By David Johnson, AZSBC executive director –
As the truck pulled up to the remote mountain village in a small country in Southeast Asia, a little man ran up to the window and grabbed the arm of the pastor who was driving. “Please come to my house right way!” the man said. “I want you to tell me about Jesus!” This was not the typical offer of hospitality common to the culture. It was a cry of desperation.
A few weeks earlier, the pastor and a group from his church in the city came to the village with an IMB missionary from Arizona. They brought blankets, provided by Zona Youth Camp, to give out to families at Christmas time. The blankets were a welcome gift in that high elevation community that experiences cold weather in the winter. They shared that these blankets were given to show the love of Jesus for the people there. That was what prompted Mr. Woo* to make his plea to the pastor and the missionary when they returned.
The two men went to Mr. Woo’s house and shared the gospel with him. Then, they took him with them as they shared with others in the village. Later that evening, Mr. Woo received Jesus as his Savior and professed his faith in Christ. Mr. Woo did not have a Bible and could not read even if he did. Further, there was no church in the village to help him in his new faith. So, the pastor and the missionary taught him how to pray and had a small worship service together before they left. They told him they would be back in a couple of weeks to teach him more, and they left rejoicing that Mr. Woo had become a believer.
When the pastor and the missionary returned just two weeks later, they discovered that Mr. Woo had died. He was able to hear the gospel just in time for him to come to know Jesus and be saved. Now, he can spend eternity with Christ and those who have been saved across the ages and around the world.
You have a part in that story because of the Cooperative Program. When you give to your local church and your church gives to the Cooperative Program, you help send missionaries to people like Mr. Woo who are desperate and waiting to hear the message of Jesus. Mr. Woo is just one example of the urgency of getting the gospel to unreached people and places all over the planet. Through the Cooperative Program, you make it possible for almost 4,000 missionaries working in over 100 countries to do just that. It’s not just a mission fund we should support, it is an urgent mission that must be accomplished. It made an eternal difference for Mr. Woo!