What about those who have never heard the Gospel? Part 2 – Dan Freeman

By Bonnie

A frequently heard question from unbelievers is, “What about the people who have never heard the Gospel?” Do you think God would neglect to make provision for them? Every person is given an opportunity to repent and be born again. The message below from Dan Freeman, a missionary to Taiwan, is a wonderful example of how God reaches people that we can have no interaction with. His story is one of the most heart-stirring examples I have ever heard of what God will do to reach the lost.

Don’t be put off when he uses the word heathen. This Biblical word simply means one who worships idols or is unacquainted with the true God.

This sermon takes only 30 minutes to read. If you can spend an hour watching a TV show, why not spend some time learning some things that are spiritually useful? The experience Freeman shares with us is one you will never forget.

I transcribed the sermon (from a cassette tape) after hearing it at Fairfax Baptist Temple in 1985 or 1986. It left a lasting impression on my life. I have tried to preserve Mr. Freeman’s vernacular speech. There are also some references to slides, but that doesn’t affect the message. Hope you enjoy it . . .

Dan and Louise Freeman today

[Congregational singing had just finished.] Buddhists have no songs. Visitation is one thing we can do that is different from unsaved people. Unsaved people go to church, and give an offering, sing in the choir, but unsaved people can never lead anyone to Christ.

When you are out there, you’ll have one fella who will sit back in his chair and ask, “Well now, you just answer me a question, young fella! What about all those heathen people? You tryin’ to tell me that all those people over there in Ethiopia that don’t have any food or clothes, are you tryin’ to tell me that God’s gonna send all those people to Hell?”

Now, first thing you have to remember is the guy has probably never read the Bible anytime in his life. He’s probably never read it. If he had ever read it, he probably wouldn’t ask that question — if he knew anything about it at all. We’re gonna answer that question tonight by taking the Bible and showing what God has done. The God who made Heaven and Earth loves heathen people more than anybody in this building tonight. And He’s done more for them than you could ever do. He loves ‘em and He cares about any time one of their children is sick. He cares just as much about that one as ours. Because God’s universal love is without regard to nation, did ya know that? It’s without respect to persons. He loves the Chinese as much as He loves the Americans. And I know sometimes we get to thinkin He doesn’t, but He does. Now:

Romans 1:18-25: For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beast, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

In verse 18, wrath is revealed against unrighteousness. All ungodly (persons) will experience God’s wrath. Do you know that it’s possible for a man to know the truth, to have the truth in his hand, and it not do him any good? Now those people all over this country who had a Bible in their hand when they went to church this morning — is the Bible all true? It sure is, but they went to churches or whatever you call them all over and they told them, “Now you gotta be a Mormon to go to Heaven, you gotta join this church here, you gotta be baptized here” — they did all that stuff. And the truth they had didn’t do them any good because they held it in unrighteousness. Any righteousness other than the righteousness of Christ is unrighteousness. So any man that claims anything outside of Christ and Him alone for salvation holds the truth in unrighteousness. If you’re gonna have the truth in righteousness, you have to hold it in Jesus Christ and Him alone. He’s our righteousness, don’t ya see.

(Referring to verses 19 and 20) Now if I gave someone some instruction tonight — this brother Gill, here — I want to tell him how to fly a plane. Now he goes out to the airport and he gets in and he crashes, you know, and he comes back in here and his suit’s ripped and he’s all mad, he’s pulled the rest of his hair out, and he’s all upset . . . He comes in and he says, “Brother Freeman, you didn’t tell me right. You didn’t give me right instructions.”

