Letter from Cody: Baptism – December 2011
This year, we were very thankful for the harvest of berries that we received. Every year we plant a small vegetable garden, and we do our best, but struggle with a late arriving and early ending summer. Our fruit trees, planted several years ago, have yielded almost no fruit. This year, though, our berries were different. They have finally gotten established enough that we were able to enjoy berries for most of the summer and into the fall. We never tired of our freshly picked blueberries, raspberries and a few strawberries. Enjoying those juicy berries made us forget the hours of digging, picking out rocks, mulching, etc.—fruit makes everything worthwhile. So it is in our spiritual labors. Often times we labor, seeing few results, but we must not become discouraged, for Jesus had the same experience. But what a blessing it is when the Lord reveals results from our labors. Paul wrote to several churches desiring to see fruit from His labors. “That I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.” “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” Romans 1:13; Philippians 4:17. In both gardening and soul winning, how true it is that “neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:7. While we are nothing and our labors are futility, how good our God is to use our feeble efforts to bring forth a harvest! May we be doing all we can now to bear fruit for the Master!
We are very thankful for the Lord’s blessing these past few months in seeing souls make decisions for the Master, thus having fruit to offer before His throne. The Lord blessed this fall’s evangelistic series, and we actually are still continuing with follow-up meetings which are proving a blessing, as well. Near the end of the evangelistic meetings, three individuals, who had previously been preparing for baptism, sealed their commitment to the Lord Jesus through baptism. Their experiences were varied—from still in school to retired, from being raised in a Seventh-day Adventist home to recently coming out of another church—but one thing was the same. Each one was making a total commitment to follow Jesus and His Word no matter the consequences or cost. Some were taking a step of faith, trusting that the Lord would provide; others were publicly recommitting their lives to Christ. Then there are others who attended the recent evangelistic meetings and are coming to the follow-up meetings who have made firm decisions for the Lord and are now preparing for the important step of baptism. One lady had just moved into a new apartment complex when she received not one, but two, invitations to the seminar because, as she said, the Lord really wanted her to come! She is so thankful that she moved into the area where the seminar was being held and that it has met the need of her soul. Others have expressed that they are very amazed at the truths they are learning which they never knew from the Bible before. Still others want to be baptized and are continuing to explore the precious truths that we hold so dear. Praise the Lord for the joy of seeing fruit! It is not just here at home that we can see the Lord abundantly blessing; it is around the world. Entire villages are taking a stand for the last warning message in Congo. In Togo, hundreds are hearing the message of present truth proclaimed through regular public evangelistic efforts and choosing to follow our Lord. In the Philippines, as the workers share the message through various avenues, decisions are being made and baptisms are regularly taking place. Praise the Lord that He “gives the increase!” We ask for your continued prayers and support that an even larger work may be done and thus more fruit ripened for the Master’s harvest.
Yours in the expectation of an abundant harvest,
PS – We have uploaded a new “Mission Snapshots” feature to our website (www.missionspro.org), Facebook and Youtube accounts. Go online to see a brief ten minute video featuring two dedicated workers in the Congo!