In this mission insert we will take a closer look at the Reformed churches in the mountains of Cubulco, Guatemala. Pastor Everts gives us some idea of life among the Achi people and the impact of the gospel. Radio Pastor Overduin provides an overview of the Banner of Truth radio ministry, and our treasurer Pete Luth gives us his report of income and expenses for the year 2002. It is because of your faithful giving that we may continue this work.
The reason for having a special Mission insert is to give you information about the mission work in Cubulco and bring it a little closer to us. Many of us are not as acquainted with the details of the work as we would like to be or could be. It all seems so far away and we don't know these people. What motivates us to support mission work? In the following quotation taken from the book Let the Nations be Glad, we may find some answers as we read about motivation in regard to "love for the lost" and "the glory of God." Compassion for the lost is a high and beautiful motive for missionary labour. Without it we lose the sweet humility of sharing a treasure we have freely received. But compassion for people must not be detached from passion for the glory of God. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have a love for the lost? Many believers search their hearts in condemnation, looking for the arrival of some feeling of benevolence that will propel them into bold evangelism. It will never happen. It is impossible to love "the lost." You can't feel deeply for an abstraction or a concept. You would find it impossible to love deeply an unfamiliar individual portrayed in a photograph, let alone a nation or a race or something as vague as "all lost people." Don't wait for a feeling of love in order to share Christ with a stranger. You already love your heavenly Father, and you know that this stranger is created by Him, but separated from Him, so take these first steps in evangelism because you love God. It is not primarily out of love for humanity that we share our faith or pray for the lost, it is first of all love for God. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:7,8: "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free." Humanity does not deserve the love of God any more than you or I do. We should never be Christian humanists, taking Jesus to poor sinful people, reducing Jesus to some kind of product that will better their lot. People deserve to be damned, but Jesus, the suffering Lamb of God, deserves the reward of his suffering, for He shall see his seed; he shall see the travail of his soul.David Brainerd, the missionary to the Indians in New Jersey in the 1740s was sustained by this confidence to his death at age 29. Seven days before he died in 1747 he spoke of his longing for the glory of God in the world. These are the last words he had the strength to write with his own hand: ÒFriday, October 2. My soul was this day, at turns, sweetly set on God: I longed to be "with Him" that I might "behold His glory." Oh, that His kingdom might come in the world; that they may all love and glorify Him for what He is in Himself; and that the blessed Redeemer might "see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied." Oh, "come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen."
Much more can be said about this topic, but let us as churches continue with our mission work, having in view JesusÕ suffering and God's glory.