"Must We Forever Cry in Vain?"
The following is a quotation from September issue of "Newsweek" (1965):
"Norway can boast of blessings almost unknown to the rest of the world. Its cities are unmarred by slums and vice. Its economy is free of strikes and unemployment. Illiteracy does not exist. In fact, the country is a sort of Nordic paradise where 4 million citizens enjoy the tranquility that only one of the most stable, egalitarian and paternalistic societies in existence can provide."
Is it not a shame that in a country of 4 million as described in the above quotation, there are so few Christians and so few workers trying to restore the N. T. church? MUST WE FOREVER CRY IN VAIN?
The above article was taken from the "Bergen Briefs," the monthly report sent by brother Tuten from Bergen, Norway. He went to Norway in 1963 intending to stay three years, but when no replacement was found, he and his family elected to stay for a fourth year. He writes:
"Upon finding ourselves alone in the work only ten months after arriving and upon seeing the tremendous need over here we decided to stay four years and then return home for good. This is all well and good except for one major problemthere is no one to replace us. Is it necessary that someone replace us? We think it is. The brethren who preceded us in the work here invested over $5000 in the meeting "lokale" and adjoining apartment. The total rent of over $85 per month plus utilities is much too expensive for the little band of disciples to assume by themselves. What's more important, there is no male Christian dependable enough to assume the needed teaching and preaching. Therefore what's to become of these few Christians should we leave Norway? "
After reading these two articles by brother Tuten and hearing the cry of lost soul my wife and I made the decision to "launch out into the deep," leaving families, many friends and Christians, comforts and conveniences of an American society to journey across the ocean and assist in the efforts of restoring "New Testament Christianity" in Norway. The group is small and the obstacles large, but with the help of the Lord we will "sow the seeds' of the gospel in the near future in this Nordic land. I feel strongly that it will be my responsibility to scatter the seed, and let God bring the increase, however large or small it may be. Brethren we desire to go and our plans are to depart August 10, enter Norway and spend at least three years in this foreign land. Brother Tuten and family will remain with us until next summer to allow us time to learn the language and customs and prepare to replace them when they return home. We would willingly bear this burden alone if possible, but being financially unable, we are calling upon our brethren to lend a hand and have "fellowship" with us in this work. We are willing to be sent if others are willing to send. We are placing ourselves in the hand of God to provide the means and have faith that it will be forthcoming. Will you help to prove this faith?
We have set our departure date and will not look back. Since there are five of us in the family it will take a minimum of $550 per month to live. Expenses are higher there. We will also need a working fund to print and distribute teaching aids and tracts. It will take at least $3000 for a travel fund and expenses to get there and have money ready for a return trip. Will you not determine to have a part in this, the greatest of works, the saving of souls. "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest."
Time is short brethren, for our departure is close at hand. If you are planning to help in this work act now. For further information write Thomas A. Thornhill, 5008 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, Florida 33611. For references as to character and ability write any of these men: H. E. Phillips or James P. Miller, Box 17244, Tampa, Florida 33612. Harry Pickup or Homer Hailey, Florida College, Temple Terrace, Florida 33617.
"I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go with us? Then I said, Here am I, send me" (Isa. 6:8). Will you?
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 9, pp. 10-11 June 1966