It has been a while since I put an excerpt from my book, “The Making of a Servant.” Seems like a good time to share just a small story. As brand new missionaries living in Hong Kong, I faced my first crisis in “Mission Principles and Practice.” A question arose that shook me to the core of my new missionary being. I hope you’ll think about this challenge:
“At that time, Hong Kong was considered the most densely populated city per square mile on earth. It was a colony of the United Kingdom and an economic powerhouse in Asia. Dr. Carter Morgan introduced me to Hong Kong. He took me to visit a complex of refugee housing built by the British government. I saw ten apartment buildings in a row. Each building was ten stories tall. Each building housed ten thousand people.
Carter shared a vision with me: “One day we will have a rooftop school on the roof of each building for all the small children in that building, especially preschoolers. We will plant a church in each building to minister to the people in those buildings.”
I thought, “My hometown, in North Carolina, has six churches for the population of fourteen hundred people. The pastor I followed at the rural church near Liberty had pastored that small church for twenty-five years. If each building has ten thousand people, would I be willing to spend twenty-five years of my life ministering to the people in one of those buildings?”
“Carter, how many people in those buildings know Jesus as their Lord and Savior?”
“No one has researched that yet. Our Chinese convention estimates not more than one-tenth of one percent are Christian if that many.”
Suddenly I felt the enormity of the task. My mind ran wild! No way would I want to invest my whole life in just one of those buildings! I might do it in a city of ten thousand people. Then I thought, “What’s the difference between investing one’s life in a town of ten thousand people and investing a lifetime in a building of ten thousand people?”
Read the book to join that debate!!