Today was a great day! Following up on my previous lessons, I taught for several hours on the new birth. We were trying to establish these ministers in the fundamental doctrine.
There was peanut butter and jelly left from yesterday, so we had sandwiches for lunch. Our plans were almost thwarted when Sister Frizzell realized she had not brought a spoon. In those conditions you do not want to use anything that you did not bring with you. I told her to act like a missionary and use what she had. She reached into her purse and retrieved her emery board. It made a wonderful knife.
It is often difficult to measure results in a situation like this. I realize that I am one small link in a very long chain. The difficult work takes place before I arrive and after I leave. Even so, we had great results! After the session on baptism, I asked who had not been baptized in Jesus’ name but was willing to be baptized in Jesus’ name. Nine people committed. After the lesson on the Holy Ghost, I asked who had not received the Holy Ghost. Several raised their hands. I closed with an appeal to be baptized today and to pray for the Holy Ghost. Brother Frizzell made some final remarks, and then we opened it up for prayer. Several received the Holy Ghost! We then took the nine down to the river and baptized them! (I declined to perform the baptisms because I did not want to deal with the parasites in the river water. Too, I thought it would be better if someone local did the baptizing.)
A final word
Missionary work is grueling in a place like this. The work is physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausting. A simple trip to preach or to visit contacts takes a lot of money, a lot of time, and it wears down the body. Further, a missionary in these circumstances does not always know what he is working with. It is hard to know the backgrounds of all the ministers and where they stand on various points of doctrine. It is hard to know whether some other missionary with differing beliefs is coming in behind you, undermining what you are doing with the power of money. There is also the concern about what will happen when you go back to the United States to raise money, leaving the work unsupervised.
Even still, missionaries like Robert and Gayle Frizzell are faithful. Year in and year out. They work with preachers and leaders, one at a time. They also witness to store clerks, tuk-tuk drivers, hotel employees, and vendors at tourist attractions—one soul at a time.
I have been on several trips with Robert Frizzell. He loves Asians. I love Asians in the same way I love Europeans and Africans and Central Americans. Frizzell loves Asians like I love the people in my church. It is a deep, sincere, patient, and committed love. It is the love of a father for a child. It is the love of a missionary. He is serious about his work, and that’s why I take these trips. I want to help in whatever way I can. I am honored that God has allowed me to play a part.
Note: The motorcyles in the picture to the right all are on the wrong side of the road.