The Francis Asbury Society

The Fruit of Our Labors

Posted on | January 31, 2018 | Comments Off on The Fruit of Our Labors

By Hubert Harriman, FAS Speaker

“Marta!” she said with enthusiasm.

I was in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, teaching an intensive theological education course, and I had asked the students to give me their names and a testimony before we began our study of John Wesley.

Through her testimony, I learned that Marta’s husband had passed away a while back, and her children were grown and married. She was alone, living across the street from the church she now attends. She sheepishly spoke of how she had been Catholic all her life and had started coming to church four years ago. There, she had found the Lord as her Savior. I didn’t understand why she was so sheepish about her background until later.

Pastor Raymond and wife with Allshouses

Pastor Raymond and his wife with the Allshouses

Bill and Lydia Allshouse (WGM missionaries in Mexico who were getting us around during our stay there) joined our study group for lunch, and Bill immediately recognized Marta. The Allshouses had moved to a new ministry location and had not seen Marta for years. They did not know of her conversion, and Bill was absolutely amazed! I understood why as Bill told me more of her story.

Hubert with students - Marta in cap

Hubert with students – Marta is wearing a white stocking cap

It began fifteen years earlier, when Bill and the pastor, Raymond, were working to establish a church and hold services. Marta and her husband lived across the street, and they did not like that a church was being built across from their home. “They would play loud music to compete with the worship time. They tried to hinder us in different ways, even getting the police involved one time. She was a difficult person,” Bill shared. Yet I met Marta when she was studying theology and drinking in the truth she was learning, and her participation in class was delightful.

Marta and the other students were working toward a cherished certificate, which involved many more classes, in an intense theological education program. The students taking these classes are both young and older, but all have a great desire to know more of God’s great truths and “to prepare themselves,” as Catherine Booth would say, “for what God had prepared for them.” Their lives have the potential of starting a holy fire in another heart, church, or nation.

I saw something of that holy fire when I preached in another church the following Sunday, in Santa Catalina. It is reaching many young families—more than the building can hold! What a delight it was to preach to them!

There is a long line of people who have allowed God to use them to touch lives in their communities. They are making a difference day in and day out, year after year, people like Marta’s pastor (who finally reached her for Jesus) and the Allshouses, people who have been faithful in their calling to serve where God has placed them. As a visiting teacher and preacher, I was blessed just to enjoy the fruit of their labors. It was wonderful!

(This story was written by Hubert Harriman, who with his wife, Sarah, witnessed these things in their trip to Mexico in January 2018, as Hubert ministered in teaching and preaching.)

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