One of the great missionary churches in America is Windsor Hills Baptist Church pastored by Jim Vineyard in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After President Reagan realized his dream of destroying the wall around Russia, Brother Vineyard became very instrumental in helping get the gospel to those nations who had been under Communist rule for over 70 years. One of the things that he did was to start publishing a newspaper entitled 'Russian Fundamental Baptist Mission, Inc.' The following article was copied from the April 1996 issue. This story made an indelible impression upon my heart. I hope that it will stir you just as it did me. The article was entitled:
"He saw...among the dead...A small hand waving"
The following is a reprint of that article.
"It was in the African nation of Zaire that Lieutenant Da Silva stood as the corpses of the Rwandan refugees were being pushed into the mass grave. This grizzled veteran of twenty-two years with the French Foreign Legion, who had served in trouble spots from Guyana to Polynesia, had never seen such suffering and misery as in this Rwandan refugee camp in Goma, Zaire. The death rate was so high that they would dig large mass graves and use fifteen ton bulldozers to push the bodies in. With thousands dying every day the critical task of the Legion was shifted to "public works," to prevent the spread of disease. The stench was so bad that the men wore masks drenched in aftershave to try to avoid the smell, but nothing cut the sorrow.
Lieutenant Da Silva, in June of 1994, when the Sixth Regiment was posted to the camp of a million refugees, kept reciting Rule number six from the Legionnaire's Code of honor: "Your mission is sacred. You will execute it fully, and at all costs."
While watching over the duty of burying these thousands of bodies, he saw among the mangle of bodies a small hand waving. Hollering to the dozer operator to stop, they walked among the sea of corpses to find a small boy whose almost lifeless body was entangled among the dead. The Legionnaire's removed him and took him to a makeshift hospital for treatment. Though he was under proper treatment, it did not seem to revive his spirit to live. One day the nurse suggested that Lieutenant Da Silva give him a ride in his jeep. Amazingly, the ride and the excitement of riding in a jeep revived him. The young refugee told the story of how his parents were killed as they fled Rwanda, and during the confusion, he lost sight of his four brothers and little sister.
Lieutenant Da Silva was so moved by the experience that he and his wife adopted the young boy, and now he is under their care. "As our son, he is going to have the same advantages our other boys did."
All over this world there are little arms waving with just a little life in them, hoping that someone, anyone, would see them and help before they are buried with the rest of the dead. Lord, help us to realize that "our mission is sacred. We should execute it at all cost."
There are "small hands" waving all around the world. There is not a country in the world that has too many voices spreading the Gospel. There are little hands waving in India. There are little hands waving in the Philippines. There are little hands waving in New York City. There are little hands waving in China, in Russia, in Japan, in - I could go on and on. Who will go and take the message to them? Isaiah said,
Isaiah 6:8, Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Our Pastor, Brother James Carroll, reminded us recently that we should be senders or sendees. Acts 13:1-3 We live in a world of over 6.3 billion people and most of them will never have the opportunity to hear the wonderful Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever considered going? We must have more young people surrender to the call of our Lord to take the message to this world. Have you ever considered giving so that others could go with the words of life? We must give, or go, or answer to God for our apathy. Will you not ask God what He would have you to do concerning the great need?
Jesus said in John 4:35 - "...Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already unto harvest."
It is interesting that Jesus told His disciples to "lift up your eyes…" This speaks to me of the need to get our eyes off of the mundane things of this world and our own circumstances to see what Jesus considers to be a priority. We get so caught up in our own little world that we forget the "fields" that are "white unto harvest." I believe that if we will be obedient unto Jesus in this matter of lifting up our eyes we will have to say with Jeremiah in:
Lamentations 3:51a - "Mine eye affecteth mine heart..."
What does your heart tell in this matter? Couldn't you sacrifice a little of your material goods and give to these dear missionaries so that they could get to the field to which God has called them? Some Christians spend more money on cable TV than they give to the missionary program of their local church. Some Christians spend more money on dog food than they give to their church's missionary outreach. God have mercy on our selfish, self-centered hearts!
Not only must we stop being so selfish and lift up our heads, but Jesus insisted that His disciples must catch a glimpse of the great need of the world by "looking on the fields…"
Can you see the "small hands waving"? There are over 1.2 BILLION Chinese souls in China alone, and most are without the life-giving message of the precious word of God. What about the multiplied millions in the former Soviet Union? What about your neighbor? What about Colorado Springs?
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
The etymology of this word "vision" in this verse means open communication from God. It is one of the ways that God describes His word. 1 Samuel 3:1; Isaiah 1:1; Jeremiah 14:14 and several other verses throughout the Bible are places where it is very clear that God is speaking of His word when He uses this particular word.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. and
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
It is clear that people without the word of God will perish. Through our Faith Promise Mission's program we have the opportunity to get God's word out to the "fields that are white unto harvest…"
What will you do to reach "the small hands waving?"
Old Paths Baptist Ministry