Past and Future
The other day I was in the volunteer area at Truth For The World, and I happened upon an old copy of the Bible Correspondence Course grading key. It was worn and tattered through much use, but the thing that caught my eye was the name written on the front: "Mary P. Jones."
I still remember the first time I met Miss Mary. I was just visiting Duluth at the time, and she called me "that boy from Texas," maybe because she couldn't remember my name. Old age may have taken a lot from her, but she could still tell big stories from the past! But most impressively, she was at worship every chance that she got, to worship God and encourage her Christian family with her sweet disposition.
Miss Mary passed away far too soon, but I was fortunate to know her for a little while. I later found out that while she was still able, she was a very dedicated volunteer at Truth For The World. She spent many hours here grading Bible Correspondence Courses and helping in other ways, and I'm sure many souls were added to God's kingdom as a result of her efforts! Even now that she's passed away, her legacy goes on, as her generous financial contributions continue to help the work today.
A lot has changed at Truth For The World in recent years, especially in regard to our focus on electronic delivery and Internet evangelism. But it's things like this that remind me that I'm walking in the footsteps of those who were involved in this work in the past. I'm reminded of those Christians who, 22 years ago, had a vision and made it a reality as they began the work called Truth For The World. I'm reminded of those who had the foresight to plan and sacrifice so that the nice building we work in now could be built. And I'm reminded of all the countless volunteers and contributors over the years who have believed in Truth For The World and made sure the work continued.
With this in view, I am all the more encouraged about the future of Truth For The World. We are still teaching all nations the unchanging Gospel of Christ, and we still have many volunteers who help us accomplish our work. And most of all, I'm hopeful about new people joining us. Whether you just found out about us, or have known about us for years, I hope you'll consider joining us to make an even greater difference in the world. In addition to thinking about what you can do now, consider how you can leave a legacy that will continue even after you're gone. It's because of Miss Mary's foresight and responsibility with the things God had blessed her with that Truth For The World is still here today.
When I opened the grading key booklet, I saw that it was full of notes written in Miss Mary's neat handwriting. She had written verses next to many answers to share with students who got that one wrong, notes to refer students back to where something was mentioned in the lesson, and various other notes to herself that she used to effectively teach the Gospel. To someone else it may have just looked like a grading key full of notes, but I could see in them the love that Miss Mary had for lost souls, and the effort she put forth to save them.
May we all be encouraged by the past to do even more in the future!
"Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1 ASV)