Now he could do that. You know why he could do that? Because I’m human. Because as a human, I can make mistakes. I can forget to tell him how you get the plane down, see. I can forget to tell him that you should check the gas before you go up, you see. I could forget all that stuff, but did you know that when God tells a man something, a man can never say that. All through your Bible when God reveals something to a prophet, it was clear. God does not have a loss for the right kind of words. God can communicate 100% when He wants to do it. He does every time. And for a man to say, “Well, I don’t know, God showed it, but I just didn’t know,” — he’s lying. Because when God shows you something you’ll know it. You’ll always know it.

a crowded bus in Taiwan

Now if we got on a plane tonight and we took off and we go over to Taiwan — we go over to Taiwan and we get out at the airport. And we get out there, first thing you’d be shocked. You wouldn’t believe there’s a real airport there. You’d say, “Well, I thought we’d land in a rice paddy or something. This concrete runway and glass and everything, this is pretty good.” Then you’d walk out that airport door and you’d know you were in another country, because the first thing you’d see would be a bus and you’d say, “You can’t get that many people in a bus!” But they do, friend, they do! And you’d have to get on that bus. Now you wouldn’t see anything but arms and legs sticking out, but they’d get you in. There’d be a shover at the door, and he’d shove you right on in and then shut the door. And they’d take you on into town and we’d get off the bus.

And as you started walking along, you look over here and there’d be a box over there. Something you never saw before prob’ly. And as you walked along you notice every house you passed had a shelf upon the wall when you looked at the house and on each side there’d be a red lit candle and little images up there. And it wouldn’t be long and you’d be walking along and you’d come to a huge temple — incense pot outside and golden statue inside and gold and gems all over the place. And you know the first thing you’d discover? That every heathen man in this world knows there’s a god already. I do not have to tell them there’s a god. They already know that. They’ve got their theology turned around, but they all know there’s a god already. They believe all kinds of strange things about him, but they know he’s there. And they worship him, he’s all around, they’ve got temples all over the place for him. The Chinese original position is this: There’s one god who made all other gods and he fights to stay in power and he wins sometimes and he loses sometimes, but there’s one god that made it all. And they call him Shon-dee. That’s their god above the gods. They all know that. Where’d they learn that?

You say, “Missionary, who doesn’t know that?” Well, nobody at Harvard knows that. We got fellas in the House of Representatives that prob’ly don’t know it. I bet you’ve got PhD’s from every school in the country that don’t know that. You see, the Bible says, “The fool believes in his heart there is no God.” Heathen are not fools. They may be heathen but they are not fools.

It’s like the lady said, “If you don’t have an education, you’ll just have to learn to use your brain.” And they know, friend, there’s a god. They know that. You know where they learned that from? God hath shown that unto them.

Now as you walked along among them, you’d find this out real soon. You begin to talk to ‘em. Pretty soon you’d find out that all of them believe in Heaven. There isn’t a Buddhist over there that doesn’t believe in Heaven. He says, “Where god lives, is Heaven. And there’s no death, there’s no sorrow, there’s no pain, there’s no separation, that’s the perfect place. “

Buddhist temple in Taiwan

That heathen man’s life is lived in light of going to Heaven. He goes to that temple, he wants to go to Heaven. It’s not the heathen people that are trying to build some huge empire that’s gonna endure for a 1,000 years. You never hear them sit down and talk about if we just lay our guns down and then they lay their guns down, throw our Bible in the trash can, hug everybody, and kiss everybody, we’re gonna have Heaven on Earth. They’ve got better sense than that.

Listen, if you laid all your bombs down and Russia laid all her bombs down and you took 5 Russians and 5 Americans and locked ‘em in a room, there’d be blood comin’ out of that room in about 30 minutes. You know why? They’d be sluggin’ it out. You know why? There’s something wrong with man! And a heathen man knows god is not gonna make Heaven outta this earth. He knows that Heaven is the place where God lives and it cannot be polluted with the mess that goes on down here. And he wants to go there.

You say, “Who doesn’t know that?” You’ve got plenty of people who live like they don’t know that. You’ve got people tonight in our nation, that if you asked them if they want to go to Heaven, they’d just laugh at you and walk off. Not a heathen man. He’s got more sense than that.

