The Unique Ones

More highlights from the Foreign-Language Workers' Convention

J.R.S. is managing editor of the Ministry.

The words of the song were written by an American; put to a Russian tune; played by a German pianist; and sung in English by a quartet of Spaniards. This in­teresting episode was only one of many that touched hearts with the sense of spirit­ual unity at the recent North American Missions Convention held at Battle Creek, Michigan. We usually think of a mission­ary as one who boards a boat and sails for some mysterious, exotic region far distant from our homeland. Yet this convention proved that a unique type of missionary operates within the borders of the North American Division.

For instance, there is Elder Harold Kono, an American of Japanese descent, who has dedicated his life to working for the Japa­nese who live in the North American Divi­sion. On the other hand, we meet R. M. Devins and Erwin Morosoli, born in France but called to North America as mission­aries among the French-speaking people of Canada.

The last day of this historic meeting was one of total dedication. Pastor Theo­dore Carcich, vice-president of the General Conference, led the workers in a surrender­to-Christ experience. God's Spirit was man­ifested in an unusual manner. Time was forgotten. For more than an hour the en­tire delegation stood at the altar, giving and listening to testimonies of praise and dedication. Tear-filled eyes emphasized the blessings received. No tape recording, much less a written report, could begin to convey the impact made by the living, vibrant testimonies of dedicated workers.

Wives Deserve Credit

The words of Paul commending Moses for exchanging a kingship for a slavelead­er's position are a definite source of com­fort to many of these men and women. Take the case of Pastor Peter Samograd, Ukrainian worker from Canada, who began his testimony by exclaiming, "I thank God for my wife!" Then he continued, "When I was facing a decision as to whether I would be a minister among the foreign-speaking people of North America, I looked the situation over. I thought, What is the point? Just a minority group, little pay. Why should I turn down an offer of a $60,000 contract for this insignificant work?" Then he said, "But I thank God today that I am standing among you. My wife repeatedly said, 'It isn't the money or position that counts but rather it is God's program.' Without her encouragement I would undoubtedly have forfeited the honor of working for a special language group in North America."

General Conference Leaders Are Human

Another voice spoke out, "I am a Japa­nese layman. Something urged me to attend this meeting. What I have seen and heard has given me tremendous courage. I always thought that our General Con­ference leaders were high above the rest of us. But here we are all standing together, humbly dedicating our lives to God. My heart is touched, and I have greater con­fidence in this church now than ever be­fore."

A Picture Provokes a Testimony

On the wall behind the pulpit of the Battle Creek Tabernacle hangs a large, im­pressive picture of Christ and the rich young ruler. One young minister, with deep emotion exclaimed, "When I first came to this meeting the picture of Christ and the rich young ruler made a vivid im­pact on my soul. During these meetings I have been wondering whether I am in the same category as this young man. In fact, I have doubted my willingness to lay every­thing on the altar for my Lord." Then he said, "What sacrifice have I really made for Christ? We have such security in the work compared with our pioneers." As this min­ister climaxed his testimony he remarked, "From this moment on, I am determined by God's grace to go back to my work and place my entire life and possessions on the altar of sacrifice."

Forgotten Men?Never!

Many of these piercing testimonies re­vealed the struggle that takes place in the hearts of our workers who are striving to reach the millions whose mother tongue is other than English. From a human standpoint many of these men work alone. Their work is usually carried on in large metropolitan areas, which in itself is a formidable challenge. Some of them have consistently turned down calls to work for English-speaking people, which is no small temptation in a country where English eventually swallows up other languages. These facts plus others are used by Satan to tempt these brethren with thoughts that no one cares—their work is insignificant—they are not appreciated.

But this is not the case. God cares and the church cares! This meeting proves our interest. The Ministerial Association calls upon the entire ministry of North America to remember this group of unique mission­aries not only in their prayers but in their actions! Visit them. Find out about this work. Be watchful for those of other tongues and turn the names and ad­dresses over to these dedicated brethren. Where we have foreign-speaking groups in areas where there are no workers for them, make special efforts through our literature to reach these dear souls with the gospel of Christ.

Now and in the future the memory of the scenes and sounds of the North Ameri­can Missions Convention will ever be a source of power to all who attended.

As we look back to that day when our Lord bade good-by to eleven humble men, we hear the immortal words that forever prove that no dedicated, consecrated min­ister of God is alone: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

J. R. S.

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J.R.S. is managing editor of the Ministry.

December 1964

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More Articles In This Issue

Joy to All Nations

Christmas, the spirit of joy, and holiday carols.

Foreign-Language Workers' Convention

Conference held in Battle Creek, Michigan, August 10-13, 1964.

Here's How We Did It!

Résumé of Foreign-Language Workers' Convention

The Committee on Resolutions

How plans and methods for the future can be improved.

Why Battle Creek?

The story behind our location.

Breaching the Wall of Judaism

How the Five-Day Stop Smoking Plan can help.

"These People Are Missionaries"

The Account of a Pilot Project in Evangelism Among the Jews of New York City.

Pleas and Promises

The necessity of reaching the Jews.

Some Prophecies Concerning the Messiah

Including excerpts from Jewish literature.

A Soul-winning Opportunity

Read if your church is static.

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