Letter from Cody: Oregon – April 2011
I am always so thankful when spring arrives, when the fresh, living green begins to break forth, when the flowers begin to bloom, when the songs of the birds fill the air—all reminding us of the new life breaking forth from the earth and the new life that the Lord wants to give to each of us. Not only does the Lord desire for us to be born again with that new life from above, but He also calls us to go out and work for others that they also may experience the new life of heaven. The Lord bids us to share His life-giving message with all who will listen, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23. Not only should we go to the vast population centers, but we must go to the out-of-the-way places, as well. “In our planning for the extension of the work, far more than the cities alone must be comprehended. In out-of-the-way places are many, many families that need to be looked after in order to learn whether they understand the work that Jesus is doing for His people.” Evangelism, 45. Be there many or few, we have a work to do to share the message of mercy with others, and we have the special promise that those in the more rural areas will be even more receptive to the gospel than those in the dense cities of this world. “The people who live in the country places are often more easily reached than are those who dwell in the thickly populated cities. Here among the scenes of nature Christian character is more easily formed than amid the wickedness of city life. When the truth takes hold of the hearts of the simplehearted, and the Spirit of God works upon their minds, leading them to respond to the proclamation of the Word, there will be some raised up to help support the cause of God both by their means and their labors.” Evangelism, 46.
For the past several weeks, we have been laboring in one of those out-of-the-way places that need our prayers and labors. We have been holding evangelistic meetings in Mt. Vernon, Oregon, nestled in the John Day River valley, with mountains rising all around. While it is not a large population area, the Lord has blessed as we have sought to share God’s last warning message with the inhabitants. Before the meetings began, the entire county was blanketed with invitations, announcements were aired on the one local radio station, advertisements were placed in the local newspaper and an introductory set of meetings focusing on practical godliness was held. In addition to this, once we arrived, our Bible worker intern, Noah Hill, has been knocking on all the doors within the towns to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to know and accept this message. One of the highlights has been to see many of the people who came to meetings that were held here last year. Some have gone completely through a set of Bible studies and almost never missed a Sabbath service or any other meeting. Others have stepped out in faith and closed their businesses on the Sabbath, even though they could not see how it was possible, and the Lord has blessed even more than before! Others are still studying and struggling with the issues. Then there are those who have just started coming from this series and are eagerly grasping the truths the Word of God. While there may not be large numbers in this rural area, there are hungry souls longing for the bread of life. Tonight will be the last night of the seminar, and we pray that those who have been coming will continue coming on Sabbaths and take their stand for the last warning message of mercy. May we be faithful to the Lord wherever we are and in whatever circumstance we find ourselves. Let us not neglect the small opportunities around us, waiting to do some bigger thing. Every day, wherever we are, God is calling us to labor for Him. May we heed the command to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23.
Your brother in the harvest-field,