ecently, Dr. DeWitt Williams, a friend who is a former missionary, shared an old song used in times past to inspire in young people a dedication to mission work. The words called to distant lands across the globe. It begins,
divisions. All divisions now have their own missionary force. Attention in this century has turned to the major urban regions of the world. Yet that old-time commit-
From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand; Where Africa’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand: From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain, They call us to deliver their land from error’s chain. According to tradition, Reginald Heber penned these verses in 1819, in 20 minutes, upon request of his pastor to promote his missionary program. These words express the longings of my youthful years. As a result, though I have not served full time in foreign missions, my life has been mission driven. This is due largely to the shaping of my worldview through those early motivating elements in my upbringing. A poem, a song, or a mission story may impact individuals in significant ways not readily visible immediately. In 1874, when John Nevins Andrews was commissioned from North America to Switzerland, the mission field was defined as a “foreign land.” Today, the church is international and North America is one of its 13
ment to missions remains. T h i s co m mitment from my early years fuels my service as a church leader. It is my desire that the Lord will use each one of us in ministry, according to the gifts He has bestowed, until His return.
Ella S. Simmons, General Vice President General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Published on Jan 8, 2014