(July 19, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects …
The Lord gave me ‘a heart for the harvest’ early in my life journey of faith! Through prophecy and a vision, within a year of my conversion I was called to the nations!
But… I failed to understand the prophecy and direction that God set before me. For many years I did not understand it: In fact it wasn’t until almost ten years later when Charles Greenwood, my pastor at Richmond Temple, guided me toward the first steps that began to unfold this major step in my life.
There’s a world harvest, not just local!
After serving as a local pastor in five churches, over about 15 years, I was asked to visit Papua New Guinea for some weeks in 1968.
Until then, my focus was on local people who needed Christ. I did not yet have a ‘heart for the harvest’ in the world. That came progressively over some years. My annual visits to Papua New Guinea were in reality my training for the harvest in the world. I owe much to the older missionaries who demonstrated a commitment and love for the indigenous people that I did not yet have.
A lesson I valued early in my many travels as I visited missionaries and negotiated with government authorities for permits, was the necessity of never giving up and not getting tired of doing what is good, because reaping time is ahead. I also learned well that it is God who supplies ‘the seed’ of the word of truth that can set the captives free and produce an ever-growing number of new local churches of new believers (2 Corinthians 9:10).
Keys of responsibility
Every local church where the believers honour the word of God has the biblical responsibility to consider and obey the words of the Lord Jesus to look with open eyes and observe the fields where there is a ripe harvest. This is a responsibility that must be honoured in faith. (more…)