’s just as well, I suppose. It helps protect us from idol worship and them from vanity.
But an epoch in world missions is being made, and two of the makers are Ralph and Roberta Winter, founders of the U.S. Center for World Mission. To spend an evening with them would be a remarkable privilege! You are invited to do that at Bethlehem at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14. I urge you to put it on your calendar now.
This morning I was meditating on the appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his resurrection. Incomprehensibly he called them “Brothers”! They had deserted him. They were hiding in fear. They were like . . . me. So I heard the Lord of the universe call me “Brother” this morning (John 20:17).
Is Bethlehem or the Baptist General Conference engaged in frontier missions as the apostle Paul conceived it? Answer: Some, but not much.
Most of what our missionaries do may be called regular or assistance missions rather than frontier missions. Regular missions is what you do when you cross a culture to assist an established church to minister to people of its own kind. This kind of partnership is needed up to a point but requires tremendous insight to know what kind of expatriate help is causing long term dependence.
Missions Week is over. Advent is almost upon us. A week of prayer in January is just beyond tomorrow. Life leaps into the future like a frightened gazelle. “Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”
Not counting the 1,561,000,000 evangelized non-Christians in the world, or the 1,362,000,000 professing Christians in the world, there are 1,381,000,000 unevangelized persons in the world who are “unaware of Christianity, Christ and the Gospel” (World Christian Encyclopedia, 1982).
I believe there are quality things in your houses worth $40,000 which you would not miss if a missionary needed them.
President Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to maintain neutrality were disregarded by German submarines. February 3, 1917, the U.S.S. Housatonic is sunk. Arthur Zimmerman, the German Secretary of State, attempts an alliance with Mexico for the invasion of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Three more U.S. ships are torpedoed. April 6, 1917, Wilson signs the declaration of war against Germany.
April 24, 1917 – Congress passes the Liberty Loan Act to raise funds for the war effort. Twenty billion dollars are raised in two years.
There are twice as many churches in the Twin Cities as there are missionaries to all the unreached Buddhist peoples in the world. There are some 1000 culturally distinct Buddhist people groups that have no evangelizing church planted in them. Some 150 million people without Christ and without hope live in these groups. About 400 missionaries are working among these groups. But there are well over 800 Christian churches in the Twin Cities.