The next thing you’d find out is this. You’d find out that all those heathen people over there already believe there’s a Hell. Now, you talk to a Buddhist, and he’ll tell you there’s 18 degrees of Hell. And he’ll say this, “If you’re a real rotten bum, then you’ll go all the way down to the bottom. If you’re just a common rotten everyday bum, then you just go in two or three floors. But you are gonna go there and pay for the evil you did.”

His logic is this. If I have a garbage can and burn my trash to get rid of it, then God also has enough sense to have a garbage can and He burns it to get rid of it. Now, who told him that? Well, he read Life magazine. You know better than that. You say, “Who doesn’t know there’s a Hell?” Nobody at Brigham Young. There isn’t a soul out there — they were rated number one in the nation, and nobody on the team knows there’s a Hell. How can that be?

Now the J.W.’s don’t believe it. Who told the heathen man there’s a Hell? God has shown it unto him. You can’t explain it any other way. He knows there’s got to be a Hell. He knows that if God is righteous, God is not gonna let the junk into Heaven that goes on down here. He knows that evil’s gotta be punished and God has Hell to punish it. And he thinks Hell’s a place of fire, and torment, and brimstone. How ‘bout that?

He doesn’t think it’s being locked up in a room and your hand slapped, and you can’t have any cookies for 10 months. You think I’m kiddin? You got people in our country that believe that! They actually believe that’s what Hell’s gonna be like. It’s not! A heathen man knows there’s a Hell.

Now the next thing you’d find out is this. You get up in the mornin’, you start walking up and down the street. You look over here and there’s this old lady. She’s knelt down upon that box you saw and she’s burning something in there and she’s bowed her head. You go along over here a few more houses and you look inside the house and you see the kids have their backpacks on for school. They’re bowed down in front of that shelf over there and their mom’s knelt down in front of them. You go down in town and here’s the father and he’s in there in the temple before he opens up the business down there in the market. You’ll soon find out that there’s not a Chinese over there that doesn’t know that you are supposed to pray every day about everything you do. He knows that there’s a god up there and you pray to god about everything. You say, “Who doesn’t know that?” Well, the Supreme Court doesn’t.

Listen, my friend, my boy and girl go to a Chinese public school. Do you know what the principal told them? They went down to public school. I said, “My kids are not Buddhist.” He said, “It doesn’t make any difference. Anytime they feel it necessary, I want them to kneel down in the back of the room and call on the Lord Jesus Christ, their God, before they start school.” You can’t do that here!

a temple interior

Why? Because they know you’ve gotta pray if there’s a god up there. That guy’s gonna pray before he starts to work. Those teachers go out behind the school and they pray before they teach the class. That mother prays before she sends the kids down to school because they know god’s gotta protect you or you’ll be all messed up. They don’t move away from their temple until they talk to their gods. They don’t take a new job until they’ve talked to their gods. They stop out in the middle of the rice paddy and before they eat their lunch, they talk to their gods. Who taught them that?

You say, “Well, who doesn’t know he ought to pray?” Now you just come around any Wednesday night. You go to some fundamental independent Baptist Churches on a Wednesday night. You know what you’ll find out? You’ll find out there are a lot of people that think that church is just for Sunday morning. Because Wednesday night is when we have prayer meeting, isn’t it?

Listen, heathen already know you’re supposed to pray. I don’t have to teach ‘em to pray. I don’t tell them they have to get down and pray, they know that already from their youth up.

The next thing you would find when you got over there is this. If you started going down the coast, you look up at the side of the mountain when we get to approaching those villages, and you see a real beautiful sight — little fires at night. And you go up there, and you get up to that village there and there’s an old man or an old woman sittin’ on a log or a chair or a stool or something and everybody’s gathered around it — all the kids and grand kids and the babies, and the chickens, and the cows, everybody’s there. They’re all around at night. And that grandmother — boy, it’s gonna be something — I wanna hear this. And you slip up there and that grandmother’s sittin’ there saying, “Now there was a day when the gods from the north came down and they attacked in our village and the gods came up from the pit down in the south and warred in the center of our village and we helped and backed up the gods of the south and they conquered the gods of the north, and so every year . . . etc.”

