By Leo Waldrop
My wife, Margaret, and I were missionaries to the island of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, for 15 years.
One of the ministries we had was to young professionals on the island. There was a young man by the name of Matthew from India. Why was his name not Vishnu or Rajah? Because he had been reared in a Christian family in India.
When he joined our group he gave his testimony. His church had historical ties to what is known in missionary history as “Thomason” churches, those that had been established by the disciple Thomas, who had been with Jesus. In a southern city in India, there is a stone monument to Thomas, who took the commissioning of Jesus seriously!
Is the country of Guyana in South America included in that plan God has to draw all men unto Himself? Around 1880 a group of Chinese laborers boarded a ship in southeast China bound for British Guiana (now known as Guyana).
Run your historical clock ahead to 1962. Otis and Martha Brady were Southern Baptist missionaries in the Bahama Islands. They were asked by the International Mission Board to begin ministry in Guyana, South America.
The Bradys applied to the immigration office for work visas and were told that Guyana was not accepting any more new religious organizations into their country.
The Bradys had prayed so fervently to stay and felt strongly that God would have them stay there. They were told to leave, but before they actually left, they engaged a lawyer to study the historical records of the immigration department. He found a fantastic piece of information.
Chinese laborers who came to Guyana to work in the plantations had answered the question on their visa application, “What is your religion?” with the term “Southern Baptists.” Apparently, they had been saved under the ministry of Lottie Moon or some of her colleagues in China.
Upon that answer to one question the Bradys were allowed to stay.
Today there are more than 70 churches plus a number of preaching points throughout Guyana. Did God plan to include Guyana in His total plan of redemption?
Does God include Shelby County, Alabama, in His plan of redemption? Perhaps you help with the local Christmas program, food pantry or thrift store. … Money derived from the sale of items in the Shelby Baptist Association’s Earthly Treasures Thrift Store is used in a variety of ministries such as sending clothes, shoes and books to Africa.
A lady from one of our churches was on a missions trip to Africa when a bundle of clothing was opened. She said one bundle provided clothes for 90 families in one village. God can use people and resources in Shelby County to aid in God’s plan to redeem the world unto Himself.
God would like to use you to redeem the world to Himself. He asks you first to make a commitment to be on His missionary team. Then He wants you to be “on call” when He is ready for you to serve.
Will you respond to God’s plea today?
EDITOR’S NOTE — Leo Waldrop served six years with the North American Mission Board and 28 years with the International Mission Board. He is a retired adjunct missions professor and lives in Shelby County. He is co-author of “His Way Mine: Missionary Memoirs.”