Do you remember the line from the movie “The Field of Dreams” which said; “If you build it they will come!” The story line was about a farmer who builds a ball field out in the middle of his cornfield. Players who played for the love of the game would mystically appear to play their beloved sport, baseball.
One of the stops we made on our tour of Mission Lazarus was at a wood working shop. The idea behind this is to give young boys a marketable skill they can use. The day we were there they were working with planes. It was interesting to watch the boys shave off some wood with their planes and look carefully at what they had done. When they opened this facility for the year they anticipated maybe 30 would be in attendance. They wound up with 71 boys being there to learn a trade. If you remember from Tim’s report last Sunday or from part I of this series, Mission Lazarus is a 1200 plus acre refuge. As I stood at various points on the property, I never saw the first home. The boys would walk for miles in the hills to get to this wood working facility. It was the same way with the church at Las Pitas. Once again on top of this mountain, I never saw the first home. I was told that people will walk three miles one way to come and worship.
Build it and they will come takes on new meaning to me. There seems to be a hungering to one, learn a trade and two to come and worship the true and living God. When one looks at the exciting stories of the early church in Acts, one senses that this was truly more than a fad, it was a life changing experience. As people accepted Christ as their savior, they began to live the Christian life. They learned about sharing possessions, helping one another when there was a need and eating and praying together. Acts 2:44 says; “All the believers were together and had everything in common.” The church was established, that which was part of God’s plan from the beginning. The results were truly remarkable! I wonder sometimes if we have grown complacent. We know that the congregation (Maple Hill) is here. We have grown comfortable with the building. Do you remember a few short years ago when we were building this facility? The excitement was high, the anticipation of what we could do was exciting. Maybe somewhere someone was saying; “If you build it they will come.” Is it time to renew some of that excitement and share with others the love of Christ?