Just before I graduated from the University of Chicago, I turned to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him I found peace and purpose in life, which I had never known before. I realised that God wanted me to serve Him, but I did not know where or how.
During my brief seven months at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago I learned the importance of foreign missions. My interest deepened when I attended a large missionary conference and heard more about God's great program for the earth in this age of grace.
About two years after becoming a Christian, I became the pastor of a Baptist church in Mason County, West Virginia. I began to rouse the interest of church members in foreign missions, inviting missionaries to the church to tell the people about their work. We soon began to support William Taylor who was then serving as a missionary in Costa Rica. His visit encouraged me to think that service in a foreign land might well be the thing God wanted for me. Taylor loaned me two biographies of missionaries who had served in India. William Carey and Amy Carmichael, both of which moved and inspired me. I became the pastor of two more churches, where I brought before the people the great need of many foreign lands for the Gospel of Christ.
The conviction grew on me that I should not be simply telling others of the need, but trying to meet that need myself. This conviction came through the teachings of the Bible and by the Holy Spirit. So I decided to apply to The India Mission. I was accepted and sailed for India in December, 1952.
Why choose India? Because it was the largest and neediest open mission field in the world. I might well have gone to China, had China been open to foreign missionaries. But India was God's place for me, and I have not doubted it from the time I sailed for that land more than 50 years ago. After rising from the dead and before ascending to heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ spent 40 days with His disciples. During this time,He taught them concerning the kingdom of God and instructing them about what they were to do. In each of the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles we have His final instructions, revealing His heart concerns and what He wants His people to be doing. Here they are:
* Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.. (Matthew 28:19)
* Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
* Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47)
* As the Father has sent me, I also send you. (John 20:21)
* You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8). After evangelizing in one place, the disciples were to move on to others places and lands that needed the Gospel. These commands of the Lord Jesus came with great power to me, as indeed they should to all believers everywhere. I reasoned like this:
* Why should some countries have a great abundance of churches and Christians and Bible schools and colleges and Christian radio programs and publishing houses, and where anyone who wants to hear of Christ and believe in Him can certainly do so, while many areas of the earth remain in gross darkness, without churches, Christians, Christian schools, or the opportunity to hear the Gospel?
* In India and many other parts of the world there are thousands of villages and towns without a single Christian, let alone a church, and where the opportunity of hearing the Gospel of Christ is remote.
* I was young and healthy and knew the Gospel. Should I then remain in the United States, the most heavily evangelized nation on earth, when I could go to places with desperate need of the Gospel and to those who had little or no chance of hearing it?
Is this not both Scriptural and reasonable? The Communists had a slogan, “Go where the revolution needs you most.” Should Christians be less sensible and dedicated?” Paul is the great example of what a Christian and Christian worker should be.
Here is the example he set for us: "I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man's foundation, but as it is written, To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand..." (Romans 15:20,21)
Some may say, But what about the needy person in my own town, down the road from my house, my neighbor? Certainly we are to help them and share the Gospel at every opportunity. But this does not relieve us of the responsibility of taking the Gospel to those in other lands, who have far greater needs and much less opportunity. It does not free us from the final commands of Jesus to His believers.
This is God's great program in this age of grace. This is why I have been a missionary, and why I will encourage others to think in a Scriptural way about all this. To me it is a matter of simple obedience to the Lord's marching orders to His church. If this is not already true of you, I pray that it will become so. May you carry out your duty to do what is in your power so that the whole world, and not merely your little corner of it, has the opportunity to hear the wonderful Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This alone can save from eternal ruin.
Grace Ministries is serving in India, in areas of great need. We work among Hindus, Muslims and tribal people, preaching the Gospel, establishing churches and schools and helping those in need with the few resources we have. With more prayer partnerships and financial resources we could do more. We have a great God, a great commission and great opportunities to serve in India. Let us work together while it is yet day, for the night comes when no man can work.
Bob Crow went to be with his and our Saviour on 2007, May 23rd around 7.45 pm.
Dr. J. I. Packer once commented after reading some of Bob Crow's books,
"Bob writes like C. S. Lewis."