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In this season, overcrowded for many with parties and programs, shopping and baking, tinsel and wrappings¬óit is fitting that the lead article in this issue of Herald of His Coming lifts our sights to the heights. We see beyond the sweet story which some of us have cherished since earliest childhood, of the Eternal Son of God as a Baby humbly cradled in a manger in Bethlehem. We see beyond His years of being despised and rejected, past Calvary, past the glorious resurrection and the later ascension. We see the Lord Jesus as He is today, with all Heaven joyously adoring, honoring and worshiping Him, the "Slain Lamb" upon the Throne! Might this exalted One be the focus of our season and its greatest joy, as we enthrone Him in our hearts and anticipate His coming again as victorious King to reign forever and ever!
God¬ís Perfect Way
We are thinking at this season, not only of those who seem to abound in the things the world counts valuable, but also of those who suffer need. These are days of economic stress in many countries. Where are the funds for the next meal, for the payment of school fees, for repairs for a much-needed vehicle, for rent money? Maybe there is the sad loss of the wage earner from the family circle. We think especially of the unfulfilled longings of the budding Christian work or worker with little resources to meet the vast needs that beckon them on every hand. We glimpse these struggles frequently as we read letters coming to Herald of His Coming from a variety of countries.
For the benefit of such, I share with you a poem found in a box in storage here at Herald of His Coming. It is among items Sarah Foulkes Moore (co-founder of Herald of His Coming) had preserved and which we have kept these nearly 30 years since God took her to her rest. The poem is titled, "God¬ís Perfect Way":
Say not my soul, "From whence
Can God relieve my care?"
Remember that Omnipotence
has servants everywhere.
God¬ís help is always sure,
His methods seldom guessed;
Delay will make our pleasure pure,
Surprise will give it zest.
His wisdom is sublime,
His heart profoundly kind;
God never is before His time,
And never is behind.
Hast thou assumed a load,
Which few will share with thee,
And art thou carrying it for God,
And shall He fail to see?
Sister Moore had cut the poem from a publication and pasted it to the back of a post card to make it more durable. The post card had been mailed to Herald of His Coming and bore a post mark of 1946 (and a penny stamp!) The poem had obviously been tacked up in her room and had weathered many a year, for it is soiled and yellowed with age. I can picture the poem being a message to which Sister Moore referred time and again when it seemed she and her husband were carrying a heavy load for God that few shared, and when her faith needed encouragement.
I looked at the editorials Sister Moore had written in Herald of His Coming in 1946. What was weighing on her heart at that time? The Herald of His Coming ministry was hardly five years old. They had begun publishing with only about $50.00 in their possession, and that had been given to them for the printing of some tracts. The donor agreed they could publish a newspaper instead, if they included in it the tract for which it had been given originally.
In 1946 World War II was recent history. The discovery of atomic energy was new and to many it seemed to herald the end of the age. There was an urgency in Sister Moore¬ís soul to speed out the Gospel, for it appeared to be the last half-hour of the age. "God give us burning hearts to intensely occupy till Jesus comes!" was Sister Moore¬ís impassioned plea.
How she longed and fervently prayed for "unlimited means for an unlimited work." It was a constant prayer battle to keep sending Herald of His Coming free of charge, but incoming mail from one country after another, encouraged them not only to maintain but to increase the mailings. Christian American servicemen who had received Herald of His Coming overseas during the war had given their used papers to Christians where they were stationed, and calls were coming for the paper from those who had received and wanted more.
Also, at this time Brother and Sister Moore were making monthly payments in purchase of the building that housed the work and a few workers. It was a former mortuary in downtown Los Angeles. Each month around $290 had to be prayed in for the payment.
