Paul was the one who said,
“If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
There is an ancient Jewish saying that goes something like this, “If a father does not teach his son a trade he has taught him to be a thief.” The apostle Paul had been trained under the strict teachings of Gamaliel, who was honored by the Jews and was the first to be titled “Rabban,” meaning “our master.” Paul was an educated man who also had a trade.
“After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tentmakers. And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:1-4)
Throughout his ministry as the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul, when possible, earned his living and was not a burden to those he served. That is one of the many ways members of Grace Believers Society have impressed me. All earn their living by trades. Their director, Sajid, is a translator. No member draws an income from this ministry. Financially, they contribute to its needs.
The vision of free education for youth was realized with the founding of Evergreen Academy. It was housed in a donated building that is no longer theirs to use. Classes are now held in a member’s home. Seminars held in different cities, designed to teach the essential doctrines of the faith, are free to all who come. Expenses of an orphaned little girl, Angel, were shared until an adoption was secured. The apostle Paul would be pleased to call them fellow laborers. Freely they have been given and freely they give.
In less than one year their witness has been to seven different church bodies. From these groups of believers forty have been invited to a three-day conference. The goal is the making of disciples. GBS will pay for the food and lodging for those who attend. Because of poverty it could not happen otherwise. How is this possible? Nothing is impossible for God.
Vicki and I will be there with them singing a new song, one we have not heard before. We will be among those spreading the Good News, experiencing the hungry being fed and see Christ shinning in those who have been nourished by His word. It will be truly amazing.
Father, our labors are a work of faith. Only You can provide the increase. We see and we praise You for Your mighty works in Pakistan. May Your Divine Providence be acknowledged in the lives of those who seek to labor in Your fields. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who has freely given us all things.
“Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day-to-day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” (Psalm 96:1-4)