Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 30, 1955

They Say I Can't Do It!

The Dalles, Oregon

Some five years ago while I was attending Abilene Christian College, my wife and I decided to some day go to the Union of South Africa. When I graduated in 1952, I realized that I needed some experience preaching for an established congregation before attempting an entirely new work such as that would be. We moved, therefore, to The Dalles, Oregon, where I have been preaching ever since.

Last fall, we made our final decision to go. We planned then to leave this fall, the Lord willing. We want to go to the city of Durban, a city having 565,000 people, one-third of whom are English speaking whites. There is no church of the Lord in the city as yet. We feel the opportunities for doing good are unlimited there. Not only will we be able to start the work among the whites, but we will also be able to do teaching among the natives. The work in other cities in the Union has been among both whites and natives, and native preachers are being trained and sent back into the interior. We hope to be able to do the same in Durban.

But willing to go is not the same as going. I began contacting churches with which I was acquainted, asking for support in this work. But the answers were universally disappointing. Over and over I heard, "We hope you can go. If you keep on trying, we are sure you will find support." The refrain became so repetitious that I could not help thinking of James' reference when he said, "Be ye warmed and filled."

But the biggest snag I have run into is that I do not have a sponsor and do not desire one. I have heard several times the sentiment, "This church would be much more willing to help you if you had a sponsoring church." Several have told me that they don't think I can raise my support without getting a sponsor.

This seems most peculiar to me. I have never met a brother who has asserted the "direct" method of support to be unscriptural. Yet brethren prefer a method which, to say the least, is questionable as to its scripturalness. We have come to a sad state of affairs when we prefer "our" way of doing things to the Lord's way.

They say I can't raise my support without a sponsor. I have faith enough in God and His ways to believe that I can. I believe that there are brethren who are both interested in preaching the gospel to the whole creation and also interested in doing it scripturally. I do not believe the oft-repeated charge that those who oppose questionable methods of doing evangelistic work are opposed to doing evangelistic work regardless of method.

Are there some churches who are interested in the South African work who are in a position to help us to go? Please do not put this appeal aside to forget it. Write to me, or to the elders of this church. We will be glad to furnish you with any information you desire. May God add His blessing to this appeal.

Paul K. Williams

c/o Church of Christ 401 E. 10th