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May 1987


Editorial Comment

By the Year 2000

An Appeal to Disciples Everywhere

Financial Resources and the Kingdom of God

What Wesley Practiced and Preached About Money, II

I will Do a New Thing - When Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Dr. Bob Pierce: His Last Testament

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I Will Do a New Thing

When truth is stranger than fiction.

by Roberta H. Winter

Eight years ago, in June of 1979, my first book. Once More Around Jericho, came off the press. It was the story of the early months of the founding of the U.S. Center for World Mission.

At that point, a Hindu cult still occupied most of the campus. Their people were the appointed guardians of the property, had keys to every building and to every office. I frankly admit that while I was writing the book, I prayed often that God would protect my manuscript from them. I knew they would not appreciate the three chapters which exposed them. Later I was added to their list of ten who should be chanted against because of my book.

The concern about the cult was rather a minor concern of ours back then. By a true series of miracles of God, we had completed the first half of our down payment on this campus. In just three months we had to pay the rest of the $1.5 million. We had worked hard, but we lacked most of that necessary money. Our prayers were not so much that God would "give us the campus" as that His will would be done.

But since the cult not only occupied the campus but was determined to buy it, the situation was very much a Mt. Carmel type of power encounter "Whose God is greater? The gods of the New Age, or the God of the Bible?"

But unless God did a "crossing of the Red Sea" miracle for us. there was no way we could complete our down payment and move on to do all we felt that He had called us to do. And this was so much more than lo confront a Hindu-type cult. It was to aggressively move to confront Satan wherever he is in control, specifically in every still-unreached people group on earth, and to enlist the forces of the churches of America to wholeheartedly back the mission agencies as they took on these challenges by faith

My book, therefore, meant much to me and the rest of our staff. This was not just because of the dramatic story it told but because it was a call to battle, in a sense. I wanted God it to use it to bless His weary warriors, reminding them that He is indeed "able to all that they ask or think, according the power that works in them." I wanted it to encourage thousands of people to catch the vision God had given us. I prayed that as God led each reader, they might help us in our payment I hoped they would see that it was much more than a financial test; it was an all-out declaration to those deluded souls across the street and to the secular world that God is alive and has all authority and power.

I vividly remember the day those books came back from the printer. There were boxes and boxes of them. How we paid for that printing I don't know, but God provided.

Anyhow, we decided to send them out, all over the country, to everyone who had written to us. We wanted them to know more about us and to take as their own the vision God had given us of the unreached. I remember praying, "Oh, God, You know our desperate need! You know the challenge to Your authority we face from the cult. Now, use these books somehow for Your glory and for the sake of Your kingdom."

As a staff÷we couldn't have been much more than 25 at that time÷we laid hands on those thousands of books. And then they were mailed!

It is amazing how God answered that prayer. (Isn 'tit always?!) I still get letters from all over the world from people who happened to have picked up that book, now out of print for a number of years.

Many wrote rejoicing over God's faithfulness to us. Somehow that little book had given them the courage to press on in faith in the midst of their own difficulties and tests.

Several who were missionaries told how our lessons in spiritual warfare as told in the book had been most timely for them. They had followed the pattern God taught us, and miracles were also happening with them. How we rejoiced.

And, as I had prayed, several who were wandering from the Lord became wistful to find Him again, and now are radiant Christians. Isn't that wonderful?

Sadly, several who were relatives of cult members called saying they had read the book. Always their request was the same: "Is there any way you can help us to get in touch with our loved one? They don't get our letters. They can't speak to us on the phone. When we go to try to see them, their leaders won't let us near. All we could say was, "Pray."

Now the latest update of that book is ready. I have condensed the earlier book into half the space so as to have room for the last nine years. (Has it been that long?)

It is still a book of struggles, of miracles (often at the last minute), of spiritual warfare. It is also a book of enlarged understanding of God's purposes and will.

I was very frustrated when it took me so long to do the editing, writing and rewriting. The staff wondered if I would ever finish, and so did 1. Over and over again I announced that I thought it was done. Yet somehow it didn't seem quite right. Only later did Ralph and I realize that God himself was holding it up until we understood something new.

That explains why the title is I Will Do a New Thing. The odd thing, however, is that God gave me that title before I even understood what He was referring to. At first I thought it referred to the new kind of organization which we were, the new emphasis which we stressed. But I didn't then realize that it referred to much, much more, as most things that God touches usually do. But that is the story. As you read it I pray that the Spirit of God will open your heart, too.

The issue here is a spiritual, personal matter and a matter of hard fact÷seeing what God is already beginning to do all around the world and then sensing how it affects us.

The fact is that The New Thing÷in the Bible, and now in this book÷really has to do with God's final plans for the world, not just the U.S. Center for World Mission. We believe we are beginning to see the amazing evidences all over the world of the beginning of the end, things both horrifyingly evil, and unbelievably good. They are already happening right before our eyes!

As we did with that first book, we will send a copy of / Will Do a New Thing to anyone who wants to know more about the Center so that they can take as their own the vision of the unreached God has given us.

My prayer is that God may use it to bless your heart, to enable you to see His kingdom more clearly, and to glorify His name. That is all I want, and that is enough!

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