In the early 1960s, we lived in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, and we attended a small Baptist church. One Sunday, we had a guest speaker from England. He and his wife had come to the area through the Wycliffe Bible Translators, and they were going to live among a group of native people to learn their language and to translate the book of Mark.
He told us that he had been plodding along at some job or other, and he was not happy. Somehow, he heard about the plight of many people who had no Bibles and the shortage of people to go to these places. He then told us that he had read this verse from Isaiah 6, and it spoke to his heart:
Isaiah 6:8 – Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." (NKJV)
But we can't all be translators of the Bible, and we can't all be ministers of the gospel in the literal sense of the word, but there are so many other things which need to be done to keep our churches going. On Sunday, January 6th, there was an announcement in our order of service which said the following:
- VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. A calendar has been posted on the bulletin board to sign up for the days that you can commit to shovel the church entrances. Also check other areas of need: offering counters, Scripture readers, greeters, and coffee hour hosts.
There are people who serve on boards and committees, who sing in the choir, and preach sermons, and pay the bills, and do the accounting, who do repairs, and maintain the facilities. And there are those who type the bulletins, and play the organ, and teach Sunday School, and take up the collection, and cut grass, and shovel snow, and welcome people, and clean flower beds, and organize potluck suppers, and clean the kitchen, and the list goes on and on. And to some extent, we all heard the (paraphrased) question: "Whom shall I send, and who will do this?" And we all said, "Here am I! I'll do that."
And those of us who cannot physically do the things which need to be done can pray for the work of the Church.
One day there was a bookmark in a library book with a poem on it by Sandra Goodwin, called Traveling on my Knees.
- Last night I took a journey to a land across the seas.
I did not go by boat or plane, I traveled on my knees.
I saw so many people there in deepest depths of sin,
But Jesus told me I should go, that there were souls to win.
But I said, "Lord, I cannot go and work with such as these."
He answered quickly, "Yes you can, by traveling on your knees."
He said, "You pray, I'll meet the need. You call and I will hear.
Be concerned about lost souls, of those both far and near.
And so I tried it, knelt in prayer, gave up some hours of ease.
I felt the Lord right by my side, while traveling on my knees.
As I prayed on, I saw souls saved and twisted bodies healed,
I saw God's workers' strength renewed, while labouring in the field.
I said, "Yes, Lord, I have a job, my desire: Thy will to please.
I can go and heed Thy call, by traveling on my knees.
Prayer: Father in heaven, we know that there is so much work to be done to bring the good news to all people, and we pray that You will give us the strength and the ability to do Your work. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.