Cast Thy Bread upon the Waters
It was in the year 1979, that we first took some Precious Seed Publications to Eastern Europe, little knowing what the 'return' would prove to be in the years to come. In the mid-1980's we were asked to write an article for this magazine revealing the interest in, and distribution of, Precious Seed Books, in Eastern Europe. However, at that time, we declined to do so because it could have jeopardised the 'delivery' operation and put the recipient believer's liberty, as well as our own, at risk.
Over the years from 1980 onwards, many hundreds of Precious Seed Publications were 'delivered' to Eastern Europe. Accurate records were not kept, but the numbers taken would be in the region of 2000 books. We can thank the Lord for protection and help during those many difficult years because not one book was 'lost'.
Encouraging incidents also took place, and one in particular stands out in 1982. One 'delivery' by some friends did not arrive at the intended assembly destination through misunderstandings of the directions given. However the Lord was in the matter, because this delivery was left at the home of a Baptist Pastor in a nearby town. Included was a complete set of Precious Seed Publications and C.A. Coates, as well as a number of other well known titles, and Thomson Chain Reference Bibles, together with recording equipment. More than 200 books in total.
We were informed of the situation by our 'delivery friends', and a few weeks later when on a visit to that country, collected the 'delivery' of books and recording equipment and took them to the intended recipient, a brother in an assembly. In conversation with this Baptist Pastor, he told us he had been reading the books, and was very interested in the teachings of the Precious Seed Publications, and the commentaries by C.A. Coates. He was involved with TEN other Baptist churches in his country and thought they would help to build up young men for the 'ministry'.
Returning from that visit, our brother now with the Lord, John Heading of Aberystwyth, was contacted and the situation discussed. He encouraged us to make this material as widely available as possible for the (whole) CHURCH. He personally gave encouragement and also considerable financial support. Over the next three years, ten complete sets of Precious Seed Publications, C.A. Coates ministry, Thomson Chain Reference Bibles, and other titles were 'delivered' to this Baptist Pastor. They were used by him in the ten churches, where he was secretly involved in a teaching (Bible School) ministry to help meet the desperate need for spiritually mature preachers of the Word.
The Baptist Pastor, revealed on one of our later (then yearly) visits, that he and his brethren from some of these 'teaching centres' had come to the conclusion that the structure and practices of their churches, could no longer be justified. This came after careful study of the scriptures and with the help and understanding of 'our' teaching ministry. He himself, was no longer a 'pastor', but one of three teaching elders in his church. This was not well received by the 'Council of Pastors' in his country, because a number of other Churches were seeking to follow what we know as 'New Testament Church Principles'.
This is the teaching we need to understand, because it has been lost to us for many decades.
In 1987 we began to plan for our first visit to the Soviet Union for 1989, but this did not take place because the Czech brother with whom we were to travel suddenly developed cancer. Very soon afterwards, the Lord called him to his heavenly rest, after many years of faithful service both in his own country and the Soviet Union.
However in 1990, with another Czech brother and his wife, we did visit the Soviet Union, beginning in the Ukraine. In the years which have followed, and with the Lord's help until the present time, our paths have been directed eastward to Siberia, where with 'religious freedom' now the joy of the believers, we have been able to publish seven teaching books translated into the Russian language. We began in 1991 with 6000 copies of Farid Rahme's first little book, 'Creation or Evolution - does Science have the answer', followed by books from Ed. Dennett, Wm. Kelly, C.H.M. G.C. Willis and others, 3000-8000 copies per book. The eighth book at the Russian Publishers and due out in April is, 'and God said', by Farid Rahme - 5000 copies. The same book at a publishers in Romania, is also expected in April - 5000 copies.
In the Ukraine from 1991 onwards we were encouraging believers, who had left the system, to look at the writings of Precious Seed Publications, C.A. Coates and others. The believers in the Ukraine, to whom we had been introduced, stated at that time . . . 'This is the teaching our Russian believers need to understand, because it has been lost to us for many decades, living under the Communist system, and Baptist alliance'. Permission to translate the Precious Seed books was sought and granted in 1992.
In JUNE 1997, we received a letter from the Russian translators in the Ukraine, telling us that some of the Precious Seed DAY by DAY reading books were now translated, also John Heading's DIRECTORY OF NEW TESTAMENT CHURCHES', as well as DAILY READINGS by John Heading. They also wrote . . .
'It has been a lot of work with these books; four (!) times we had to return the books back to the translators to complete the work - the language is very difficult and very figurative, but we wanted the sense to be transferred exactly.'
In October 1997 the translators wrote to us again . . . 'we would like to print 5000 copies of each book' . . . but went on to state . . . 'it is a pity that our people cannot have (buy) such fine spiritual literature, because of the economic situation which places them in a lower precinct than poverty' . . . then added . . . 'Mitchell, if you will be able to help us in publishing these books, we will be very grateful'. A large print run is possible because another 2000 copies could be added for Siberian friends.
A visit to the translators is planned for late April, and if it is the Lord's will, discussions will be held to determine the possibilities of publication. Considerable costs would be involved, so it will be necessary to consider smaller staged publications. We look for the Lord's help and encouragement from those who have these truth's at heart, that we may find some fruit after many years of patient labour.
.... For thou Shalt Find It After Many Days !!!