Missions Sermon Illustrations

Missions Sermon Illustrations

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Fruit Out of Failure

A missionary in Urfa, Mesopotamia, labored thirteen years before he baptized a single convert. Everything was discouraging, even hopeless, to human appearance. Then came an epidemic of cholera. People fled in panic, deserting the sick and the dying. The missionary, forgetful of self, waited upon the sufferers, tenderly and tirelessly. The living and the dying blessed his name. Worn and weary he at last himself fell a victim to the disease. All the survivors carried his body reverently and sorrowfully to a little grove outside the city walls. It now seemed that the work of the missionary was at an end. A successor was appointed, however, and he was met nine miles away by a large company and conducted to Urfa with honors. Large numbers turned to Christ, and a substantial house of worship was built and dedicated to the memory of "The man who died for us." The "corn of wheat" had fallen into the ground, and precious was the harvest.—Baptist Teacher.

In Clover

"Foreign missionaries are the biggest humbug on earth," was the sneering remark made by a business man to his pastor. "The missionary lives knee-deep in clover." This statement was repeated to a missionary at home on furlough after his first eight years of service in the interior of China. "I wish that man could see our clover," he replied. "I should like to take him with me on one of our itinerating trips. I should like to have him for a companion just one night at a Chinese wayside inn. I would have him sleep with me on the filthy excuse for a bed, and with me fight the vermin which abound there." Then, as if fearful that his words might be interpreted as a complaint, he added, with flashing eye: "But how I wish I could go back to it all tomorrow! Did your friend say knee-deep in clover? He was wrong! The missionary is soul-deep in clover, for God is with him, and his soul is so full of peace that he understands the message of Paul to the Colossians, 'Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake.' Yes, I wish I could go back tomorrow."—Forward.

Fully Following

A lad was hurrying along a London street to meet another boy for a Sunday evening on the street. On his way he met the wife of the master who was teaching him a trade. "Where are you going?" she asked. When he told her she said, "That would be a wrong way to spend the sabbath. Come to chapel with me." The lad went. The minister talked about these words of Jesus, "What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" It came like a loud knock to the heart of the lad. He opened and let the Saviour into his life. Jesus led him to go to the South Sea Islands with the Good News. He lost his earthly life there, fully following Jesus, but Williams the brave missionary gained eternal life.—Gospel Herald.

The Same Thing That Christ Did

One of our Bible women, a young widow, has been very eager to lead her father to Christ. He has been bitterly anti-Christian. She visited him and told him of the air raids and dangers at one of our cities. He remarked, "I suppose the missionary has fled to a safer place." "Oh, no," said his daughter, "the missionary with some Chinese Christians is down by the railroad station, the most dangerous spot in the city, giving out tea and hot water to our thirsty soldiers as they go to the front." "Why," said he, "they must be doing the same sort of thing that Jesus Christ did when He was on earth." To think that any pagan could see in anything that you or I do something to remind him of the living Christ! Could you ask for a greater reward than that?—Christian Observer.

Protected in China

It was a tragic night in a Chinese city. The bandits had come, and dangers surrounded the mission compound which sheltered some hundreds of women and children. On the previous night the missionary, Miss Monsen, had been laid low with a very bad attack of malaria, and now the tempter harassed her with questions such as these: "What will you do when the looters come here? When firing begins on this compound, what about those promises you have been trusting?" Miss Monsen turned to the great Conqueror of the hosts of darkness, and prayed, "Lord, I have been teaching these people all these years that Thy promises are true, and if they fail now, my mouth shall be forever closed; I must go home." All that next night she was up among the frightened refugees, encouraging them to pray and trust God to deliver them. Awful things were happening all around, but the mission compound was untouched! In the morning people from three different neighboring families asked, "Who were those four people, three sitting and one standing, quietly watching from the top of your house all night long?" When told that no one was on the housetop, they refused to believe it, saying, "We saw them with our own eyes!" They were told that God still has His angel guardians to protect His children in their hour of need, and greatest danger.—Life and Light Evangel

Judson the Missionary

Adoniram Judson, one of the first missionaries in Burma, never for a moment faltered in his purpose. The prospects, he said, were "as bright as the promises of God." He was willing to wait seven years for his first convert, and when friends at home grew impatient, he wrote, "Give us twenty-five or thirty Sears more, and then inquire again." He lived to baptize many scores of Burmese; to know of thousands of converts throughout the country; to translate the whole Bible into Burmese, and then, as he sought a little rest and some relief from his sufferings, he fell asleep on the open sea, and rests beneath the waters that cast their spray against the rocky coast of his boyhood home in New England and lave the tropical shores of Burma.—H. B. M., in The Y. C. Companion.

In a Witch Doctor's House

The town of Andravola in Madagascar had been for generations the home of evil and superstition. In heathen prayer, the ancestors and spirits of Andravola were called upon for help in time of need. A hard place, its spiritual bars were iron, and its gates brass. But God had His own plan. A soundly converted Negro was appointed as pastor to a neighboring town. He was a true shepherd of souls, and started in to visit. Then came Raza! A young Malagasi bride, who trilled Christian hymns from morning until night. Women and girls began at length to pick them up, and gradually but surely the opposition of years gave way. They consented to "the praying." They must now have a leader; and per­force they chose the only man in their town who could read—the witch doctor! He must therefore read the Bible at public worship, explain the teaching, and lead in prayer! That was August, 1928. His house was full of charms and aids to sorcery —"heaps and heaps of them." But the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. In June, 1930, all the unholy arts had gone, the inner wall was down, the place cleaned and whitewashed. The one-time witch doctor had given his house to be a sanctuary for the worship of the Lord.World Dominion Quarterly.

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