50 Years of Mission Work Pays Off
About a week ago I had the privilege of participating in a celebration conference in a nearby tribe. The tribe was celebrating 50 years since the arrival of the Gospel in their tribe. On January 25, 1965 a German missionary from New Tribes brought the Gospel to their village.
During the conference the first man of the tribe to be saved gave testimony of the day he met this missionary. He asked the missionary if he was after gold or diamonds. The response was negative. He asked him if he was tapping rubber trees. Once again, the response was negative. Then the Indian man said, “What are you doing here?” Though the language barrier prohibited a clear understanding at the time, the missionary said, “I am here to tell you about Jesus Christ and how he died on the cross to save you.” What a wonderful thing to hear a testimony from this man who was the first of the tribe to receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
Many others gave testimony of what God has done in their lives and how their lives have changed for the good. They compared the wars of years past to the peace that now abides in their hearts. Separation has been changed to joyous reunion and forgiveness.
There were people from at least five different tribes around our state and the neighboring state. These were all enemies fifty years ago. Today they join to give testimony and to praise the Lord for what He has done in their lives. Though the conference technically did not start until Friday evening, they had a service on Thursday and stayed up singing and praising the Lord until about 6am!
The most memorable moment for me was when all the missionaries were called up front. First, those missionaries sent to Brazil from a foreign country were called. Then the Brazilian missionaries came to join us. Finally, the Indian men and women who are pastors and missionaries were called up front. What a site! There were missionaries from 25-85 years of age. Each one fulfilling their call and passing that burden on to others.
The young man pictured above fits into this third group. He and his wife just graduated from Bible school and are seeking opportunities to work for the Lord. They will spend the next year in the tribe working in the church, then will pursue further training to better equip them to reach other Indians with the Gospel.
Sometimes we wonder if the time and money we have invested in mission work around the world has been worth it. This conference was proof that the great commission given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ is worth every second we have to invest in it or in prayer for those involved. It is worth every cent we choose to give. May God’s work move forward as we fulfill His command.