Fellow Laborers

FellowLaborers

“Timotheus, our brother, administer of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).

The center of a ministry for the believer is revealed in this short verse, highlighted with the words, “establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith.” The Apostle Paul places great value on the spiritual growth of the Christian.One would assume that during the early days of the Church, Paul would encourage the believers to do everything in their power to spread the Gospel to all people as quickly as possible, but that he does not do. When we continue to read, we note that the apostle is not speaking so much in a positive way of the new life in Christ, or experiencing victories, but rather speaks of tribulation, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know” (verses 3-4).Briefly analyzing these words, we note that the Christian life goes deep; suffering, affliction and tribulation are part of it. Although time and space do not allow me to go into details, I can assure you that our missionaries are quite often in deep distress; sometimes this is due to physical health, at other times there is the financial burden. We recently read in a report from our missionaries, Werner and Ursula Beitze in Guatemala, that the government has burdened them with excessive tax on all literature sold in their Bible bookstore. Werner writes: “The new law, effective immediately, burdens us with 31% tax on our entire inventory. Needless to say, this is a devastating blow to our already shaky financial situation. We did bring it before the Lord in prayer. When the responsible officer from the taxation department came, he only asked to see the Bibles in the store and did not request to see the storage facility. Praise and thanks be to our Lord!”From our missionaries in Argentina, Erich and Jutta Schäfer, we received the following report: 

Camp Meeting in Susques

This was a special event;over 170 people participated, mainly young people.But several elderly took the long journey, traveling over 150 km on a freight truck, to spend one week at the camp hearing God’s Word proclaimed. How thankful we are for the 26 souls who decided to follow Jesus, receiving Him as their Lord and Savior. An additional 11 members rededicated their life to Christ. 

Then, during the last evening service, the second son also surrendered his life to the Lord. The father could barely grasp this wonderful act of grace. It encouraged him greatly in his ministry to reach out even more to people everywhere in the town of Susques.

Our Lord Himself proved to be the Almighty when opposition to the proclamation of His Word became apparent;we were told to vacate the school building. The local Christians continued in prayer for one purpose, and that was to have His Word proclaimed freely.Only later we found that the local priest had sent a group of young people,who were supposed to disinfect the school facilities, to the place of our meetings. They ordered all people to leave.This issue was brought before the director of the school; although not a believer, he was a very pleasant person who thought it best for the young people to hear spiritual instruction. He then authorized the disinfection process to be limited to the restroom facilities, being closed for about 3 hours.Thus,we were not hindered to proclaim the Good News to all who came.One event needs to be mentioned, namely the work of our Lord Jesus in the family of a local pastor.One of their sonsmade a public decision to follow Christ.Then,during the last evening service, the second son also surrendered his life to the Lord.The father could barely grasp this wonderful act of grace. It encouraged him greatly in his ministry to reach out even more to people everywhere in the town of Susques.We continue to receive reports here at our office that are both heartbreaking and cause for rejoicing, but in the midst of all the turmoil, confusion, and insecurity, our Lord Jesus Christ continues to build His Church, using each of us as suitable tools in His hand.You too can become a FELLOW LABORER with your continuous and persistent prayer support—not only for our missionaries, but also for all who proclaim the wonderful Gospel of salvation to people everywhere around the globe.While we still can, and there is still time, we may dedicate ourselves, our resources, and our time into His service, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

 

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Welcome to Swift Word. This 5 day a week Christian News Service with biblical comments is based on Psalm 147:15, "He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly."
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