The term "rope holders" comes from a reply made by William Carey after hearing an account of the spiritual needs of India. The secretary of the meeting remarked: "There is a gold mine in India, but it seems almost as deep as the center of the earth. Who will venture to explore it?" "I will venture to go down," said Carey, "but remember that you must hold the ropes."
Every believer who seeks to extend the borders of the Kingdom of our Lord needs rope holders. Jesus warned us that we ought to expect resistance...after all, we are turning the spotlight of the Gospel on in hearts and minds where Satan's dark kingdom holds sway. Paul reminds us that we are engaged in an epic battle against hidden spiritual forces of evil and Peter tells us to remain vigilant at all times because our enemy is relentless in seeking to destroy and devour. Without rope holders, those of us who venture in to mine the priceless hearts and souls of men, women, and children for the heavenly treasury, are at an immediate disadvantage.
So will you be our rope holders?
Here are a few items for prayer:
1. Pray for Louise. It is not easy to stay behind for many reasons, but the main reason is our love for each other. Louise and I rarely do anything on our own as we truly enjoy each other's company. I will miss her as much as she will miss me. So please pray for my dear wife.
2. Pray for the people who live in the Horn of Africa. There are so many needs, but spiritual poverty, drought, and starvation are the greatest as they have an eternal dimension to them. Ethiopia is the oldest Christian Nation in the world, having been exposed to the Gospel from the days of the returning Eunuch to the present, and yet there are millions who have either not heard the Gospel or who are so bound by false religions that they are blind to it. Others are fearful to respond to what they perceive to be the truth. Pray for the Horn!
3. Pray for journeying mercies. For the roads trips from Greenville to Charlotte and back again (2X) and for the road trips we will make in Ethiopia. Pray for the flights from Charlotte to Washington to Addis Ababa to Gambela and back.
4. Pray for Bishop Grant and Dr. Wendy and their work in the Horn. It is a huge task that lies before them and they need wisdom, strength, endurance, perseverance, ongoing spiritual renewal, and so many other things that only our Lord can give them. They also need wisdom as they pray with Louise and me about our relocation to Gambela to help get the theological training school and the medical work up and running.
5. Pray for me that I may stay healthy in every sense of that word. Pray that I might discern the Lord's call clearly. Pray that I might learn what I need to learn - ask all the right questions - have a clear mind to process the information - identify the real needs, not just the more obvious, surface needs - but above all, that I might be a blessing to Grant and Wendy and to everyone I meet from Charlotte on and back...
Hold my rope, please...