You know what she’s tellin’ them? You know what they found out? You know what they already know? The heathen already know that you’re supposed to train a child up in his religion at home every day. And that grandmother’s sittin’ there and she’s tellin’ them where these people fought from, how they got their heritage, training them in all that at home. And when a 9 year old boy and a 10 year old boy come to our Sunday School, they know what to sacrifice, what the god’s name is, what the holiday is for, how long you do it, when you’re supposed to do it, how much to give — they know all about it. Where’d they learn it? They never went to Sunday School. The Buddhists don’t have Sunday School. They learned it at home.

a Buddhist statue in Taiwan

You will search in vain for a Buddhist man that will tell you, “Well, we’re just gonna let little Wong (my spelling for pronunciation) grow up and make his own choice when he’s older.” He’s got more sense than that! He knows if you let Wong grow up and make his choice when he’s old, he’ll make the wrong choice. He knows you mold a life in its religion when it’s young. That’s why for over 4,000 years the Buddhists have promoted and can honestly say, “Chinese are 99% Buddhist.” We sit here and say, “Praise, God, there’s an underground church in China — churches, local churches underground.”

That’s true. There are also underground Buddhist temples, friend. You need to remember that though there were many Christians martyred in China for their faith in Christ, there were twice as many Buddhists martyred for theirs. We might as well hear the whole story. The heathen know you train your kids up in their religion.

You know why Sunday School became so important in our churches? Because we got in a place in our nation where Dad was a little too big for God. He was a self made man. He didn’t need God. And Mom had to get the kids Bible training somewhere so she brought them down to the church and the preacher had to do it. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. The heathen know you are to raise a child up in his religion and train him up at home. They know that. Can you imagine what kind of a nation we’d have — here I sat in your services talking to Neal. Is Neal in here? Little Neal. He sat in my lap back there and talked and talked and pointed out his bus captain. He told me about his preacher, but his Mom and Daddy don’t go here. My friend, you won’t find a Chinese man anywhere in Taiwan that doesn’t have more sense than that. He knows the most important thing in that child’s life is not learning 2 x 2, it’s learning about his gods and he teaches him spiritual things at home.

Then the last thing I’ll leave you with tonight, I don’t want to go too long — you’d find out the heathen know giving sacrificially is the only way you propagate your religion and it’s a part of worship. They know that. They know giving’s included. They give in several areas. Now the first place they give is, they give their time. That festival you saw in the slides, that’s 3 days and 3 nights of the Chinese New Year. Those people go out there and for 3 days and nights, you can’t sleep at night. They’re beatin’ those gongs and drums, and hollerin’, and fire crackers are goin’ off 24 hours a day for 3 days. And they got those gods going up and down the street and a hollerin’ and when they get so tired that they can’t holler they sleep right on the street. They get up and pick those things up again and that parade builds and builds until that whole city is just engulfed with a huge parade just like a snake, like a serpent, up and down those streets.

You know what those heathen know? They know you have to give time to your religion if it’s worth anything at all. And if you want to buy groceries during any of those 3 days, you’re not gonna’ get any. You go down to the Buddhist man. You say, “Put your god down and open up your store. I’ve gotta’ buy some rice.” He won’t even stop! You say, “I’ll give you a $1,000.00 U.S. money.” He won’t even bat an eye. You know why? He knows if your religion is worth anything, it’s worth all the time you can give to it. And when that Buddhist priest says we will meet at this time at the temple, he’s there. It doesn’t matter if it’s rainin,’ snowin,’ or what. He’s there because his time to religion is important.

