by: Dr. Steve Heidenreich
Ruth 2:16, “And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.”
Just as Boaz commanded his young men to let fall some handfuls of purpose for Ruth and leave them that she may glean them, we must also let fall some handfuls of the Word of God that others may have them to learn of the Saviour.
Earlier this year I took a missions trip to Panama with the college students from Texas Baptist College in Longview, Texas. Of course, the greatest thing to do on a mission trip is to go soul winning and try to reach as many people with the Gospel. We traveled a long distance to a village that was way out in the back areas of Panama with a national pastor who had planned a service for us that night. We got there a couple hours before the service, so we thought we would go out soul winning and invite more people to attend that service. We had people saved and others ready to come to the service. We had a great service, and when the invitation came other people raised their hand and went forward and received Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
We returned to the hotel that night rejoicing in what God had done, and were excited to do more for him the next day. We decided to go back to the same area to do more soul winning, and to branch out into other areas nearby. We were able to see many more people saved and were able to pass out hundreds of the book of Romans. We came to the plaza of that little village, and as we were busy passing copies of the book of Romans, a pickup truck full of people stopped to get more passengers. We had a young man by the name of Juan who was our main interpreter give the plan of salvation to those in the back of the truck. There were about 20 people who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour. One young man had gotten off the truck and came to me to ask me a question. I asked Juan to interpret for me, and he said the young man was asking me for some of the book of Romans that we were passing out. The young man had been saved in the service the night before. He said he had been watching us lead people to Jesus Christ the day before. He had just watched Juan give the presentation of the Gospel to the people in the back of the truck. He said, “I think I can give the plan of salvation to the people back over the mountain where I live.” The book of Romans that we were passing out had a clear presentation of the Gospel inside. I was so excited to be able to give him the book of Romans, so I gave him a great big stack of Romans to take back over the mountain to his people.
It is amazing how God works when you take the Gospel to other areas. A few hours earlier we tried to go over the great big mountain to be able to take the Gospel to the villages beyond, but were unable to because the van did not have enough power to get over the mountain. We were disappointed because there was a large village on the other side of the mountain, but we were not able to get to it. But, God had prepared a way to get the Gospel to that village through a new convert. It’s exciting to see a new convert that is excited about telling other people about the Saviour that he just received. I was excited about him taking the book of Romans back to his village and his people, but at the same time I was brokenhearted because he had no material or Bibles to help disciple his new converts.
Missions is more than leading people to Christ. It is also providing new converts with a way to learn more about Jesus Christ. It is also providing a way for them to be able to lead others to Christ and disciple their converts. The end result is to plant a church for those people.
Would you continue to pray with me that more people would be willing to go to other countries and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Would you also pray with me as new converts who are excited about sharing the Gospel with their loved ones and others would have an opportunity to at least have the book of Romans with the plan of salvation marked in it, and also have a way to disciples their new converts. Pray that a church will be organized to where they will have their own pastor and a place to worship the Lord.
The mission trip was a great success, and there were over 500 people saved and many thousands of the book of Romans given out, but as you can see, there was so much more that needed to be done.
Dr. Steve Heidenreich