St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
From the Associate Pastor’s Desk

Part of the Gift


              A missionary was sent to Africa to be part of a ministry already in the works. This man

        had been raised on the Pacific Coast of the United States and loved the ocean. He had hoped

        he would be stationed in an area next to the ocean. His wish was not fulfilled, and upon

        his arrival he found his mission station was about 85 miles inland from the coast.

              He determined to make the best of his assignment. Part of his responsibilities involved

        teaching in a Bible school in the area. It had been set up to provide ministerial training for

        the natives so that they could be effective evangelists to their own people.

              In his teaching, many times this missionary-teacher would draw upon the ocean for

        his illustrative material. Often he talked of his great love for the ocean which he missed

        being this far inland. His students made note of his affection for the sea.

              In the course of his teaching he began to teach about that much of the Christian life

        is one of giving. He spoke about Christ being given as a special gift to the earth when He

        came as a babe in a manger. He shared with the native students about Christmas. He wasn’t

        at all sure that the concept had been picked up, but he did the best he knew how about giving.

              One day during this break there was a knock on the door. The minister went to the

        door to see one of his students standing there with a smile on his face. Upon taking a closer

        look he noticed that the young man had scratches on his face, arms, and legs. His clothes

        looked like he had been on a long trek though jungle and formidable terrain. There was a

        tiredness about the young man.

              However, in his hands this black man was holding a basketful of sea shells. Obviously

        they were not to be found locally.  Then it dawned on the missionary – this young man had

        walked to the ocean to bring them back.

             “Here is a gift from the ocean” the young man beamed.

             The missionary was almost overcome with emotion as he replied, “But you have walked

         170 miles to do this !”

              His black face showed surprise and delight. He pulled himself to his full height and

          said, “Long walk is part of the gift !”





                               In His Service,