Here Am I
By T.L. Osborn
Also I HEARD the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Is. 6:8).
World population is increasing at the rate of 50 MILLION per year. Only 2 million of that increase is being touched by the Gospel.
Right now it is a fair estimate that there are ONE AND A HALF BILLION SOULS who have never once heard the Gospel.
This represents over half of the world’s population, and includes tribespeople who speak some 2,000 different languages!
The world is hurtling to a lost eternity at a frightening rate. In Japan, for example, after over 400 years of missions, 99 9/10% of the 100 MILLION people are still non-Christian. Four-fifths of Japan’s 95,000 rural communities have no Protestant witness. Yet there is almost desperate interest in the Gospel wherever the .rare opportunity exists to hear it especially among Japan’s youth. Those engaged in Literature Evangelism receive over half of all responses from the 15-25 age group, showing that young Japan is ripe unto harvest-but there are almost no laborers.
A missionary itinerating among large American churches during the past 7 months has made special appeals for 25 young volunteers to go as missionaries to southeast Asia. Thus far, not one has responded. “The laborers are few.” That is why I am a soul winner.
Think of this:
France has over 35,000 towns and villages without a Protestant Gospel witness.
In Greece, less than 1 % are Protestant.
In the Middle East, there’s only one Christian for every 500 people.
Almost one out of four people alive today live in Communist China-no Gospel.
Almost 2 MILLION commit suicide annually.
225,000 babies are born daily.
120,000 people die every day.
So population increases by over 100,000 daily or nearly 50 MILLION annually, with only 2 MILLION of this increase reached in any degree with the Gospel.
Thirty times more souls are born than converts made.
A quarter of all nations, a third of the earth’s surface and half of the world’s population is under communist influence.
Muslims are sending 4,000 missionaries south of 69 the Sahara every year converting the Africans at the rate of 14 to everyone that is won to Christ.
The time has come for Christians to enter this vast human harvest field with renewed vigor and dedication. If more laborers do not volunteer for greater soulwinning, we shall lose the world – and our liberty to evangelize. Communism has engulfed almost half of the world’s population.
Nationalism has obliterated the welcome to missionaries.
Arab nationalism and Muslim unity have shut out the Christian message.
Shintoism is on its rapid course back to power in Japan.
Resurgent Buddhism poses an increasing threat in Asia.
In lands of the Reformation, the handwriting is on the wall.
Scientific materialism and atheism are everywhere opposing the Christian message.
Looking On The Fields
Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (In. 4:35). And again He said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Mt. 9:37, 38).
I have looked and seen the harvest fields. I have prayed for more laborers. But above all, I have gone into the field (the world) to do the work through the prime years of my life. That is why I am a soulwinner because the laborers are so few.
In India there is one district alone containing 77 villages and 40,690 people. The 1961 census showed there was not one single Christian in the entire district. No pastor, missionary or evangelist had ever preached the Gospel there. These 40,690 people live in their sins and die in their sins-not because they have rejected the Gospel, BUT because during the last 1,900 years, not one Christian has gone to them to give them the Gospel.
The harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few! While 94 % of all ministers of the Gospel in the world are preaching in comparative comfort to the 9% English-speaking people, a lonely 6% have struggled as missionaries and national workers to meet the spiritual needs of the remaining NINETY-ONE PERCENT of the world!
Billy Graham recently estimated that if he were to preach every day for the remainder of his life, he could reckon on about 8,000 more sermons.
I, too, have faced the same issue in the same terms -and it is not enough! That is why I have taken every possible step to duplicate my life-and every other soulwinner’s life by producing and providing “tools for evangelism” for the church of this 20th Century.
By recording my voice with the voice of an anointed native interpreter on magnetic tape, we can reach hundreds of tribes simultaneously wherever that dialect is spoken. When a native worker – per- 71 haps one who has not yet been trained to preach well switches on the Lingua-Tape Unit, he becomes a proficient soulwinner in that village. And after he does that for a few weeks, he has automatically absorbed the message and manner of evangelism so that he can then hand over his Unit to another untrained worker while he steps out to proclaim the same messages on his own. The same is truly on the church homefront too.
Each time a Miracle Film is shown to thousands of villagers in the Philippines, or Thailand, or in Spain, this again is a multiplying soulwinner-operation and this works at home in exactly the same way.
Every time a Gospel tract in a native language, or in English, German or French, is passed from hand to hand, the message of Life is being reproduced.
You, too, can increase your personal witness by giving out tracts (write for a free supply) and by sending more “tools” to the mission fields of this generation, and by putting more “tools” to work on the homefront.
The laborers are few – that’s why I am a soulwinner!
This article “Here Am I” by T.L. Osborn is excerpted from his book Soulwinning.