This morning, I stumbled upon an article on Facebook, about a missionary couple in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. William and Clara Leslie spent 17 years laboring among the Yansi people, as well as other local villages, in the Vanga region, only to return home discouraged and downtrodden. The American Baptist Missionary Union couple had seen very little fruit for all their years of labor. The beautiful part of the story, however, is that 100 years on, there are thriving churches all throughout the area, with hundreds of believers, a medical missionary hospital, and a legacy of many others who have lived and ministered to the people of that area for decades!
Even though Dr. Leslie & Clara returned to the U.S., thinking they had done very little, today many of the people who live in that jungle area, know and serve the Lord!! Many of the comments on the article, were from people who were born at Vanga hospital, whose parents were missionaries there over the years, or who, themselves, served the people of the area. The legacy is quite amazing. (If you are interested in the story, google Dr. William Leslie & Vanga mission).
When I finished reading the story, I was encouraged to share it with you, because, like Dr. Leslie & his wife, Clara, many of us who are serving the Lord, get discouraged. We labor on and on for years, often seeing very little fruit. There are moments where we wonder, “Is it really worth it?” “Can I keep going on?” In all honesty, we’ve had those thoughts. But reading the story of Dr. Leslie, and how the Lord truly used the work he and Clara did, brought real encouragement to my heart. It just so happens, that I’m also reading in Hebrews, about the “great cloud of witnesses“. I am reminded that there are many who have gone before us, who did not see the promise of their faithfulness either. They had to wait to get to Heaven before they saw THE Promise! But they continued on, not giving up. Many have been persecuted & have died for their faith. In many parts of the world, just owning up to being a Christian, is cause for a death sentence. And yet, regardless of where we live, there are just days where it’s not easy to stand strong in the Lord. Especially when we feel like we are groping about in the dark.
And so, in reading a story about a man & woman who did their best for many years, but maybe never even knew the outcome, I’m encouraged to go on, standing for the Lord Jesus, in all that He has called us to do. I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Be strong in who the Lord has made you to be & keep going!! Don’t give up!! Even if you don’t see fruit, the Lord is using you. And as a side-note, maybe send a word of encouragement to a few missionaries you know! You’d be surprised at how it can uplift someone who may be in great need of hopeful words. It might make the difference between a very dark day, and a day full of joy & encouragement.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of faith, Who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, & has sat down at the right hand of the throne of GOD.” Hebrews. 12:1-2
Thanks for standing with us, as we labor in the harvest fields! You are a part of our team!
GOD bless you!! Love Wayne & Carol
p.s. Border Update: We still wait for our normal operations to resume. We are allowed to bring food across but it is still being handled as cargo verses donations. Thus, we are paying full tariff fees for importing “cargo”. It has been a daunting, and expensive process, but God has been faithful and provided all along the way, including the provision for getting Greg’s truck back and all infraction fees paid in full! Gracias a Dios!