In 1946 there were strikes, which led to a paper shortage. Paper supply had been a serious problem for Herald of His Coming the year before as well. The War Production Board had notified them then of drastic reductions in paper supply. The amount of paper allotted was so low as to make it impractical to print the Herald. The local Board told them it was useless to appeal to Washington, D.C. But Brother and Sister Moore were led to appeal directly to Washington. "Then followed weeks of prayer and fasting," wrote Sister Moore, "while the matter was pending. Others¬í appeals had been turned down, and it was freely prophesied our appeal would be also. Instead, word was received that the allotment of paper for ¬ĎHerald of His Coming¬í and ¬ĎHow¬í (a salvation herald) was not to be curtailed. This was the Lord¬ís doing, and we speak of it rejoicingly to His glory!" she concludes.
With that answer to prayer to fortify their faith, in 1946 they faced the strikes that threatened the paper supply again. As before, they went to fasting and prayer, and again, "in a miraculous way, while paper houses all over the city of Los Angeles, were frantically cutting down their patrons, the Lord, through the brother of a Christian press, supplied papers and the Christian printer found a way not to cut down on the Herald!"
Also, in 1946 their large 1929 Packard car, given to the work in 1938, needed an overhaul. This was the vehicle in frequent use to pick up supplies and carry the mail to the post office. Added to that were costs of repairing a leaking roof and paying the property taxes.
Most of the work in those days was done by hand: folding the papers and tracts, packing in envelopes, weighing, stamping, mailing. Much of the work was done by volunteer workers¬ó"wonderful folk who pitched in with all their might" laboring in love side by side with Brother and Sister Moore. But there was urgent need for funds to pay a living wage to regular workers who could be on the job more steadily than volunteers who had other responsibilities. They also wanted to give a hot dinner to the volunteers who came for the day, although the volunteers willingly accepted a cold sandwich if funds did not allow otherwise.
Meeting the day-to-day needs of a growing ministry was a constant challenge to faith and kept them on their knees. There were certainly no excess funds to draw on. In 1946 they were praying for $3000 a month. Letters that came with gifts enclosed often revealed a spirit of sacrifice that had enabled the giving. Brother and Sister Moore gladly sought to match their sacrifice. They went without much of the "pleasant food" that others enjoyed. Their room was the sparsest in the humble building that housed the Herald. The clothing they wore was mostly secondhand.
Brother and Sister Moore had not chosen to begin a worldwide ministry. Both had long carried a heavy prayer burden for a languishing Church and a perishing world. That was enough to occupy them. But God clearly led them into printing a paper to share their burden and to call Christians to prayer. They felt insufficient and unworthy. Sister Moore encouraged herself by recalling the little stone in David¬ís sling that brought down mighty Goliath. Who would have guessed God would give the victory through an insignificant stone, unnoticed until God chose to use it?
"Who has despised the day of small things" asks God (Zech. 4:10). It is often His good pleasure to take the small things, the humble servants and handmaidens, to accomplish His plans and purposes. Like the Apostle Paul, whose writings were plentiful in their pleas for prayer, Brother and Sister Moore constantly asked Herald readers for prayer, knowing full well that it is by asking, seeking and knocking that we receive God¬ís almighty help. And whom did God use to help them in response to their prayers of faith? Only eternity will reveal the many readers, hidden away in humble homes in city and country, far away and near at hand, who were on their knees with them and who sent their modest gifts of love to sustain the ministry.
As we write we are mindful of you Herald of His Coming readers in many places who also feel the urgency and lateness of the hour, and you are eager to fulfill the calling of God you sense on your lives. But you are without the resources to do so. We trust these glimpses into the lives of Brother and Sister Moore will encourage you.
Do not despise your seeming lack and inability. Seek and find God¬ís leading for you personally. Then consistently, in humble and full dependence upon God, denying selfishness, keeping free from sin along every line, go forward step by step as God leads, trusting for His provision. As God enables, enlist the help of like-hearted and prayerful brothers and sisters. Prepare yourself to endure the trials of the way like a good soldier; persevere by His grace to the end. It will likely be a rugged pathway, but "the crown awaits the conquest!"