The morning had started out overcast with a thick, suffocating stillness. Still this was the one morning we had to go birding. We hoped to see a Kirtland Warbler. My friend is an expert birder and can identify hundreds of species by their calls. We were counting on him to lead us to this bird that just 50 years ago was close to extinction. The Kirtland Warbler is also called the Jack Pine Warbler because they nest only in young jack pine forests. And a small area in north central Michigan is one of the few places you can find them. So here we were early in the morning, trying to spot one of these rare creatures.
We heard a Kirtland Warbler numerous times, and my friend saw it, but before I could get my binoculars fixed on it, it was gone. (The story of my life!) We tried another site where my friend had seen another nesting pair. Again, we could hear it but not see it. By now a couple of hours had gone by. Finally, at a third location, I saw one up close and personal. What a thrill! Fortunately, my friend was able to get this picture of him. As you can see from the picture, a Kirtland sighting is worth the trouble. I cannot tell you how exciting it was for me to see this one bird.
When it comes to people, Jesus knows the value of just one. He went out of His way to meet the Samaritan woman at the well. By boat, He entered the Decapolis to heal the demoniac. He paused to affirm the woman healed from the issue of blood. He is the Good Shepherd willing to leave the 99 sheep to find the one who is missing. Jesus knows the value of one. Jesus labored for the one. “To a great degree this must be accomplished by personal labor. This was Christ’s method. His work was largely made up of personal interviews. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. Through that one soul the message was often extended to thousands” (COL 229).
The work of AFM missionaries mirrors Jesus’ work in many ways. They go out seeking the lost, often starting with ministry to just one. Then the spark of the gospel in that individual fans into flame among others.
Friends, by supporting AFM missionaries, you are changing lives. The battle is fierce, but each soul matters to Jesus. No matter who you are, as a disciple of Christ, you can pray, give and go!
Do not wait. Reach out to the one, for we are told, “This is ever the way that the work of God has made progress on the earth. Let your light shine, and other lights will be kindled” (GW 195).