James Gilmore

James Gilmore won't be everyone's hero. But I think he's just becoming one of mine! After years of hard and lonely work as a missionary in Mongolia in the 19th century, he wrote: "In the shape of converts I have seen no result. I have not, as far as I am aware, seen anyone who even wanted to be a Christian."


Someone sent me this the other day (from Charles R Swindoll, on insightforliving.org.uk):


Let me add some further reality to that statement by taking you back to an entry in Gilmore's journal made in the early days of his ministry. It expressed his dreams and burdens for the people of Mongolia. Handwritten in his journal are these dreams: "Several huts in sight. When shall I be able to speak to the people? O Lord, suggest by the Spirit how l should come among them, and in preparing myself to teach the life and love of Christ Jesus." That was his hope. He longed to reach the lost of Mongolia with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How different from his entry many years later, "I have not, as far as I am aware, seen anyone who even wanted to be a Christian." What happened in between? He encountered the jagged edge of an authentic ministry. When I write about succeeding in the work of the Lord, I'm not promising success as we define it in human terms. I'm not saying because you are faithful to proclaim the Word of God your church will be packed. Some of God's most faithful servants are preaching their hearts out in places where the church is not growing. A great temptation for those in that difficult setting is to turn to some of the other stuff that holds out the promise of more visible results. Don't go there. Stay at it. God is at work.
 Strangely encouraging??