Give Your Best

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In 1869, one of the first Adventist converts in Switzerland wrote a letter to the General Conference earnestly appealing for a minister to be sent to help the growing work in his country. The General Conference president at the time was John Nevins Andrews. Andrews was deeply moved by the appeal but was also perplexed about what to do. In his response, he assured them that the General Conference would give serious attention to the request.

How would the church respond to this dilemma? They had never sent out a cross-cultural missionary. Could they afford to sacrifice one of their few ministers to answer the call overseas? The brethren met together to pray and think over the matter. They determined that they needed to send someone, but not just anyone; they needed to send their best. Who did they send?

They sent the General Conference President himself, J.N. Andrews. On September 15, 1874, the recently widowed Andrews and his two children set sail for Switzerland as the first official missionary family sent out by the Seventh-day Adventist church. Andrews would spend the last nine years of his life laboring sacrificially to build up the work in Europe. Ellen White later told a group of European believers, “We sent you the best man among us.”

Some have ignorantly remarked that the people who do mission work go because they can’t make it in the States. This suggests that the best people should stay and work in America. This kind of thinking was foreign to our pioneers and should be to us, too. We need to send our best and brightest to the mission fields.

Scripture invites us to give God “unblemished offerings,” our “first fruits,” and our best. God gave the best He had when He sent His Son to an obscure, sin-filled planet. His example should challenge us when we look at the billions of people sitting in spiritual darkness and sin in far-off lands.

The Holy Spirit cries out, “My people are in darkness; who will go for me?” How will we respond? If you are a conference president or a church leader, are you willing to follow the example of J.N. Andrews either by going yourself or encouraging one of your best ministers to go as a missionary? If you are a young person with a bright future and many prospects, are you willing to give God the best years of your life in the mission field? May our life’s example reflect the words of this famous hymn:
Give of your best to the Master, give of the strength of your youth; throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor into the battle for truth (“Give of Your Best to the Master,” SDA Hymnal, #572).

If you are ready to give your best, and you would like us to help you respond to this call, please connect with us at, or call 800-937-4236.

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