Around the World in 31 days
Ernest J. Parish, Dereham, formerly of Bolivia
AN EXPENSIVE TELEVISION SET is not necessary in order to travel in thought around the world; in fact you might be a good deal better able to do so without one.
This morning away here in Bolivia, we went over to Angola! - certainly a long distance from here. We had no need of a jet ’plane to get there, for we had a much cheaper means of locomotion - it was an Echoes Prayer List. Of course it is always pleasant and helpful to have a book of some kind to describe the places one visits, and we found the Echoes of Service missionary magazine served this purpose well.
Angola is somewhere in Africa - do not ask me just where, for my geography is a little hazy, so perhaps it would be a useful thing to have a map handy. It must be a large country as it is about four times the size of Italy. The publications referred to also enabled me to deduce the fact that the population is two to three times that of Israel, or a good deal more than that of the Republic of Ireland. I noticed that some of the workers have been labouring there for the Lord between thirty and forty years, so they must be feeling a little tired in the work, although, as doubtless they would say, not tired of the work. Others are finding it difficult to make time for language study, and what with one thing and another are likely to get in that mood the Psalmist described as being ‘cast down’. I gathered, too, that although subsidiary works, such as medical and educational activities, are a great help in the Lord’s service there, they are kept in their right place.
Sometimes so-called ‘Brethren’ workers are looked down upon as lacking those academical qualifications which certain religious bodies deem necessary for the Lord’s work. A glance at today’s list enabled me to see that not only do three doctors and ten trained nurses figure, but four workers hold university degrees. There is no need to put a premium on such distinctions, for many who do not hold them prove to be quite as efficient as those who do. It does help one to appreciate, however, that there is no lack of intelligence with those who seek to carry on the work of the Lord as near as possible to the New Testament precept and practice.
I think if I had children of my own, family prayers this morning, while brief for their sake, could have been made interesting and helpful by the use of the Echoes Prayer List. It costs the modest sum of id. per copy, and Echoes of Service costs 6s. 6d. per year, both post free, so the expense is small. There is an airmail edition of Echoes at 11s. 6d. per year post free.
Tomorrow we cross over to Northern Rhodesia, and it will be much more worthwhile to go there in thought than to follow crazy flights into outer space. However, there is no time now to talk about all the other places mentioned in this important prayer list - let us pray today for the work and workers referred to, and so on each day of the month. Who knows what blessing will result?