Next thing they know to do is to give financially. We have 32,500 plus temples in Taiwan. They have never had a bond program to build one and there’s never been a bank loan. Not one time. If you could see the money that goes into those temples, it would make you sick. Those things have gold in them. Those things are made with silver. Those jewels you see are real! And they’re put in those temples. They emphasize the building, which is all messed up, I know, but they know you ought to give. That Buddhist doesn’t say, “ We’re gonna have a meeting — a three day missions conference” — that would be wild wouldn’t it? He doesn’t have to do that. They don’t do stuff like that.

They just say, “The gods say there’s a temple that needs to be built right there.” The priest goes around the neighborhood, says the gods have revealed it, a temple needs to be built right there and they collect the money. If they don’t get enough they go around again and collect more money. The people just give it.

The man you saw leading the singing in the slides, took 80% of his monthly check, took it down to the temple, bought temple money and burned it up one month before he was saved. He was trying to get the gods to heal his sick child. The child died anyway. That’s how I met him. I took food to his house. You say, “Was the man poor?” No, he just gave everything he had down to the temple.

Now you see, there’s an imbalance in that and that’s why they’re so poor sometimes. You take those poor Indians over there, people lying on the street starving to death and the hamburger walks up and down the street doesn’t it? You see what I mean? They got it turned around. Why do they starve? They’ve got the wrong religion, friend. They’ve got the wrong one. There’s only one religion in the world that will promote the health of a nation. That’s the one of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it.

Well, if the heathen man will follow the light that God has given him, he’ll get to come to Christ. Now God does several things to bring him to Christ. Things that we probably wouldn’t consider. But I want to give you quickly, 3 things. I won’t give you the whole list here, just 3 of them.

Number one: Sometimes God sends famine. Sometimes — the Old Testament — remember in Egypt when God wanted to impress Pharoah? You know what he did to those Egyptians? He cut off their food. He cut off all their food! And you know what? We’ve got a situation in our world that oughta’ bring this down home tonight. We’ve got a famine over in Ethiopia. And people say, “How could a God of love cut off those people’s food?”

Because a God of love knows that there’s something worse than starving, friend. He knows that if you go to Hell, that’s a lot worse than starving. And you know what God does? He reaches down to that nation and He takes the food and that man kneels down and he prays to that stone, or tree, or idol and he doesn’t get an answer. And his stomach begins to tighten up and he’s just like you. He’ll do anything to get something to eat when he’s hungry! And you know what God does? He takes His holy wedge and drives it right down between that idol and that man and that man sits there and says, “Something’s wrong. I’ve been worshipping this god and been faithful and yet the accursed nation of the world (the U.S.) — they’re sending me food. That priest told me Jesus was not god. How come I haven’t got any food to eat? I haven’t got the right god. How come it’s the god Jesus that’s sending me the food? How can that be?” And God drives that wedge between there and that man begins to doubt.

Second of all: Sometimes God sends a disease. You know you’ll do just about anything when you’ve got pain, won’t you? You really will. I’ll tell you what. You haven’t met a faith healer yet that had a toothache and went and got in the healer’s line. Did you ever? You know where he went? He didn’t have time to wait on the rag in the mail, friend. He went to the dentist. Isn’t that right? You know why? Because pain brings a decision. And he’s not gonna listen. When a man over there gets sick, he feels the same way you do about it. He starts talking to his god and when he doesn’t get well, he has no Holy Spirit to show him any other purpose in it. He just doesn’t get well and you know what he begins to do? He begins to say, “Something’s wrong. There’s something wrong with these gods, there’s something wrong. We’ve got no food, I’m sick, I’m dyin.’ I pray. What’s wrong?!” And he begins to doubt his idol.

Every time one of those Egyptian mothers puts a baby down and begins to see it die, you know what the Lord’s done? The Lord reaches down His hand — that’s about 200 little kids over there and He feeds ‘em. You don’t have to worry about those little Egyptian babies that are dying, brother, they’re probably up there in Heaven looking at us and thinking, “Those poor guys!” God took 1 out of 4 babies every time in the last 100 years. You’re worried about the Chinese population here? What do you think it’s going to be like up there, friend? There are a lot of people up there, brother.

