International (MNN) — Five centuries ago, Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the globe, braving a mutiny, storms, and an entire host of other challenges. In a society as global as ours today, historic feats such as this can become another simple fact to file away for tests and trivia nights. Yet history is more than a collection of facts, in part because of how it impacts our lives today.
Travel around the world has steadily become quicker and easier since Magellan’s time. Though globalization has brought some negative consequences, such as a global pandemic, it has also unquestionably brought benefits. Information and communication can zip across the world in mere seconds, allowing us to communicate everything from news to personal messages. Perhaps most importantly, the highways of the seas and the sky have opened up more avenues than ever for the Gospel.
For All the World
Helen Williams of World Missionary Press explains that through the vast networks of trade and transportation, the ministry is able to spread the Good News far and wide. When World Missionary Press has booklets ready to ship, they go through a process of obtaining shipping quotes and putting paperwork in order. Once everything is set, a truck driver comes to pick up the booklets.
“We pray for the driver. We pray for the booklets that are going halfway around the world. The driver takes [the booklets] to a rail yard in Chicago. From there, they go to the port and get loaded on a ship,” Williams says.
World Missionary Press ships materials all over the world, but Williams says certain locations are more challenging than others. In Africa, for example, many of the countries are landlocked, requiring additional transportation by truck into the interior of the continent. Once the booklets finally arrive at their destinations, they’re gradually shipped out or picked up by those who need them. Finally, after plenty of work and prayer, the booklets reach the hands of the individuals they were printed to help.
This long, arduous process has innumerable points where things could go wrong. However, Williams says that even in years like 2020, God’s hand is on the entire process.
“Last year was a challenging year for shipping overseas, particularly because of the pandemic, but we were able to send more than 30 containers,” she says. “None of them had major blocks. The Lord delivered every single one of those without incident, without extra cost. We know the Lord wraps His angels around these shipments when they leave here and guides them all the way through.”
The Lord does amazing work with these booklets once they reach peoples’ hands, especially in times when large gatherings and travel might not be permitted.
“People are seeing, particularly in the last year, the value of the printed word when they can’t have major campaigns. The Word is given from individual to individual and reaches into places where there aren’t other opportunities to hear the Gospel,” Williams explains.
World Missionary Press offers several ways for you to become involved in their ministry. The first is to use the materials they produce, whether you request them to share with a friend or send to a missionary family you support overseas. The second way is through prayer.
“We really lean on prayer. What we do here is only by God’s direction and through His Spirit. It’s His work, and we want to constantly be aware that we need His strength and wisdom,” Williams says.
Header image depicts a painting of Magellan’s ship, Victoria. (Wikimedia Commons/public domain)