Wednesday, June 1, 2016
We are getting a lot of reports these days about great entertaining lives. Many of us are sharing stories of vacations, trips, estate sale finds, supermarket sale shopping, and the accomplishments of each and every one in our families. These are wonderful. These are exciting. These are a great joy to experience and to read about.
But let us not forget the Missionary letters.
These are the monthly reports from those doing the Lord's work all over the world. The letters inspire us, educate us, and move us to prayer and action!
We mothers can compose our own type of missionary letters, based on our lives in the home and in our own communities! We can share reports of the spiritual growth we see around us and share what we are doing to teach and inspire godliness in this corrupt world.
I once heard a young minister speak in a small country church. He and his family had been overseas many times and were getting ready to spend several years doing the Lord's work on the mission field. He briefly explained what they were doing. They would be living their normal life, and raising a family in the middle of the work they were called to do, among those who needed them. Missionaries are trained in a certain type of work - be it medical, construction, language translation, etc. They take this specific trade to the mission field and do the Lord's work while living their daily lives. Could we also do something similar right where we are?
There used to be formations of societies with names such as: "Junior Missionary Society" (for the young); "Christian Endeavor Society;" "The Ladies Missionary Society" and more. These were little social clubs often formed in homes and churches. This was where people gathered together for prayer and to share needs in their neighborhoods, working together to meet those needs. It was like a society of blessings, for the work they did warmed and blessed their hearts, as it helped and blessed the recipients.
I recently read a report from 1949 in Michigan out of the book, "Bringing in the Sheaves." The report was called "God Is My Landlord" and was written by William Engle. It is about Perry Hayden who was inspired by the Bible verse, John 12:24,
" Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
He, along with some others, set out on a 6 year project to plant wheat and to tithe the crop each year. This attracted the attention of thousands as they watched him succeed year after year. It even attracted the attention of Henry Ford who helped in some of the harvesting. Each year, a tithe was taken out of the crop and given to churches. Each year the blessing increased and brought forth a very clear message about tithing. It was an incredible work!
But, you may say, what can we housewives do? Many of us are busy homeschooling, taking care of babies, and busy with household duties. What kind of work can we do for the Lord? It is simple. We can teach the children to say their prayers. We can be like a 24 hour- a- day Sunday School teacher as we teach and guide our children through the years. We can visibly take out our own tithe and pray over it with the children, and let them take turns putting it into the offering basket. We can take the time to do Bible studies and prayer meetings with ourselves and those in our own homes. We can turn our houses into work houses for the cause of the Lord!
What might our humble Missionary Letters look like? Perhaps it will say that, this month, Joey memorized the ten commandments. Perhaps it will say that a certain sum was earned by the family as a special offering and given to the church building fund. Perhaps it will say there is growth happening in the neighborhood, in your church, and what is going on with the work of your own lighthouses of holiness. Perhaps, dear Mothers and Housewives, your Missionary Letters will be a documented account of how you and your family did the Lord's work with all of your hearts, strengths and minds!
You might decide to only share your letters with your own family. You might share them with others. Or you might put them aside and look back over them to keep up your courage and inspire you to go on with the work, though it is often hard.
Those Missionary letters of the good work you are all doing will bring a light of cheerfulness to your eyes. They will warm you heart. They will make you want to try harder each and every month, year after year, to cherish your work for the Lord for as long as the vapor of our days will last.
From the Archives -
Remembering - The Blessing of Being a Half-Southern Mama.
In Case You Wondered - The Secret to a Clean House.
Reality of Life - Living in Reduced Circumstances.
Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."
An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.