Ever since I had obeyed the calling God had placed on my heart, things started moving in the right direction. I had completed my Bible School training at Faith School of Theology, and my linguistics training with the Summer Institute of Linguistics. My linguistics studies brought me from Nashua, New Hampshire to Grand Forks, North Dakota by Amtrak train, and to Horsleys Green in England, then finally to Dallas, Texas.
I was 21 years old, and had gotten it all done. I only needed to raise the support necessary to go to Chad, Africa. It was my first missions conference ever. I still remember the church: Lyndonville Baptist Church, in Lyndonville, Vermont.
It was and interesting experience, representing Wycliffe for the very first time, but I felt a little out-of-place. While I attended this conference, I arrived with about a dozen of God’s seasoned servants whose combined years of overseas service most likely exceeded a century. They represented SIM, New Tribes and other mission agencies. I felt small and insignificant beside them. Their stories and knowledge left me amazed. What did I have to offer beside these giants of the faith?
We found out Saturday
On Saturday, the church missions director had scheduled for the missionaries to accompany the congregation in going door-to-door to distribute Gospel tracts. To be honest, I was a little nervous about knocking on a stranger’s door to give them something to read about Jesus. Thankfully, I had distributed tracts before on ministry trips with my youth group and while I was in Bible school.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was a little nervous. The other more seasoned missionaries began expressing their nervousness as well, and gave reasonable explanations to the Missions Secretary of the church about why they shouldn’t do it. They explained how ineffective it is, and how difficult it would be.
I sat and listened. The pastor’s son was sitting beside me. As it became more and more clear that the canvassing was not going to happen, he became more and more disappointed. “I was really looking forward to this!,” he whispered.
Suddenly, I was filled with Holy Spirit boldness. I interrupted the discussion to say this:
“I don’t know if you are going to go canvassing or not. But if it’s alright with you, Ben and I would like to go anyway. Would it be okay for us to leave right now?”
The Missions Secretary said that it would be fine. So we grabbed some gospel literature and headed out the door. I was just as nervous as before about knocking on stranger’s doors as everyone else. But we met a lot of kind folks along the way. Many of them even promised to come to church!
And as the afternoon progressed, I noticed across the way that the rest of the missionaries were out there with us. They ended up knocking on doors and handing out literature with us.
Confidence in God is more important than knowledge
This is what I learned that day: it’s not what we know, but what we do that matters.
Our example and the example of others helps us overcome the strongest logical argument of why the difficult things are impossible, and why they can’t or shouldn’t be done.
That lesson served me well overseas. As a result,
- we ran the guest room profitably instead of at a loss,
- accomplished 5 times more linguistic surveys than anyone else;
- produced a 32 lesson radio program in my adopted heart language, broadcast by FM radio and by shortwave, then by cassettes;
- translated a whole Book of Scripture into that same language, and
- produced language materials in over a dozen languages.
We saw God help us accomplish these challenges that most of our co-workers declared impossible… and all the glory goes to God!
And we’re still alive. We haven’t finished yet! Those who still trust God to keep His promises recognize the many victories in ministry waiting to be won.
Who knows? Our confidence could even motivate those sitting on the sidelines to be involved with us.
What are you believing God for? Please share it with us in the comments below, or on our “contact” page… so we can believe God with you for the breakthrough you need.