Dear Fellow Laborers,
I pray that this letter finds you growing in the knowledge and grace that is ours in Jesus Christ and that you are filled with the Spirit of God, submitting to His lordship, and bearing His fruit.
The last five months have been as glorious as they have been exhausting: moving the entire ministry to Virginia, finding homes to rent, setting up the office, planting a church, and preaching in several countries around the globe. The early mornings and late nights have made us weary, but they have not been without fruit. God has advanced the mission beyond our hopes, but in such a way as for all to see that it was by His strength and in spite of our weakness.
The power of God to make His glory known through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hidden within our feeble and unattractive earthen vessels, so that any and every advancement is clearly recognized to be the work of God and not of man (II Corinthians 4:7). Our piety, prayers, intellect, and endurance are not worthy of mention; but His faithfulness, strength, and compassion are worthy of a universe of eternal praise. We are afflicted in many ways, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in us. We are constantly being confronted by overwhelming obstacles for Jesus’ sake, so that in our utter inability, the life of Jesus also may be manifested (II Corinthians 4:8-11).
In the midst of everything, the Lord seems to have brought about something of a revival among us. Prayer has become as sweet as it has been necessary. The Word has become more than a book to study; it is a promise to stand upon and an anchor to hold. Our confidence in ourselves is in a constantly diminishing state, but our trust in the Lord is breaking new grounds. We are renewed in our conviction that there is nothing too difficult for Him, and that He is the God who answers prayer. He delights in vindicating even the smallest confidence of His children who cry to Him in prayer.
Oh! What peace we often forfeit;
Oh! What needless pain we bear;
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Thus, we come to the end of these hectic five months with a shout of thanksgiving to our God – All we have needed, His hand hath provided. He has met all our needs according to His riches in glory. He is a great God and worthy of our most complete trust. Never has His Word fallen to the ground undone. He not only keeps His promises; He goes beyond them!
We are satisfied in our God and yet there is a restlessness in our hearts that grows every day. As each year of our life swiftly passes by, there are billions who have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How can this be? How can we let this be? Read the words of our dear brother Charles Spurgeon:
“If there existed only one man or woman who did not love the Saviour, and if that person lived among the wilds of Siberia, and if it were necessary that all the millions of believers on the face of the earth should journey there, and every one of them plead with him to come to Jesus before he could be converted, it would be well worth all the zeal, labour, and expense. If we had to preach to thousands year after year, and never rescued but one soul, that one soul would be full reward for all our labour, for a soul is of countless price.”
Who among us would not whole-heartedly agree with these words? And yet who among us comes even close to reflecting this truth in his or her life? The fact is, it is not the will of God for all of us to go to the wilds of Siberia; it is not the will of God for each and every one of us to become a missionary in a foreign land. However, it is the will of God for each and every one of us to participate in the Great Commission in a way that demonstrates a genuine disinterest in self and corresponding sacrifice. There are countless indigenous missionaries who either are qualified at this moment to be sent immediately into the work or are called and only lack the training to make them mightily used of God. Oftentimes these men require less than $250 a month, sometimes less than $150 a month, so that they might minister full-time in church-planting and live with their families in dignity. Oh, what an open door that stands before us! Oh, what a depth of resource! How can we delay? How can we turn away? How can we hoard?
There has never been a greater time to be a Christian! Never have there been so many open doors to preach the Gospel! Never has such a people prospered as we do in the West, that we might send forth a mighty army of Gospel preachers into the world that every creature might hear the Gospel in our generation! It CAN happen! It MUST happen! I cannot bear the thought of standing before my Lord and hearing the words – “Oh, what would have been if only you had believed, if only you had tarried in prayer, if only you had died to self, if only you had followed My example and given all!”
Dear Christian, we see everything through the distorted lens of our selfish, “me”-centered culture. We interpret the Scriptures through the “American Dream.” We must renew our view of reality through the Scriptures; we must set our minds on things above; we must look to the harvest; and we must always remember that this world is passing away, but he who does the will of God will abide forever. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul; and what will he give in exchange for his soul? To whom much is given, much is required. We must not be foolish, but we must redeem the time and walk circumspectly. We must use all our time, talents, and resources for Him! He is worthy of every breath, and the soul of one man is of greater worth than all the riches of the world! Again the words of our dear brother Spurgeon:
“Lost! Lost! Lost! Better a whole world on fire than a soul lost! Better every star quenched and the skies a wreck than a single soul to be lost!
