"Missions--The Models and Mistakes,"

by Rev. Robert F. Gussick,"

50th Anniversary, the Latin American Lutheran Mission (Mexico)

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I was in contact with Mrs. Claire Hobart not long before her death (Claire Hobart, the blind musician and missionary in Laredo, Texas, for LALM for many years, had already passed away) as I was wanting information from her of my granddather's contributions to the LALM in Mexico. She sent printed information and a letter in 1998 to me giving more information. This book belongs to my mother (the LALM 50th anniversary book) from which this message on missions is drawn. Rev. Gussick speaks from the experience of many years of his own ministry and also the LALM's experience in Mexico bringing the Gospel of Christ to an often impoverished, undeducated, and oppressed people. It was a hard road for the first missionary, Mrs. Myrtle Huerta, but now there are many churches established by the Mexicans themselves as well as a seminary, so fruit is appearing from her faithful labors, and the faithful support of hundreds of people in the states, without which she could not have endured the hardships or overcome the many obstacles Satan and man and corrupt government strewed (even hot climate-caused health problems) in her path to discourage her and stop her pioneer work.

There are two thoughts that I would like to bring out of this text for our consideration this evening. The first is what St. Paul is trying to tell us with reference to athletic games that we are not spectators, but participants. The thousands upon thousands of people who are ytraveling to Mexico City for the Olympics are going to watch. Relatively speaking just a few are going to take part in the games.

But here St. Paul says that we are in a race, and that we all are participants in that race. We cannot sit back and jjust be spectators. But, he adds, we are not in this race to gain "a perishable wreath," but that we might receive "an imperishable" one.

In other words, our purpose for being in this contest is something which has to do with the life which God has given to us. It is not only something which has to do with our physical efforts. It is a spiritual contest. It is the putting of ourselves into the position where God is going to give us the reward as the winner.

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