We thrill at the reports that are coming from Russia, Latvia,
the Ukraine, and many of the Eastern, European countries - accounts
of thousands who have obeyed the Gospel. "Truth for the World"
has several television stations carrying the Gospel to the Russian
people. We need more workers to go to Eastern Europe and to the
former Soviet Union to preach the Gospel of Christ.
It is relatively inexpensive to go to Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union. This will change in the future, but now the U.S.
dollar goes a long way.
Asia Is More Expensive
It is much more expensive to do mission work in Asia. One reason
for this is the distance. There are some places in Asia where
it is not so expensive, but compared to Eastern Europe and the
former Soviet Union, mission work in Asia is more expensive.
When you consider the number of those who obey the Gospel in Asia
compared to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, again,
there is a big difference. Right now, in some places in Russia,
there are hundreds obeying the Gospel each year. Working among
Asians is a much slower, harder process.
"The Gospel Is for All"
Brother J.M. McCaleb wrote "Where sin has gone, must go his
grace, the Gospel is for all." Jesus said,
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo,
I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matt. 28:19-20).
This "great commission" includes all people. We cannot
"write off" Asia simply because it is hard and costly.
Sixty percent of the world's people are in Asia.
What About the Japanese?
There are approximately 135 million people in Japan, but it is
a costly place to work. Tokyo and Osaka are two of the three most
expensive cities in the world in which to live. Also, it is very
difficult to reach the Japanese people with the Gospel of Christ.
Shall we forget the Japanese? Shall we say, "We do not get
enough value for our money in working among the Japanese people,
so we will not even consider trying to send workers to that field"?
Go into all the world, except Japan?
What About the Chinese?
I worked as a missionary in Taiwan for 10 years. During that time,
the cost of living more than doubled. It costs $12 for a gallon
of milk; gasoline is close to $3 a gallon; an apartment is about
$2,000 a month.
Helping the Chinese people in Taiwan to become faithful Christians
is a difficult task. Many Chinese will not listen to the Gospel
message. There is a small group that will listen but will not
obey; there is a smaller group who will obey the Gospel. Many
of those who obey the Gospel do not remain faithful.
Are we just going to forget about the 20 million Chinese in Taiwan
and the 1.2 billion people in mainland China because it is not
cost effective? Is that what Jesus said? "Go ye into all
the world, and preach the Gospel" where it is cost effective.
What About Other Places in Asia?
There is a need for faithful workers to go to Thailand, Indonesia,
India, and Pakistan. Are we going to forget about them just because
they are thousands of miles away from America and in hard places
Needed: Churches to Send Men
The method the Lord's church has used for years in sending men
to the mission field is for a man to pick a place, find a church
to receive his funds, then spend several months trying to locate
congregations to support him. This is not the best way to get
men into the mission field. We need churches who are seeking men
to send to foreign lands to preach the Gospel. This is a better
way for getting the job done.
The need to carry the Gospel to the world is great. Congregations
must be willing to send good men. May the Lord help us to do all
we can to fulfill our solemn obligation to the Lord.