Monday, November 26, 2018

John Allen Chau - Missionary, Martyr

“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worth it to declare Jesus to these people.  Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed.”  
- John Allen Chau, 26 year old missionary who gave his life trying to reach a primitive tribe with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

John Allen Chau was a missionary to several countries.  He recently went to a remote Indian island to tell a primitive tribe that he loved them, and so did Jesus.  The tribe apparently killed him and buried him in the sand. 

Many have since criticized Chau.  I beg to differ. 

Do not expect the secular media to understand or appreciate the concept of Christian Missions.  They usually don’t.  But in this case, even many Christians have condemned Chau. 

We do not know what was in this missionary’s heart.  But I’m inclined to believe the best, not the worst. 

Some may have considered Jonah a self-appointed missionary to Nineveh.  Or maybe a thrill seeker.  And he could have easily been tortured and killed.  Yet he was following God’s will. 

Virtually every one of Jesus’ 12 disciples eventually died as a result of their missionary work.  A missionary dying does not necessarily mean failure. 

Perhaps God calls some to go and die.  We should be careful to judge. 

Sometimes we are to hide from danger, or protect ourselves from danger; sometimes not. 

When a people are in danger of going to Hell, some are willing to take heroic measures to save them.  Reminds me of - Jesus. 
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  -John 12:24-25 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  -Romans 5:8

For More Information:

Despite the need for effective entry methods to a people group, Eitel said, sometimes a missionary may be called to attempt bold evangelistic campaigns that imperil their lives.
"If you can't contact anybody" in the group you're trying to reach, Eitel said, "then try to only venture in when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that even if it costs you your life, that this is what God wants you to do."
If God called Chau to make such a sacrifice, Eitel said, his death may inspire other missionaries to reach the Sentinelese and other uncontacted UUPGs for years to come.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 26, AD 2018. 

Other Articles in lower right margin. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Mildred McWhorter and the Rotten Watermelons

In the early1970s I had the opportunity to serve two summers as a summer missionary (aka volunteer, critter) at the Baptist Mission Centers in Houston, Texas.  The Director was Mildred McWhorter (AD 1930-2018).  My dad, Joe Brumbelow, was pastor of Doverside Baptist Church, 619 Berry Road in Houston.  Joe and Bonnie Brumbelow had a long friendship with Mildred McWhorter and their churches had occasionally provided meals for the summer missionaries, often around 30 or more. 

I began preaching in my teen years and Miss McWhorter inquired whether I would be interested in serving as a summer missionary.  She mentioned she usually did not allow summer missionaries to serve until they were out of high school, but because she personally knew me and my parents, she thought it might work out.  I felt the Lord leading and agreed.  I would live at home and just commute back and forth.  I was paid the whopping sum of $45 a week the first summer, and because of decreased available funds, $35 a week the next summer.  This was while I was a sophomore and junior at Sam Houston High School.  I learned a tremendous amount from Miss McWhorter, the other summer missionaries, and the ministry there. 

I heard of the time some classy ladies from an affluent church arrived and wanted to help for the day.  Dressed in their best, Miss McWhorter directed them to a large, overflowing closet that needed emptied, cleaned, and organized.  It was dirty, tough work.  It did not take them long to feel a calling elsewhere and to announce they could not stay any longer. 

Though there was mutual respect between my parents and Miss McWhorter, she did not go easy on me.  I don’t think she went easy on anyone.  It did not take her long to find out if a summer missionary was going to work out.  But she didn’t ask anyone to do work she was not willing to do herself. 

My very first day Miss McWhorter took me to a large garbage bin.  Not the kind we have that are picked up and emptied by a truck.  This large bin was made out of plywood.  She explained that a truckload of watermelons had been donated to the Fletcher Street Mission.  They had a watermelon party a week or two before and had thrown all the watermelon rinds in this outdoor garbage bin.  They were now rotten, mushy, and smelled terrible.  The garbage truck would not pick them up unless they were put in garbage bags.  She handed me a box of garbage bags.  A lot of garbage bags.  My first job as a missionary was to put the rotten watermelon rinds in garbage bags, tie them, and place them on the sidewalk for pickup.  No one else to help me, just me and the garbage bags.  Oh, and I had no gloves, though later I did get to wash my hands. 

It took a long, long while, but I bagged the rotten watermelon rinds without objection; my parents had raised me right.  After that first day, I think Miss McWhorter decided I would work out just fine. 

I later got to do other things, dirty and otherwise.  I got to teach, preach a little, and do all types of ministry.  On one occasion I was put in charge of teaching a group of about 55 or 60 kids in a two-week Vacation Bible School at the Mission Centers.  In all the work we did, we shared the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But I’ll always remember my first day and the rotten watermelons.  She had probably saved them a couple of weeks just for me. 

Compared to what Jesus did for us, rotten watermelon rinds are nothing.  If Jesus washed the disciples feet, if He died for the world, then no job should be beneath us. 

By the way, others called her Miss Mac.  I didn’t.  I was too scared.  I always called her Miss McWhorter. 

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 19, AD 2018. 


 Other Articles in lower right margin. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Obituary: Mildred McWhorter

Mildred McWhorter (AD 1930-2018) died June 17 in Franklin, Georgia at age 87.  A native of Georgia, she came to Texas in 1958 to do mission work in Port Arthur.  She then moved to Houston, TX in 1963.  She led the Baptist Mission Centers in Houston from 1963-1992.  The Baptist Mission Centers were a ministry of local Baptists as well as the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board). 

At Centralhatchee Baptist Church, Centralhatchee, GA, Mildred was saved at 13 after learning John 3:16 and realizing the “whosoever” meant her.  She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Berry College, Rome, GA and studied at the Carver School of missions and Social Word at Louisville, KY.  Turned down by the Foreign Mission Board (IMB), she began work with the Home Mission Board. 

She became legendary in her work in lower income areas of inner-city Houston.  She loved the people and loved Jesus.  In meeting needs of food and clothing, she always shared the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ.  She ministered to drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, and regular low-income folks.  Not all appreciated her ministry, she estimated the tires on her car had been slashed well over 100 times.  She coordinated the work of hundreds of volunteers, often college and seminary students.  David R. Brumbelow had the privilege of being one of her volunteers (Critters) for two summers while he was in High School (more about that in a future article). 

Miss McWhorter (Miss Mac) never married and felt she could not have accomplished what she did with the responsibilities of a husband and children.  She did adopt three boys after their mother died, Carl Guevara, Lloyd Lane, Terry Lane. 

She never lost her love of Georgia.  She would occasionally speak of going to the Holy Land.  Some thought she was taking a trip to Israel; she was speaking of Georgia.  Upon retirement, she returned to the Holy Land, Centralhatchee, Georgia. 

My parents, Joe and Bonnie Brumbelow, knew her well and thought the world of Miss McWhorter.  I remember in the late 1960s my church provided a meal for the critters at the Baptist Mission Centers.  Miss McWhorter told mom and dad (my dad was the pastor) she always looked forward to a meal from their church because they always did a first-class job.  By the way, when your church provides such a meal, make sure you do your best cooking and provide plenty of it; it can be a huge blessing. 

Miss McWhorter had a tremendous influence on the volunteers, as well as thousands in the communities of the Fletcher and Joy Mission Centers. 

For more about Mildred McWhorter:

Always a Friend: The Story of Mildred McWhorter, by Jan Turrentine; 1988. 
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November 14, AD 2018. 

Other Articles in lower right margin.