I don’t serve a God that casts an innocent baby into Hell. That Bible said where there’s no law, sin is not imputed. He may be born a sinner, but God doesn’t impute sin to him, He imputes the righteousness of Christ to him until he’s of age. He goes to Heaven. And God reaches down and gets those little Ethiopian babies, and you know where that little Ethiopian mother’s heart goes? That mother’s heart is just like yours, she longs for a way to see him again. She’d give anything she could to know where he went, to see that child again, to have hope.

Then the last thing God sends their way is a missionary. Now in the Ethiopian situation we had missionaries there and they were kicked out. Isn’t it strange when the missionaries were there, they were doing all right? Then they threw them out, and now they gotta have food. You don’t kick God out and get away with it. America’s not gonna kick God out and get away with it either. You wanna know what’s wrong with public schools? I don’t care what law you pass, you are not going to be able to teach a kid anything unless you teach him the Bible with it.

If you don’t pray, and let him read God’s book, he’s not gonna learn anything! Education’s designed to teach reading. The reason you want to know how to read as a Christian is so you can read the Bible. It’s Christianity that promotes education, friend, not capitalism — a little political announcement there.

a Taiwanese mountain village

God last of all sends a preacher. How shall they hear without a preacher? How shall they preach, except they be sent? The local church part is the “except they be sent.” How shall they hear without a preacher? That’s the personal call of a man and they go hand in hand.

Now you say, “Does it really work?” Well, I want to tell you something that happened to me when I got to Taiwan. I was gonna write this in a letter and then I said, “No, I want to tell my churches personally about it ‘cause it meant so much to me.”

When I first got to Taiwan, the language was really difficult. To make a long story short, I had teachers quit, and they said I couldn’t learn it, you know — a big fight in the language school about whether I could learn it or not. They told me this, “Look, you can speak, you are just not able to pronounce. There’s something wrong with your brain or something here. We can’t get you to speak it, like you ought to speak it from reading this Romanized.” So they said this, “You’re going to have to learn to read it and write it. And as you learn to write and read, then from that you learn to speak.”

Now part of the reason, probably, is that I had taken a lot of Spanish and I’d read that Romanized Chinese and speak it in Spanish, you know. It just didn’t do so good. So I learned that way. You know what? I went on a year down the road. I’d gotten real bitter because I sat in that class and studied, and studied, and studied, and studied! And a new guy would come in and in about 3 months he could get out and get a taxi cab, you know, and anything he wanted. I’d been there a year. I was still asking my son, “What did he say, do you know? Uh, where are we at, do you know?” And now you think it’s funny, but then it wasn’t.

I cried about it then. And I got bitter and so we decided after almost 2 years, “Let’s get out of the city and let’s go down there where we feel God wants us to go and let’s just get into it. And maybe if we just get out and get away where no missionaries can bail us out, nobody to call the police, let’s just get out there and . . . and . . . sink or swim.” So we did. We moved on. Everybody, boy, they were all nervous, you know, all the missionaries were upset, they said you can’t, you’re gonna end up in the Atlantic or Pacific somewhere down there and so we went anyway.

And sure enough as we got out among the people more, we had to talk and we began to speak a little more. And pretty soon I could understand and talk pretty well. I hadn’t preached, but I was getting closer and as we opened our home for services we began the church you saw there, using the Chinese that I could speak and we went up to that village. We went up there with New Testaments and we started passing them out house to house.

We’d go up to a door and give them a Bible and the person would come to the door and say, “Oh, we’re not Christian, no we’re not Christian, no, we’re Buddhist, but you know what? We have a Christian in our village. We got a man in our village and he’s a Christian. Yes, we got one in our village.” You go door to door and everybody would say the same thing. “There’s a Christian in our village. We got one man and he’s a Christian in our village.” Well, after a while your curiosity almost kills you so we said, “Let’s go find this guy.”

