Shall We Neglect Missions Now?

Mission Problems and Methods

By the Ministry staff. 

In the Presbyterian for August 12, 1943, Mrs. Charles H. Crooks gives a convincing answer to the oft-repeated claim, "It's hopeless to give to foreign missions now." Although written particularly of Presbyterian missions, the principles are also applicable to our own mission program. She says in part:

"Mission work is God's work. We give to missions because God has commanded us to do so. God's commands are not suspended be­cause of war. God's work that is mission work does not stop during war. In truth, the need doubles and trebles. Devoted Christians know this and endeavor to meet the needs.

"Never has our Foreign Board [Presbyterian] had such 'demand on it as now, and never have such marvelous opportunities confronted it for service. Some fields, it is true, are closed to its missionaries, and this seems to impress some people more than the great work that is actually going on. Many of these missionaries of the closed fields have gone into other countries where the demand is great, such as the Colombia Mission, where the educational work is devel­oping so wonderfully; also in Mexico, where new welcome is awakened. Some of the mis­sionaries of Thailand are now doing excellent work in India and China.

"The Foreign Board needs our offerings more than ever. The expense of travel is greatly increased; the exchange is an expense needing to be met in many countries. Then our board has a responsibility for other work temporarily without support. This is God's work, too, and our board has to assume its share along with the boards of other denominations. These are only a very few of the increased expenses that will just have to be met.

"Mission work has not stopped, and those who allow stories inferring that it has to keep them from giving, are being deceived and are dis­obeying one of the great commandments of their Lord. . . . One of the last commissions that Jesus gave His disciples was, 'Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.' It was strikingly important that Jesus made this one of His last words. He knew if we failed in our mission work we, too, would perish. We can see this in every group, in every church, if we really want to open our eyes and take a look. They only live and thrive who hold high their mission work.

"All over the Orient today hundreds of Christian churches, hospitals, and schools are opened and carrying on even where there are no missionaries. These institutions are the only contact we have with some countries. The large business firms have . all disappeared, but these Christian institutions stand and carry on, some with entire Christian control, some with part, and each with enough to maintain the ideals of the institution. . . . Keep the Oriental Chris­tian is another way of saying, Keep up your mission work. . . .

"We were all thrilled by the soldier who wrote, 'Dear Mom,' saying that because of missions he was feasted and not feasted on when he fell from the sky into a former can­nibal village. If we were to write all these marvelous stories that are appearing today to prove the work of foreign missions, we would have a very large second book of the Acts. It will be written someday, but for this time we shall roll it into one sentence. The accom­plishments of foreign missions in the Orient have been wonderful (only now coming into their own), but marvelous as they are, this is but a mere gesture to what we must do in the future. 'Lord, what may I do in this great -work of missions ?' should be our constant prayer and thought, and never, 'It's no use to give to foreign missions now.'"

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