By Leslie Diestelkamp
Many years ago, in rural Missouri, an elderly man operated a country store. One customer wanted to buy a whole case of “Pork and Beans” or some such item. But the store-keeper objected. He said, “I cant sell the whole case, for then I would have to buy more.” And some Christians seem to have that kind of attitude toward gospel work. They seem to feel that when we spend money to support gospel preachers around the world, we are making a sacrifice. But the farmer who sows does not sacrifice the price of the seed. Rather, the one who fails to sow sacrifices a potential harvest.
Today Gods people need to become fully aware of the great opportunities for evangelism everywhere. Then, seeing the fields, recognizing the needs and identifying the varying advantages, we must engage the churches in work that will please the Lord and help some souls to be saved. And when we do this with enthusiasm, even the giving churches will also be greatly benefited. Many congregations that had grown stale and lukewarm in local activities have been invigorated, and have become enthused for local work after learning the joy of participation in world evangelism. The money spent in supporting a faithful preacher in a distant place is not a sacrifice, it is an investment. And it will even “pay” locally if the preacher who is supported and the supporting church become bonded together in significant partnership and happy mutual respect and concern.
Evidently there is a great opportunity open right now in our neighboring countries “south of the border.” Any preacher who speaks Spanish should surely want to hear the thrilling story of great fruitfulness in Honduras. Write or call or see Dan. C. Coker, Rt. 1, Box 211 SS, Lake Pagett Estates, Land OLakes, Fla. 33539. Brother Coker, who is on the faculty of South Florida University, has, with his wife spent some years in Honduras. Obviously the door is open there now and perhaps in other Central American countries.
The Eastern Sea-Board
While we look to other fruitful fields, we must not forget our own land and the destitute fields it provides. Get yourself a map of the U.S. Draw a circle with a radius of 200 miles and with New York city as the center. Now discard almost half the circle for it is in the Atlantic Ocean and there are no people there. Yet in the remaining half circle you keep which reaches from Washington, D.C. to Boston, you have about 47,000,000 (forty seven million) people. That is almost one fourth of the entire population of this country. The relatively small area thus described has a population that is greater than the combined population of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
But what about the Lords church in the, teeming megalopolis along our eastern coast? There are indeed a few faithful churches scattered through the area, but the need is obvious and terrifying. Some Christians drive 80 miles (one way) to attend services that are scripturally conducted. Who will go into this densely settled area of our own country and help establish some new congregations and encourage some lonely brethren? And what churches will support workers in this amazing field right here at our own front door?
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 25, p. 9
April 27, 1972