“If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
In the month of September, I traveled to Indonesia and India. I must say that I was devastated. Although I have worked in missions for over twenty years, I have never seen anything like the 10/40 window. For those of you not familiar with such terminology, the 10/40 window is a rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia approximately between 10 degrees North and 40 degrees North latitude. It is often called “The Resistant Belt” and includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. An estimated 4.43 billion individuals residing in approximately 8,808 distinct people groups are in the 10/40 Window. We only need to read the following facts, taken from the Joshua Project, to be brought to weeping:
• Of the 16,562 people groups by country, 6847 are still considered unreached, totaling 2,772,136,000 individuals.
• Of these 6,847 groups, 5,902 are in 10/40 Window countries. That means 86% of all unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.
• An estimated 2.69 billion individuals living in approximately 5,902 unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window.
• The 10/40 Window contains the largest unreached people groups over one million.
• The 10/40 Window contains the overwhelming majority of the world’s least evangelized megacities — that is those with a population of more than one million. The top 50 least evangelized megacities are all in the 10/40 Window!
• The 10/40 Window contains four of the world’s dominant religious blocs. The majority of the followers of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, as well as the Non-Religious bloc lives within the 10/40 Window.
• The 10/40 Window is home to the majority of the world’s poor. Of the poorest of the poor, more than eight out of ten live in the 10/40 Window. On average, they exist on less than a few hundred dollars per person per year. There is a remarkable overlap between the poorest countries of the world and those that are least evangelized.
The 10/40 Window includes numerous spiritual strongholds. The billions of people who live there have suffered not only the ravages of poverty and disease, but have also been kept from the transforming power of the Gospel. They are poignant examples of the truth expressed in II Corinthians 4:4, which states, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Who can read this and say it is the will of God? Who would dare say they know His secret counsels of which He has not spoken in His Word? He has told us, even commanded us, to go! He has made it clear that we are to preach the Gospel to EVERY CREATURE, but our response has been:
“I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused… I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused…. I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come” (Luke 14:18-20).
Brothers and sisters, let it not be said of us that we tarried before the greatest open door the Church has ever seen to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It can be done! It must be done!
Upon returning from the 10/40 window, the staff at HeartCry set themselves to praying for an advance. There were forty missionaries who were approved and ready, but the funds were needed. We kept the matter concealed among us and made our requests known to God. After two months of feeble praying and little faith, the Lord has done it! One family in the U.S., who desires to remain anonymous, contacted HeartCry with the burden to live the faith they professed, and to know the joy of disinterest in and sacrifice of self. Without any communication between us, they had been praying about supporting missionaries in India with the exact amount that was needed to support the forty new missionaries! Praise the Lord! God has moved them to support the whole group of men! We will soon be traveling to India to make the final preparations for this new advance.
Thus, we remain a mixture of joy and burden. Joy for the forty and all that God may accomplish through them; and yet burden for the remaining need. What are forty new men in light of four billion lost people! Some will say that we are seeking to put out a forest fire of gigantic proportions with an eye dropper. Though this is true, we have learned that there is no limit to what the Lord can do with the smallest and weakest of men and endeavors. Pray that God will continue to teach them sound doctrine through their study of God’s Word. Pray that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit and great power. Pray that the fruit of the Spirit will be manifest in their lives. Pray that the mighty walls of this spiritual Jericho might fall before the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And pray that the Lord will send countless more laborers into His harvest, so that every creature on the face of this earth might hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our generation.
Oh, that His Name might be great among the nations from the rising to the setting of the sun; that the knowledge of the glory of God might cover the earth as the waters cover the sea; that the Lamb might receive the full reward for His suffering!
Finally, brethren, pray for us! Pray that we do not lose heart, and that though our outer man is decaying, our inner man might be renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16). Pray that we will be protected from evil and evil men. Pray that we grow in a greater disinterest for self and safety, and that we might abandon ourselves to God and His Great Commission. Pray that we might preach as dying men to dying men, for that is what we are!
Always remember and communicate to your children: He is worthy of every breath and every beat of the heart!
HeartCry Missionary Society