Tuesday, Jan. 5                                                                      

The final episode.  As I meditated on this strange dream, I tried to make sense out of it.  I’m not sure I understand it all, but do have some concluding thoughts.  The history of missions is interesting and bears some study.  The Apostle Paul did not have motor vehicles, radio, telephone or telegraph, or even mosquito repellant.  He probably spent a lot of nights sleeping outside on the ground.  He was stoned and left for dead in Lystra, beaten and put in jail in Philippi.  He was harassed by the Jews and persecuted by the Romans.  He also went out with little financial support.  Lydia helped out in Philippi.  He worked at tent making in some places. And he continued to preach the gospel wherever he went.  In later years, men such as William Carey, and Hudson Taylor, ministered under hardships that we can hardly fathom.  So did women such as Mary Slessor and  Amy Carmichael.  My meditation led me to the truth that missions has always been hard.  It just could be that each generation has it a little better than previous generations—in terms of living conditions.  Thinking back to our days in Bolivia, I remember that I did put together a few pieces of furniture, but it was fairly crude.  For one thing, I did not have the tools, and if I did, I would not have know how to use them.  I still don’t know what a router looks like, nor would I know how to use it.  We did have some missionary men in Bolivia that were better at carpentry—or plumbing and electricity, for that matter—than I was.  But as I think about those dear people I was privileged to work with, their most valuable asset was their understanding of the Great Commission and their determination to GO.  Conditions were crude, but they built the Church in Bolivia.  Their handiwork will be evident when we get to heaven.  Their work is a work of art that will last for eternity.  My final thought on all this is that you might say all this is “tooting my own horn” or that I’m tooting the horn for all those co-workers.  Not so.  I’m tooting God’s horn for commissioning men and women, equipping them and motivating them to do the job, and using them to build trophies of God’s grace for eternity.  God is the One to be praised.  I’m no longer despondent!

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