Your Labor is Not in Vain in the Lord

On May 24, 1844, after twelve years of research, experimentation, and construction, Samuel Morse transmitted the first official Morse Code message, “What hath God wrought.” The sense of praise and wonderment in these words describes my feelings during a recent unexpected trip to Laos. The event was the inauguration of the Lao Adventist Mission, and I had a small part in interpreting for the program.

When I worked for ADRA in Laos from 1991–1993, there were only a handful of church members. Now there are over 3,000. Indeed, what hath God wrought! When I served as an advisor to the Lao church from 2007 to 2011, God led me to invest time, energy and resources in several young men who are now leaders in the Lao church. Looking at how far they have gone, I again exclaim, “What hath God wrought!”

In our various capacities relating to the Lao church, including a two-year stint as self-supporting missionaries, we often wondered, what are we doing here? Will any good come from our work? Praise God for the promise, “your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). It is Christ who brings success. Many years later, we can see the fruit He has grown from our feeble efforts and the efforts of others.

One lesson I gained while reflecting on our years in Laos is the importance of investing in people. I wish I had been more purposeful, consistent and strategic in mentoring. Jesus called us to make disciples. We did, and we praise His name for the results. But we could have done much better.

As we begin the work in Surat Thani, we are basically starting from zero. The confirmation from my trip to Laos encourages us that as we depend on Christ, our labor will not be in vain. We may not be able to see progress in the short term, but we are guaranteed results. Please join us in praying that God will lead us to the people He wants us to disciple here.

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