Items For Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
It is exciting to think with you about the marvelous ways God is working throughout the world, and about the privilege we have of being workers together with Him. We may feel the least worker, having the least abilities and opportunities, but God has a place for each of us today. Time is short! He is proving Himself a God of action, moving with certainty to fulfil His purposes. He may wait long to act according to our thinking, but when His time comes, His workings are irresistible and oftentimes wondrous to behold.
When God chooses to throw open doors of mercy, even highest earthly authorities cannot hold them closed. He will "break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron'' (Isa. 45:2) if necessary. When He chooses to flood with Gospel light, darkness must give way. Who can stop the rising sun?
The Power of God's Word
The wonder-working power of God and His Word is brought home through a testimony that came to the Herald office in World Messianic Fellowship, Inc. publication. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Ross were running a Messianic mission on Second Avenue in the area called the Lower East Side in New York City in the early 1960's. What had once been a respectable business district was now a hangout for hippies, beatniks, Hell's Angels and people who slept in doorways and asked money for drinks.
The block where the mission was located was the bright spot of the area. The music store next door played classical music over loudspeakers and the mission played Scriptures and Messianic hymns over sidewalk speakers. Both adjusted volume so they did not interfere with one another. In the mission window were kept attractive displays lit up 24 hours a day showing the Old Testament Scripture with an explanation of how those Scriptures pointed to the New Testament revelation of Jesus Christ. The line of people at the theater on the other side of the mission was well exposed to this display.
Across the street were some Hare Krishnas with long robes, and shaved heads. They played their bongos and danced in the street. In 1978 one of the men came from across the street to the mission. He stood outside for a while, a strange sight, with his six foot three frame wrapped in the long, saffron-colored Hare Krishna robe, his head shaved bare except for a few long hairs pinned up with a pink ribbon, and a pair of old scuffed combat boots on his feet.
Finally, he rang the doorbell and asked for some food. Mrs. Ross invited him in and served him a plateful.
"You're a very…peculiar people over here," he said.
All Mrs. Ross did was to take him to a mirror and say, "Look at yourself. I am trying to understand you. Why are you dressed like this?"
The man ate hungrily and quickly left.
Several years later when the Jews had left this area, the mission was closed here and the work continued on Long Island. In 1984 the Rosses went to Washington, D.C., to attend a convention. While there, they visited a Messianic congregation's home fellowship. Since some in the congregation were acquainted with their New York ministry, the Rosses were asked to share something about their Second Avenue mission.
At that time a tall, dignified looking man arrived, accompanied by a number of children. He apologized for his late arrival and explained that he had been teaching a Bible class.
Mrs. Ross proceeded to tell the group how they broadcast Scripture over the sidewalk speakers and how one day a Hare Krishna man came in to ask for food. The tall man who had arrived late jumped up and shouted, "That was me! That was me! I was the Hare Krishna!"
When the excitement and rejoicing at this pronouncement had died down, the man was asked how he came to change from the eccentric lifestyle and beliefs of a Hare Krishna to a Christian Bible teacher. He told how the Scriptures he heard over the loudspeaker aroused his curiosity and along with his vision in the mission mirror, finally made him stop and think who he was and what he was doing in life. He came closer and closer to the Lord until he was saved.
Mr. Ross read Isaiah 55:11, "So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Things impossible with men are possible with God. Let us spread God's Word far and wide! Even though we often do not see the end result of our labors, we can work with joy and faith in the assurance that we give the precious, eternal Word of Life, and there will be some good soil where it will bring forth fruit.