"St. Paul said that he thanked God for his..."
Dear Christian Friend.
St. Paul said that he thanked God for his young friends, or sons in the faith. We do not have treasures of earthly good which shall all soon be mildewed anyway, but there is nothing more precious than seeing souls saved and finding some are dedicated to carry on the Lord's work of preaching in turn to others.
A young man beginning his ministry comes back to tell of his experiences and seems like a replay of some of mine years ago. He had some meetings in a large Indian center where we had meetings over 20 years ago, and after that meeting went with our friends there on to a new place farther isolated. The Indian center, years ago, had no large evangelical churches, had no paved roads nor electricity. It did have a lot of suspicion of outsiders and often outspoken hostility. Now there are many evangelical churches there, small and large. The main road is paved, there is electricity and water is piped in. But our young friend found, on going farther into the mountains, they soon ran out of even unpaved roadway, had to leave their car and go miles farther on foot, carrying instrument, Bible and other things. When they got there they found there had been as incursion into the area of the guerrillas first, then of soldiers. They learned they could still hold a meeting IF they did so in the daytime, but that after dark everything must stay put inside, that both sides were dug in and would shoot at anything that moved.
So, they agreed each should have special prayer times at night, each family in its own place, coming together for daytime meetings. The turn out, he rejoiced, was overwhelming. People came from afar afoot, and those that came from too great a distance to reach home before dark, could just roll up in their own blankets in the back of the meeting house and await the next day.
God works in special ways especially in those places under the devil's fire. Old Satan marshals forces to bring death and terror, but all the time it also brings to people's consciousness that life is short and they need His eternal salvation. So there is a great surprising turnout with scores finding peace for their souls in the midst of danger and turmoil.
The Bible says that when God sends judgments upon the earth, the people shall learn righteousness. But the most ready harvest fields are out in those dangerous areas and many preachers elect to stay in the city.
It is the same now as years ago, that the Lord does his especially miraculous deep work out where there was persecution, reproach or danger. Politically Guatemala seems at peace in the city, for a time, but there are continual guerrilla activities in one area or another most of the time, and some say that then the army or some death squads may also seek out any they suspect of guerrilla cooperation and do away with them.
But it is about the same, nearly the world over. Trouble everywhere. The world is in a mess and getting worse. Only the Christians whose citizenship is in heaven may feel secure.
But meanwhile we all feel the hard times, food shortages and high prices. The price of milk for the children going up all the time, as well as all the other foodstuffs, shoes or clothing. We should have faith, I guess, that like the children of Israel in the desert, the clothing nor the shoes would not wear out for 40 years.
Guerrillas and most men seem to like to fight. Both side can get hosts of volunteers if they are promised dazzling material rewards.
They say some RAF pilots went to a senior officer to complain, but not about danger, or inferior planes, but about the back pay being slow they could not visit their favorite pub each night.
The senior officer heard them out, then asked for their attention while he put on the radio and Winston Churchill come on with his famous rousing patriotic speech that ended, "Never have so many owed so much to so few!" They cheered, "Hear, hear. Even he has noticed how you don't pay us."
May the Lord bless you for your love and prayers for us here in the work of the Lord in other countries, and repay you for your sacrifice in faithful donations for the Gospel for the poor, for the children, milk, shoes and the like. May God fill His never failing promise to you, "Give and it shall be given unto you again, pressed down and running over."
Yours in the Lord
One of the old time sailing vessels was dashed first against the rocks in a storm and then blown away into deep water sinking fast. A sailor reported to the captain that they might all be saved if someone would volunteer to swim below the waterline to the hole and stop it up giving his own life. At first there was no volunteer then a sailor stepped forward to the relief of everyone, except the captain who was aghast, for it was his own son who had come along as a sailor.
Some doubt this story, wondering if either the captain's son would volunteer or the captain would allow it, even to save all on board. Nevertheless that is just what Our Savior did to save us, and HIS Father really suffered, but loved us so much He.... John 3:16.