By Mark Canady, District Representative, Western District
In John 14:18 we hear our Lord Jesus say, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
One of my tasks as a District Representative for Village Missions includes visiting potential fields. People often ask Village Missions to provide help for rural communities. Most of these communities reach out to Village Missions asking if we could possibly serve in their area. Often these churches ask, “Could Village Missions help us?”
We follow a process when one of these requests is made that helps us vet the needs and decide if Village Missions would be a good fit. For example, a door would be closed if there was already a Bible preaching, Gospel outreaching pastor and church in the community. But, for many communities in rural United States and Canada this is simply not the case.
One of the things that has struck me as a District Representative, is the growing needs of rural America for the ministry of “Preaching the Word and Loving the People!” In just over one year we have received over ten requests for leadership in our District alone. We have now visited several of these potential fields to present the work of Village Missions.
Recently, in one of these visits I was burdened by the need. To me it was like visiting with orphaned children who were asking me, “Can you find someone who will come and love us and lead us and care for our needs?” Three ladies in this needy community do children’s outreach ministries and told me that if the children come to faith in Christ they have no place to send them.
Hope for Rural Churches
Ultimately, I understand that these dear believers are not alone; Jesus has truly come to them just as He promised He would! Consider the context of this statement of the Lord. We read a fuller account of the Lord’s words in John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
The promise of the Holy Spirit was the promise that Jesus would be with His followers even until the end of the age. AND we embrace this promise, but we also understand the need for Bible preaching, Gospel outreaching Pastors and Churches in a community. Our presence is also both commanded and needed.
Command: Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NASU
The Call to Rural Communities
Need: Romans 10:13-15 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” NASU
Would You Provide Help for Rural Communities?
Would you be willing to pray that God would provide help for rural communities? We need hardy couples with solid biblical foundations and training that we can send out to these needy fields of rural America? Would you give to help this happen? Maybe the Lord is calling you to train and to serve.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (NASU)