An Opportunity to Teach

Tom Bunting
Savannah, TN

I suspect that we are so surrounded with opportunities that those nearest us are often overlooked. I am ' sure every day that passes by there are some missed opportunities for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. But how long has it been since a person (who is not a Christian) asked you to come and study with them from the word of God? Or said, "If you can't come, then see if you can find someone to come and study with me." I know of such a case.

My family and I recently returned to the States. It was very difficult to leave Norway. The country and the people had won a great place in our hearts that made it much more difficult to leave- than we had ever anticipated. I am sure that these feelings have been shared by others before us.

Perhaps one thing that made it so difficult for us to leave was the fact that we were not fully prepared to return home at that time. The joy in returning home and seeing loved ones was over-shadowed by our sadness in departing. We had fully intended to complete three full years before returning to the states but due to illness in the family, we were forced to return home six months early. This caused us to leave at a time that we felt we had not finished the job. Then, on the other hand, is the job of, preaching the gospel and saving souls ever finished?

There is another factor that made us unhappy in leaving: the scarcity of workers in Norway. This did not make leaving any easier. Seeing the enormous task, realizing all that needed to be done, viewing all the places the gospel had never been preached, and so few workers! This made it difficult to leave.

Yet, there was one other thing that stood out in our mind above all the others  The unanswered call for someone to "come and help us." A family asking for help desiring instruction from God's word, asking us to come and study with them or find someone that will come. And we were going the other way! Not by our choice, but nevertheless we were! We were coming home when the -call was to come to Norway. Brethren, how many have to ask us to come and study with them before we consider it a "worthy" request? How many need to cry for help in their study of the word of God to make it "worth the sacrifice"?

I first became acquainted with the Jan Nilsen family through the Bible correspondence course in Norway. Since then I have studied with them in their home in Stokmarkness, Norway. Brothers Thornhill and Olafsen have also been there and studied with them. They have scheduled another Bible study about the time of this writing. These studies come only about two or three times-a-year, at the very best. Obviously this is not enough. The workers in Bergen are about 1,000- miles to the south. Someone is needed in the northern part of Norway. Here are opportunities to teach the word of God.

Since my return to the States I have continued to correspond with the Nilsens. In almost very letter they ask if I cannot find someone to come and study with them! "I hope you can find someone to come to north Norway soon," they write. I am afraid that if this opportunity is not used, their interest will decrease and perhaps die. All the denominational people of the community speak hard against the truth! They become confused. Here is a young Norwegian family, who are not Christians, inviting - yes, pleading for someone to help them find the way of salvation. Seeking someone to guide them. Someone to assist them in their study of the word of God. If there has been a "Macedonian call" in recent years, surely this is one.

I don't want to leave the impression that it will be easy, or that growth of the church in the North will be rapid. I do not know what the results will be; no one does. There will be difficulties and disappointments. One does not even know that those asking for help will obey the gospel. Listen to this invitation, answer this call, accept the challenge and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you answered a call for help, the satisfaction of knowing you have sown the wed the word of God, that you went when one said come!

Are you ready to preach the gospel to the people in Norway? You will be preaching it to people who have never heard it before. Here is an opportunity to preach the gospel, God's power unto salvation.

November 5, 1970