I could see by the look in the man’s eyes that he was touched by seeing so many people at the church he helped to start.
Our car lurched to a stop in the narrow, rutted dirt street. My companions and I got out and headed through a corrugated metal door. Inside was a narrow alleyway. Ahead I could see a few concrete pillars and wooden beams with a corrugated metal roof. Under the roof was row after row of wooden benches with patches of brightly colored plastic chairs. Small groups were gathered in Sabbath School classes. We were visiting an Adventist church in a poor district of a large city.
As I glanced around, I noticed that the walls were made up of a variety of materials. Here and there concrete block sections were interspersed with corrugated metal and in other places pieces of cloth hung over the gaps. The block walls only reached the roof in some places. Along one side of the church, as if pushed to the side to make room for the people, was a large pile of rocks and dirt waiting to become part of the building.
I sat in the front row next to an elderly man who was introduced as a special guest. After the service I talked with him. I asked if he was visiting. “Yes,” he said. “I helped start this church.”
Years ago, he had been stationed at a nearby military base. He found other Adventists serving in the military and formed a group that started meeting on the base on Sabbath mornings. He was glad that the church was growing, but he wanted to start a church in this neighborhood too. So he, along with others, started visiting homes and inviting people to church. Soon a new group of believers was worshipping together.
I turned and looked at the congregation gathered this morning. Nearly every seat was filled. I’m sure there were more than 150 people there, maybe as many as 200. I could see by the look in the man’s eyes that he was touched by seeing so many people at the church he helped to start. When I had come in, I had seen a dirt floor and hard wooden benches. He saw a beautiful church filled with his children in the faith.
Thank you for helping Global Mission plant new churches around the world. Please pray for our Global Mission pioneers as they touch lives in unreached areas.
P. S. Every dollar given to Global Mission goes directly to the front lines of mission.