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New England is the land of Adoniram Judson, Baptist missionary to Burma. It was home to
Jonathan Edwards, the Great Awakening and the sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry
God. Roger Williams founded Rhode Island and the very first Baptist church in America.
Dwight L. Moody was born and buried in New England. History seeps from every pore
of New England and the Northeast (cultural note: New England refers to Maine, New
Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. New York, New Jersey, and a small
part of Pennsylvania are included in the term Northeast.).
New England was different when I arrived as a young boy to New Hampshire. Harvard,
Yale, and Princeton no longer trained men to preach the Gospel. Churches that held to the
fundamentals of the faith were rare. Our family searched months until we found a small
church plant, renting a quaint cemetery chapel for church services. We became founding
members of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hudson, New Hampshire. In the years to come,
it would be where I was trained for ministry and would be my home and sending church
for these past 35 years as a missionary in Venezuela and Paraguay. Our church was the
sending church and home church for many missionaries and it sent out men to start new
local churches. I look at my home church and thank God for its sending capacity and not
its seating capacity.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on
him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be
sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and
bring glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:13–15)!
These verses are so relevant to the churches of New England. Where once they sent men to
preach to the distant frontier (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois) in the United States, they
became the mission field. Modern missions now sends men to New England as well as to
the entire world.
I say all of this to emphasize that missions never ends. The world changes, borders close,
time passes. The only things that will last for eternity are the souls who know the salvation
of Christ. All those great men of God of the past are now gone. They finished their work.
Where are the new workers of God? They need a church that cares about missions. They
need to be trained and they need to be sent. We cannot rest in what was done in the past;
we must obey today in order to fulfill God’s will in the future. W