Dear co-laborers in Christ:
At my desk, before the computer, with my Bible open, day after day I study (Not a complaint. On the contrary! A tremendously enjoyable privilege!), and prepare an eleven minute expository and evangelistic message, or a two and half minute reflection on the affairs of our daily life, and what God has to say about it. If that were all, the benefit would be limited to me and my house. However, beyond my personal benefit the purpose is that “the word of the Lord may spread rapidly” (2 Thes.3:1; the literal meaning of “spread rapidly” is “run”; see Phil.2:16). The purpose of my labors is that the Word might run throughout the Spanish speaking countries and find its way into the hearts of many. How can this be accomplished? I cannot do it on my own. Paul could not do it by himself either, and he always had others helping him in one way or another.
Like Paul we also need fellow workers to make the spreading of the Word possible. When I have enough programs ready, I record them and send them by e-mail to our office in Indiana where my co-laborers edit them and add an introduction, music, and closing. They in turn, send them to our missionaries throughout Latin America. They are the next link in making the spreading of the Word possible. The missionaries look for, and find, radio stations willing to air them. The stations become another link. Some are Christian, but many are not. Yet God uses them to broadcast the message. By God’s grace the majority of stations airing the broadcasts do it for free. We do not pay for most of the air time. Some managers though, will flatly tell us that they only transmit programs that pay for air time. This becomes an opportunity for local churches to sponsor the program as an evangelistic tool. When this happens, our stated mission of assisting the national church becomes a reality. They also are our fellow workers, another link, doing the necessary follow up of those who respond in their local area.
And then what? Consider the case of a woman who heard our broadcasts and wrote to tell us of her desperate situation. She harbors great resentment toward the father of her child (born out of wedlock). He abandoned her. She receives very little help from him; her child has serious physical problems, and she feels a great burden of guilt.
But now she has accepted Christ and reads her Bible. However, she evidently lacks help and orientation from the church that she attends. She writes: “I desire to please Christ, but I don’t know how to forgive this man”. Her e-mail was received by our missionary in Bolivia, who forwarded it to our fellow worker in Argentina, which is where she lives. He contacted her by e-mail. Gave her some counsel, and now is in the process of finding a contact in her town, so that they might visit her and help her in her walk with Christ. The Word “runs” and, touches hearts that find help and comfort through our co-laborers in the different countries where they are. It would be next to impossible for me to accomplish that by myself. But what I do is made possible by the Lord who sent me, who provides the initial link: you, who month after month contribute for our finances and pray on our behalf, that I might study, prepare messages, record them and . . . etc. etc. etc. Thus, the Word runs and does not return empty without accomplishing what He desires (Isa.55:11), as He uses many links who labor together to serve Him. Thank you for being our co-laborers in this work.
Striving according to His power, which mightily works within us (Col.1:29)
Cornelius and Aída Rivera