"The Liberal Antis"
O. Fred Liggin, Jr.
There seems to be the idea among many of the more liberal brethren that those who hold to more conservative views do not do much, if any, benevolent work. They have the idea that the "antis" (so called) just speak and do nothing. However, this is far from the case. The more conservative brethren are willing to come to the aid of a needy saint whenever the necessity arrives. The following article will show this to be true.
Let me state, before going any further, that to imply that none of the aid referred to came from the liberal minded brethren would be wrong. Some of this aid (a very small part) did come from brethren with whom we are not in complete agreement. For their aid we are grateful and have acknowledged receipt of their contribution as well as that of the others. Yet most of this aid came from those of whom it is often said, "do a lot of talking but no doing." The purpose therefore of this article is to show that the conservative brethren are willing to give and sacrifice so that "there may be equality" whenever the need arises.
On about the 1st of February 1963, I arrived in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia with my wife, Mary Frances, who was suffering from mental exhaustion. Her health began to fail around the 1st of January 1963, and I decided it best to go to Salisbury, almost 1500 miles away from our home in Rumpi, Nyasaland - Africa. Having visited a doctor in Salisbury, he informed us that it was imperative that we return to the states as soon as possible. He diagnosed her case as a very severe Depressive Illness and wrote a short letter, which I enclosed in the one I sent to some of the brethren here in the States. My letter left about the 16th February and was received approximately seven days later. Within a few days contributions began to be deposited to my account in Albany, Georgia and on the 8th March (about two weeks after receipt of my letter) my mother wrote me and told me we already had $4,724.36 in the bank. This was, at the time, $1,700.00 more than I had estimated I would need to make the trip. We immediately began to make plans to return to the States now that there was sufficient money in the bank. We had to return to our home in Nyasaland to make the final arrangements and then drove back to Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia. The reason for making such a long trip to Northern Rhodesia was because bro. Doug Bauei, a white Christian, went to Lubagha (as our home is called by the Africans) to see the work and consider the possibility of coming to live and work in our stead. On the 27th March we hoarded an airplane and began our long journey home. Our trip took 42 hours. Having left our friends and fellow Christians on the 27th March at 10:00 AM, we arrived in Albany, Georgia at 9:50 P.M. on the 29th. This was of course much faster than any of us had foreseen. Many of the brethren in Lusaka felt that it would be at least six months before we would be able to leave Africa. For the speed with which the task of returning to America was accomplished we thank the Lord.
This closed a total of 2/2 years work in Nyasaland for us. During that time the Lord blessed our labours abundantly. We were fortunate in having another white family, the Leon Clymores, living with us for 10 months of this time. There were also six African evangelists to help in this work. With their aid and that of many other Christians there, 650 persons were baptized and 230 restored. Some 50,000 tracts were written (duplicated) and handed out.
Since our departure the work has continued to progress. We left the work in the hands of the African brethren who did a wonderful work. The Doug Bauer family who moved to Lubagha in May of this year joined them. Since his arrival brother Bauer has done extremely well. He has had many times in which he has faced difficulty. One of his greatest difficulties at this time is lack of working fund. We also are still in need of some definite commitments in his personal support. It will take $370 per month for him and his family. At present this is being supplied by the surplus from our travel fund. However, this will not last too much longer. Are you willing to help with this good work? If you are, please contact him right away at the following address (Mr. Doug Bauer, P.O. Rumpi, Nyasaland, Central Africa). If you wish to send to his working fund, use this address also. Since our departure 89 persons have been obedient to the gospel and 9 restored. Truly this man and the African brethren are doing a wonderful work in the Lord's vineyard. They are worthy of your help and support.
No financial report has been made on the travel fund to date due to the fact that our things have not arrived from Africa. Some of you may be wondering what we will do with the over subscription on our travel fund. Let mc explain how this has been handled. By the time all the contributions had been received, a total of $14,247.99 was sent to get us home. This amount represents the sacrifices of many individuals and congregations. Each of these have been sent a personal letter thanking them for their contribution and stating the amount they sent. Also a postal card was placed in the envelope with four possible suggestions with what to do with their over subscription (percentage wise). Many had already stated that we should use any over subscription to help us get back on our feet and take care of sister Liggin's medical needs. However, the contributions so far superceded the expectations of anyone that I did not feel it would be right to keep all of the money. Thus the postal card. It was suggested that the surplus money could be used (1) To assure brother Bauer's replacing Bro. Liggin until regular support can be had. (2) To provide brother Judd's travel fund to return to another place in Nyasaland. (3) Return to us (the individual or congregation). (4) Other (please state). They were then to sign the card and return it to us. Each congregation's or individual's wishes will be carried out to the fullest.
Let me say that I have had some difficulty in getting the addresses of some of the contributors. Some of the letters have been returned to me and I still have not been able to contact the persons or congregation. If you did not receive a letter from us and sent a contribution, PLEASE write and give me your address. I shall then send you a full report. It is my intention not to take more than the brethren intended for me to have, and to follow to the last any wish of those so willingly giving us their help.
At the writing of this letter, sister Liggin is much improved and is under the care of a very good doctor here in Louisville. She will have to continue regular treatment for at least a year and then it will be necessary for her to visit his office less frequently for some time to come. Truly the Lord has blessed us and the brethren who have so kindly sent to our need have proven that they are willing to give to the point of great sacrifice if they can see a need that they can fill in a scriptural way.
I would also like to thank bro. James R. Cope, James P. Needham and James Judd, along with countless others not known to me, for their tireless efforts to help us return to the States. Had it not been for these men and the love of our brethren, plus the mercies of God, we would not be home yet.
The Lord has continued to bless us since we arrived home. I have traveled over 13,000 miles, visiting congregations interested in the African work. We have now settled here in Louisville and I am working with the Manslick Road church. This congregation is but three years old. Bro. Charles Goodall was the previous preacher and he did a wonderful job. Even though he did not work full-time, the congregation experience good growth. They now have two capable elders and three deacons. It has an average attendance of 90 to 100. Sister Liggin and I are looking forward to a wonderful work in the Lord's vineyard in this area. Please continue to remember us in your prayers and also the brethren who are still labouring in the harder fields.
Let me thank those of you who so willingly gave and have thus proven that the "antis" are "liberal" whenever there is a need. Truly you have been liberal in helping us in our need. May the Lord richly bless you and your efforts for His cause.
Truth Magazine VIII: 3, pp. 18-19 December 1963