They Might Have Lived


John G. Lake had 125 men out of his churches on the field at one time. They were a very young institution, not well known in the world. One day, certain men in England and America began rumors about John. Finances got so low, as people withdrew their support under the awful attack, that they soon could not even mail $10 a month to the workers. Then it got so bad he could not even send them $2. Lake did not want to take the responsibility of having men and their families on the frontier under such conditions. 

The staff at headquarters sold their clothes, jewelry, pieces of furniture, and in one case, their house to bring those 125 workers off the field for a conference. One night in the progress of the conference, John was asked by a committee to leave the room for a minute or two. The conference wanted to have a word by themselves. He stepped out to a restaurant for a cup of coffee and returned soon after.

When John came back in, he found the chairs arranged in an oval, with a little table at the end, and on the table was the bread and wine. Old Father Van der Wall, speaking for the company, said, “Brother Lake, during your absence, we have come to a conclusion. We have made our decision. We want you to serve the Lord’s supper. We are going back to our fields. We are going back if we have to walk back. We are going back if we have to starve. We are going back if our wives die. We are going back if our children die. We are going back if we die ourselves. We have but one request. If we die, we want you to come and bury us.” The next year he buried 12 men, 16 wives and children. John sadly recounted, “There was not one of them, if they had had a few of the things a white man needs to eat, but what they might have lived. “

“…. That is the kind of consecration that established Pentecost in South Africa. …”

And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.  (Revelation 12:11 NLT)

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