This week we are heading into unknown territory. Our Drama Ministry, "Living Portraits", has been asked to portray Luther Rice, one of the first foreign missionaries to ever be commissioned in the United States. He, along with Adoniram Judson and others, were sent out in 1812 to brave the elements of travel for months on board ship, then to the country of India initially. From there their courses separated. The Judsons went on to be the first missionaries in Burma, and Rice, who was and would remain unmarried, returned to the states to begin enlisting support for them and others who would spend their lives in missionary service. His life long work of travel all over the early U. S. would lay the foundation for a cooperative missionary advance that remains until the present, and which has over 5000 missionaries serving world wide. We will be staying in his "home", hosting in period costume a reception for the messengers of the New England Baptist Convention meeting near Boston MA, speaking as Rice at the convention and at a celebration banquet. I, of course, will be portraying Luther Rice and since he was single, Virginia will be portraying his sister Sarah. Needless to say, we are excited about the prospects of this trip and seeing some country we have not seen before.
Haven't heard of our Drama Ministry? Well, for about 12 years now, we have been portraying a variety of historical characters in schools, churches, nursing homes, colleges, well, wherever we can get a hearing. With such personalities as George and Martha Washington and Mark Twain and Olivia, we are able to bring history to life in public schools. With missionaries such as William Carey, Lottie Moon, George Mueller, Annie Armstrong and others such as Fanny Crosby, John Newton, Horatio Spafford, whose hymns are well known, we are able to put "faces" on history in a way that the printed page cannot. We believe that such a medium can do much in a society where minds are already "tuned" to visuals for learning. As George Washington, for instance, I teach moral truths such as honesty, obedience, studying to be the best one can be, and loving one's country and others. I have received letters addressed to "George" and the students recall, not my exploits in the Revolution or with Indians, but the "four lessons" I taught them. So, in a way, I pray we are making some major impact on young and "old" lives.
It reminds me of an important truth for Christians. We who have Christ in our hearts truly have a ministry of "dramatic" presentation wherever we go. We are to portray His life through every moment of ours. The world is our stage and they are watching every "act" to absorb it as truth or just another "bit of entertainment" that's not "for everyone's taste"! Get my meaning?
Be encouraged today, and pray for us as we travel.