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RESPONSE? By Mark Lockhart
Each time we read Hebrews 11, we glean lessons from the faith of
saints such as Abraham, Sarah, Rahab, and Moses. We usually focus on
specific people and certainly it is beneficial to do so. Our nature moves
us to want to know who, what, when, where, and why. Sometimes all
we need to know is who—then we are willing to hear the rest of the
story. However, what if we do not know who; does the rest of the story
even matter? It certainly matters to our Lord. In five verses near the
end of this faith chapter, the author comprises a list of tremendous
struggles and persecutions endured by unidentified saints.

What then are we to learn from these verses? Perhaps, the sentiment
is best perceived in the words of the Apostle Paul as he declares his
desire to visit the Christians in Rome.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your
faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my
witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that
without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a
prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I
long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to
the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted
together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me
(Romans 1:8–12).

Tricia Crabtree, a friend of ours, composed a song years ago titled
“Bury My Heart on the Mission Field.” The mission field is so much
more than a particular plot of land. It is a place where the missionary
has invested his or her life in the inhabitants. Perhaps it is a place where
his children were born and reared. It is a parcel of land that has become
the burial place for children or a spouse. Such is the case for Margarita
Johnson in Honduras who has laid to rest her husband, Carlos. The
mission field is a place and a people for whom the missionary has
sacrificed and faithfully served.

Pastors, missionaries, and donors are faith partners. This partnership
is the foundation of their communication with one another.

Communication is of great comfort and encouragement for the
missionaries. Proverbs 25:25, As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good
news from a far country. It is then that we can appreciate the why and
be encouraged and challenged through the faith of one another. This
is the focus of Scripture. Hebrews 11:1–2, Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders
Number 2, 2017