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Bertha Smith is a name that we are not familiar with. Bertha Smith was a missionary many years ago in China. There was an uprising throughout China at that time and the Christian missionaries were forced to leave their congregations and flee to coastal cities for safety. Many of them, while removed from their fields, we determined to seek the face of God both personally and corporately. Many days were spent in the most intensive, personal heart searching they had ever know. This was followed by protracted seasons of corporately humbling themselves and praying together. Repentance came to them at levels they had never known before.

This was followed by a season of harvest that permanently transformed not only their lives but the lives of many Chinese. When the Communist takeover forced the missionaries to leave China, Bertha Smith finished her missionary work in a neighboring country. Eventually the time came when, because of age, she went home to retire. She spent the remaining years of her life going among the churches, sharing her experiences in China and calling both preachers and their congregations to new levels of repentance and prayer. Her is a description of her usually practice from a preacher:

"Following the evening meeting, Bertha got me in a corner, in fact got right in my face, and said, 'The time has come when you must get earnest about repentance. Get yourself a large pad and several pencils and slip away to a private place and do business with God. Get down on your knees and ask the Lord to show you all your sins. Write everything down that He shows you and don't you dare leave until God is finished with you. Tomorrow, bring me what you have written." Men have told me that they did not dare to disobey her, for they were sure that what she said was a word from the Lord. Yet inwardly they thought, "I will do it, but I certainly won't need a pad or a handful of pencils. This will only take a few minutes." So to their private place they retreated, and down on their knees they went, saying, "O God, show me my sins." Men have told me that pencil after pencil was blunted and sheet after sheet of paper filled with the sins that God showed them. The next day they would sheepishly bring the results to Miss Bertha who, upon gaining satisfaction that they had earnestly sought the Lord's face and written down all that God showed them, would say, "Repent earnestly of all these sins, burn this record, and be done with these sins forever."

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalms 139:23, 24, NIV.

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