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God Goes Before

God Goes Before

SPRING/SUMMER 2020    |    3 MINUTE READ 
VIRGINIA M. SILL, FORMER GLOBAL WORKER TO INDIA


After we opened a work in Africa, God opened the door for us to enter even more locations. This article first appeared in the May 1949 edition of The Call to Prayer, twelve years after World Gospel Mission entered India, WGM’s third ministry location. In it, Virginia M. Sill, who served in India from 1945–1950, recounts the ways she and her fellow missionaries witnessed God’s provision in those early years. This article has been adapted for this issue.

For many weeks, as we have faced the problems and needs in our villages, several challenging promises from the Word have come to me again and again: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14 NIV). “Trust me; try me; prove me; saith the Lord of hosts.”1 “Certainly, I will be with thee” (Exodus 3:12 KJV).

A photo of a group of children from 1982

1982: Curious children are often open to the Gospel.

It is often true that in the beginning of any work for our Lord the progress may seem slow, the barriers many, and discouragements and weariness may try to make themselves our companions. We missionaries in India, too, must say we have experienced all these things; yet at this moment never have our hopes been so strong, nor the opportunities so great to evangelize many of India’s villages. We have had much to praise the Lord for in the past six to eight months! Whatever step we have taken forward, we have always found Him before us, opening some doors and closing others, but always getting us a little closer to our goal. One by one, God is answering your prayers and ours, whether it be for a house in which to live, the car which enables us to visit many places, another local worker soon to be added to the village forces, or building program, equipment, etc. We sing His praise for the past manifestations of His love and power and pray continually that He will lead us forward until all in this particular area have heard the wonderful message of redemption.

A group of girls studying

Girls studying

In one of our villages (Magondi, for which many have been praying), newly visited many months ago, some of our folk found a young boy about eight years of age, emaciated, sick and helpless with disease, given up by his family to die. The missionaries, seeing him in this condition, felt they could not leave him without help, and though the family did not offer any financial assistance for hospitalization, we decided to take him to the mission hospital, believing that God would some way provide for this need—that not only his life might be saved, but his soul as well.

It was nearly six months before Syed Husen had recovered and was sent home again, a changed boy both in body and heart. While in the hospital, he was surrounded by Christian nurses and doctors, and for the first time in his life he was able to perceive something of the Spirit of Christ in the human heart, as they daily administered his care. There were many opportunities to speak to him about Jesus. When he returned to his village, he openly declared he was following Christ and no longer serving the gods of his family. Up until this time the services in his village were held with difficulty, and often boys were purposely troublesome. However, when the village folk saw what had been done for Syed Husen, their attitude wonderfully changed, and they cooperated in a surprising way. Now a larger group gathers to listen to the messages and expresses much interest in our coming.

A photo of a baptism service taken in 1980

1980: A baptism service

On two different occasions recently, while we were conducting services in our regularly visited places, a village man remarked after the service, “This is the first time I have ever heard the name of Jesus. The people in my village have never heard the name of Jesus, nor the story you have just told. Won’t you come to our village with this message?” Our hearts were struck with compassion and great longing to increase our boundaries, so that those who long to hear may hear and be born into the family of God.

ACTION STEPS

PRAY: Ask God to go before you, whatever endeavor you might be undertaking. Pray that He would prepare the way for you and that you would be aware of His blessings when you encounter them. And when you do see that He has gone before you, praise Him for His goodness!

GO: If you, too, have a heart for people unreached by the Gospel, God might be calling you to take it to them. We would love to help you explore your options and equip you to fulfill that call. To learn more, visit www.wgm.org/get-involved.


1Lida S. Leech, “Trust, Try, and Prove Me,” n.d.

The Call (Spring/Summer 2020) 110 Years of Prayer

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