Adventist Frontiers, August 2009
I want the world to know the love of Jesus, and sometimes I feel like shouting it from a mountaintop, as the song goes.
For now, though, my stomach turns as frantic cries pierce the neighborhood walls. A child is being beaten.
A thin young man at one of our Bible study groups listens in quiet attention as he has been doing for months, chin propped on his hand. The next day, he dies unexpectedly––his short life highlighted by superstition and drunkenness.
A sobbing mother in utter grief refuses to be comforted as she walks in the morning air half dressed. Her two-year-old baby has just lost the battle with sickness.
He sits, old and weary, without much dignity, in the shade of his crumbling mud house. The small altar to his gods stands a few feet away. He thinks back over his life, only to recall that there were no “good old days.”
“How long will it be, Lord, until this fallen world is restored?” A deep, eager longing rushes through me as I utter the verse, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Isaiah 49:8.
It’s early afternoon under a smoldering sun as our team regroups to continue with culture study. We have grown accustomed to the sweat trickling down our bodies, the sensation as natural now as breathing. We reassess, we analyze, and continue planning. It feels like we are trying to move a mountain. We see the challenge, and we are acquainted with frustration. Why are we doing this? Ah, yes. I take a second to remember and to cling to God’s promises. “Behold,” He says, “now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6:2.
As I think of the vast work facing missionaries in Benin, Albania, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Asia, and throughout the whole world, I am convinced that it is a paramount task. It is no pleasant thing, seeing hopelessness and despair devastating our human family. At times, we feel our efforts are insignificant compared to the immense need. Nevertheless, we find assurance in Jesus. In fact, I can’t help but lift my head up in strength as the work continues because I know whom we are working for. I know the Holy Spirit is present, helping amazingly in the midst of all this chaos. I know Salvation is here.