As the airplane climbed out over St. George’s University, we settled in for the relatively short 3 hour flight to Puerto Rico. As Grenada receded into the distance and the seemingly endless blue of sky and sea stretched before us, I thought with some discontent over the events of the morning.
A few minutes before, as we arrived at the airport, we met our neighbors from ¼ mile down the road who are missionaries for another denomination. They also were preparing to return to the US for a short visit, but unlike us they would have the speed and comfort of a commercial fight. “Why should we who proclaim the truth of the Sabbath and the third-angel’s message, be obliged to travel in a slow, cramped, and noisy airplane while others get to travel in comfort?” I thought.
Resolving to make the best of it, I awkwardly reached into a carry-on bag under my feet and took out my morning devotional book, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1. In the busyness of getting ready to leave Grenada, it had been a couple days since I had read. I opened to the bookmark and began reading again of the experiences of James and Ellen White in the early days of their ministry.
For want of means we took the cheapest private conveyance, second-class cars, and lower-deck passage on steamers. In my feeble condition I found traveling by private conveyance most comfortable. When on second-class cars, we were usually enveloped in tobacco smoke, from the effects of which I often fainted. When on steamers, on lower deck, we suffered the same from the smoke of tobacco, besides the swearing and vulgar conversation of the ship hands and the baser portion of the traveling public. At night we lay down to sleep on the hard floor, dry goods boxes, or sacks of grain, with carpetbags for pillows, and overcoats and shawls for covering. If suffering from the winter’s cold, we would walk the deck to keep warm. When oppressed by the heat of summer, we would go upon the upper deck to secure the cool night air. This was fatiguing to me, especially when traveling with an infant in my arms. This manner of life was by no means one of our choosing. God called us in our poverty, and led us through the furnace of affliction, to give us an experience which should be of great worth to us, and an example to others who should afterward join us in labor.
Our Master was a man of sorrows; He was acquainted with grief; and those who suffer with Him will reign with Him… Suffering has been the portion of the people of God from the days of the martyr Abel. The patriarchs suffered for being true to God and obedient to His commandments. The great Head of the church suffered for our sake; His first apostles and the primitive church suffered; the millions of martyrs suffered, and the Reformers suffered. And why should we, who have the blessed hope of immortality, to be consummated at the soon appearing of Christ, shrink from a life of suffering?
Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 77, 78
Suddenly seized with regret for my wrong attitude, I closed my eyes and thanked God for His faithfulness. The rest of the flight – all 15 hours of it – seemed to be such a blessing compared to what Jesus our Master and former generations have experienced.How is it with you dear friends? Are you clinging to the comforts of this world? It’s natural if we forget to keep our eyes on Jesus and the example He gave us while in this world.
God has recently convicted me that my picture of His love and the future glory of heaven is far too small. Think of the most beautiful scenes this earth has to offer. These pale in comparison to the beauty and scale of the world to come. The New Jerusalem is vast beyond comprehension. Revelation 21:16 describes a (possible) cube between 1400 and 1500 miles per side. That is at least 2 million square miles at the base, or nearly ¼ the total land area of North America. If the city is that large, what about the country that contains it? Do you think there will be an over-crowding problem?
A tiny Matchbox car when held in front of your eye can block the view of your brand new dream car, yet no one would argue that the toy could ever compare with the experience of owning and driving the real thing. How easily we allow the enemy to distract us with the shiny trinkets of this world!
God continues to bless the Grenada Family Network. Nearly every week we are blessed by the testimonies of GFN listeners. We not only have listeners in Grenada but in at least 25 countries around the world via the Internet. Month after month we see potential financial disaster or other challenges looming and yet God provides, through the generosity of you – His faithful workers, at just the right time. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice to see others in the Kingdom!
- $7,497 for new radio broadcast and editing computers. See: http://www.bsiusa.com/systems/s110/s110.php (Our current hardware is 7 years old and beginning to fail which would take us off the air)
- $300 for shipping books and supplies
- $650/mo for volunteer stipend. (Join us in prayer that God will abundantly supply for our new volunteers the Burishkins.)
- $500 for maintenance and repairs at the station house.
- Prayers that the promise of Matthew 24:14 will soon be fulfilled.
How to Help:
You can specify the Grenada Family Network and send a tax deductible donation to:
Steve and Samra Shedell
PO Box 2747
St. Paul’s, St. George’s
Grenada, West Indies
1 (473) 435-4297