Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 8, 1970

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello World

Wallace H. Little

With these words the stewardess on our 707 flight from Saigon's Tan San Nhut airport to Travis Air Force Base, California greeted us just as we broke ground. To say that my eyes filled and throat tightened is to understate the case. 29 July 1969 was a day I had been looking forward to for a long time. The Lord was gracious and allowed me the fulfilling of my desire to return to my family in the U. S.

I have been privileged in the five weeks following my return, to speak before a number of churches, some sufficiently large that those present totaled more than the aggregate of all the saints with whom I met for my entire year in Vietnam. The largest number we had was eight, and that only several times. Two (Mt. 18:20) was not uncommon and four was about average. On one occasion I was by myself. It is impossible for me to describe the emotions which went through me standing before groups of God's saints here in the U. S. when my mind immediately contrasted them with the ones so much smaller in Vietnam.

When I arrived we were meeting only once each week, at two PM each Lord's Day. It was not possible to find a time when all could meet. Some had to work part of these Sundays, at least at my base. Also, there were six Christians who attended worship only once or twice during their year, not because they could not, but because they WOULD NOT! Repeated urging had no effect — when they left the U. S. for Vietnam, they left Jesus behind — if indeed they ever had Him at all.

Congregations such as these dot the world beyond the borders of the United States. Yes, and there are areas within the U. S. like this also. To be with one is to learn to appreciate the opportunities to work and worship with larger units, to draw strength from and be encouraged by those of like precious faith. Those who are with larger churches, appreciate your added blessings for they are many.

But that God's power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16) might bless all, some must be with the twos and threes scattered throughout the world. So when faithful men come seeking your fellowship that they might go to these out-of-the-way places, count your blessings and dig deep to help them. You may never know the loneliness, the disappointments or the deep sense of personal frustration they will often experience, generally with little or no encouragement, putting their trust completely in God because there is no other one in whom to put it. But they will know these things. And they'll be knowing them for you. As you weep with them be consoled, for you'll rejoice with them also as they bring precious souls to Christ.

All cannot go, but all can have part in the sending. All who can go will not. But when one is found who can and will, treasure him, lift up his hands. He needs your support, and you need to support him — Acts 20:35. Thus through him, God's gospel will be preached throughout His earth.

For those who do go, remember it will be "Goodbye world, hello out-of-the-way place" and they will be carrying part of your load. Therefore, help carry part of theirs.

In addition to those who go, there are those already there, native to the area who need help. These are often the most effective since they know their own people, and require less support than an outsider. There are today still fourteen of God's faithful in the Philippines who need support. If you are interested, please contact me.

Finally my brethren, I want to thank all who extended their hospitality to my family and I as we toured the country, speaking at various churches in the interest of the Philippine work. We are all very grateful. May God bless you.

Kelley Air Force Base San Antonio, Texas 78241