Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ ,
Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, has well said that “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed!”. Every single soul is either an ambassador for Christ or one in need of reconciliation with God! The Word of God clearly teaches that those who are converted by the grace of God, have been brought into an intimate relationship with Jesus to pursue a life that “fulfills the great commandments and obeys the great commission”. We have been redeemed to be worshippers of God; and true worshippers will be witnesses unto Jesus Christ! Our one business in life is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength; and to love sinners enough, that we might be used as instruments through which they may be brought into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! We are called to spend and be spent for this great work. Our Lord and Savior commissioned every believer in this way, when He said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”
This is not a suggestion to be neglected or rejected, nor a nice idea to be debated or dismissed. This is a command from our King! This is a mandate from our Master! The apostle Paul understood the gravity of this great mission, testifying in Romans 1:14, “I am debtor, both to the Greeks and to the barbarians; both to the wise and the unwise.” Certainly, if we are true followers of the Lord Jesus, we know, at least in some measure, this same sense of indebtedness to those around us who are still living under the tyranny of sin. No one can walk in intimacy with the Lord Jesus, without sharing, at least to some degree, this very passion and purpose. The great missionary to Africa, C.T. Studd, challenged us with this sobering question many years ago, “What are you living for? Is what you’re living for, worth Jesus dying for?” Well, precious friends, if Jesus Christ died to redeem souls, then we live to reach souls. The Spirit of Jesus Christ in us is a missionary spirit! The more intimately one walks with Jesus, the more missionary minded they will become!
One Sunday evening many years ago, William Booth, the founder of the salvation army, was walking through the streets of London with his 12 year old son, Willie. General Booth surprised his son, by taking him into a bar room. The tavern was very crowded with men and women; many of them wearing the marks of their vice on their faces. The fumes of alcohol and tobacco seemed almost poisonous to young Booth. After looking around the bar room for a moment, William Booth said to his son, “Willie, these are the people that I want you to live for; and to bring to the Lord Jesus!” Brothers and sisters, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God’s own possession.” But for what purpose? Our purpose is to “Proclaim the praises of Him, Who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” Oh brothers and sisters, may we be found faithful to fulfill the great commandment and be faithful the great commission, that the Lamb may receive the reward of His suffering!
Thank you Brothers and sisters, there are many more testimonies in front of me at this moment. We want to give God all of the Glory, for His mighty works in the lives and ministries of these pastors! It is His Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that has transformed their evangelism! This is His mission! We are called to use His means to carry out His mission; and trust Him for the results, in His timing! But we are reminded once again, that the Lord uses faithful believers to partner with us, enabling us to carry His truths to the nations. So with a heart that is filled to overflowing, we want to say "Thank you” for standing with us in prayer and support!" Dianne and I cannot express deeply enough how much you mean to us.
There are always times throughout our ministry that we have been acutely aware of just how needy we are, of the prayers and support of God’s people. But, I must say that this time, it was made very evident. On my last day in Uganda, traveling back to my hotel, my driver and I were stopped at gun point by 3 Ugandan soldiers. As we were driving along, I decided to take a picture of the Nile River; when suddenly, I felt our vehicle come to a sudden stop. As I lowered my camera, I was staring into the wrong end of a machine gun. The soldiers on the other end of the guns said, “You are under arrest!” Making a demand for my passport, they told me that I was going to jail! Quickly, I began telling them what I was doing in Uganda. As the conversation developed, one soldier said, “Give me $20”! My driver, pastor Fred, begin to debate with them over this bribe; but I thought to myself, it would be wise just to get the money out and move-on. They let us go after we gave them the $20. There is no doubt in my mind, that the Lord was protecting me from what could have been a very perilous situation, dealing with such corrupted soldiers. I realize that they could have demanded so much more. I am certain that our God was answering the prayers of precious brothers and sisters, who were interceding for me throughout this trip.
Friends, how can we convey what you mean to us? We cannot even begin to express our love and gratitude for your prayers and your support to this ministry. You are such an invaluable part of everything the Lord is doing. We continue to thank the Lord for you; and pray that He will bless you with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ed & Dianne