Dr. Don Sisk, the former president of the mission board I'm with, BIMI, tells of winning an old "papa-sahn" to Christ, the father of one of the ladies in his church. He had such a grateful spirit for Dr. Sisk, whom they referred to as "Sensei Don" which means "Teacher Don." He lived way up on a mountain and couldn't come as often as he wished to church, but when he did, he would position himself at the front door of the church, and when Dr. Sisk arrived, he'd bow in respect for Dr. Sisk....By the way, in Japan the person who stops bowing first is the least polite, so bowing sessions can go on for awhile.... After several bows, he'd look at Dr. Sisk with tear-stained cheeks, a public emotional display unusual in Japan, and he'd say, "Sensei Don, thank you for leaving your land and coming to Japan to share the Gospel with me so I could be saved." Now that'll keep a missionary going for quite awhile!
Later Dr. Sisk became the Far East Director of BIMI and several years later had the opportunity to revisit the old church he'd started and pastored. When he arrived, sure enough...there at the door was the old papa-sahn, who when he saw Dr. Sisk, bowed several times, tears rolling down his cheeks, and said, "Sensei Don, welcome back to Japan. Thank you again for leaving your home to come and share the Gospel with me so I could know Jesus." My what a great welcome!
Dr. Sisk returned home, and several months later received a letter notifying him that the old papa-sahn had gone home to be with the Lord. Tears instantly came to his eyes, but just as quickly disappeared as a happy thought came to his mind. He thought that one day he too would go home to glory, and when he did, a short Japanese papa-sahn would be at the gates of glory and when Dr. Sisk entered those gates, the papa-sahn would bow, and Dr. Sisk said they would bow for about a thousand years! Then the old papa-sahn will say, this time with a gleam in his eye, for there will be no tears in heaven, "Sensei Don, thank you for leaving your land to go to Japan to share with me the Gospel so I could be here in heaven."
But this is where Dr. Sisk drilled home a glorious thought in telling his story: He said he firmly believed that the papa-sahn would go to every person who ever gave a penny to help him get to the field so he could preach the Gospel, and bow several times and thank them for making it possible for Dr. Sisk to get to Japan to preach the Gospel.
O, beloved, do you not see it?--When you have a part in missionary giving, the fruit of the labor of the missionary can abound to your account! What a glorious thought!
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Melvin Newland on Aug 2, 2002
Our Lord said, “Go into all the world & preach the good news to every creature.” What is that good news? I think it consists of two things that need to be proclaimed - that would really be “good news” to the world today. (PowerPoint Available - #288)