So we went back — I’ll never forget it — we walked up the little trail that leads to his house and I was supposed to practice my Chinese, So I spoke a Chinese greeting. And a good old fellow out there feeding his chickens, looked around and this is what he said, “Ohhh! I’m so glad you’re finally here!” And he went inside the house and he brought out some stools. We sat down. We thought, “Well, he knew we were in the village, he’d heard — the Chinese telegraph’s so fast, you know. He knew.” And so we sat down.

We started to talk to him and the more we talked, the more we began to find out that he didn’t have any idea we were in this village. But he insisted he’d been waiting for us to come. Well, the other missionary that was with me said, “We hear you’re saved. Are you saved? Do you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour?”

Now, if you’ve never won a soul to Christ, you’ll not appreciate what I’m gonna tell you. He gave us that look that needed no answer. Did you ever get one of those? Did you ever meet someone and mention the name of Christ and as soon as you mentioned His name that face just took off and you knew? Well, that old man’s face — I wish I’d had a camera then!

He said this: he said, “Twenty one years ago this very summer, a missionary up from Taipai — I don’t know his name — he came down and he was traveling along through our village and he stopped and he showed me the Bible and Jesus Christ over there (he pointed) and I opened my heart over there and Jesus walked in and has lived there for 21 years.” That old boy knew the Lord, see?!

Then he got up and he ran back inside his house and he brought back an old Chinese Bible and he laid it in my lap. And he said, “Ohhh, missionary, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you got here!” He said, “You know when I got saved that day, the missionary promised me when he gave me that Bible that God would send somebody back here to read it to me because, I can’t read, I’ve never been to school.” Well, the Lord really got ahold of my heart, boy. And I realized that I had learned to read (Chinese) — I could read it — if I had learned to preach I wouldn’t have been able to read, yet, you see.

Then, he said something I’ll never forget as long as I live. He said, “You know, I feel ashamed. We’ve had no church here and I’m the only Christian. I always wanted to tell my children, but I couldn’t remember how to explain it. All we’ve been able to do for these 21 years is, we’ve always taken the Bible on Sunday and we put it here on the little stool and I have my kids come in and put their hand on it and then they’d sing “Jesus Loves Me.” And then, Missionary, we always bowed our heads and prayed for you.”

I was thirty years old then. He said he’d been saved 21 years. Do you know where I was when I was 9 years old? When I was 9 years old, in the summer time; my dad was starting a church down in Florida. And those were the days when nobody had any money in this country, but they had a lot of heart. Those people had loaded up a bus and pushed that bus and everything up to youth camp and I was at youth camp in a meeting. I surrendered my life to be a missionary. You know what I believe God did? I believe that old man got saved and God reached down and got his prayer and then he reached down over here in America and got a 9 year old boy by the heart, and said, “Now, son, you’re not going to understand what I’m about to ask you and you’re gonna think you’re young. Dan Freeman, I want you to go to the mission field.” And, dear people, for 21 years I didn’t have any idea what was going on over there, but, God did.

When I stood in your church last time, you know what that means? That means that all that your church went through, that means the prayers of an old man in Taiwan were affecting your church because God knew that I needed support to get over there.

You know what the old man wanted? He just wanted to hear the Bible read before he died and he wanted a missionary to tell his family how to be saved. And I got to be that missionary!

Now, I’ll tell you what. You say, “What would have happened if you had said no (at age 9)?” I think God would have got down and got another boy by the heart and said, “Son, one fellow just blew his chance. He’s gonna miss the blessing of his life in seeing how God works on behalf of the heathen people. Now you get a chance.”

I tell you what. I went out the next Sunday and I brought my first Chinese message. I look back at it now and laugh. It was so messed up! After I had been home that week, I cried for about 3 days. I wasn’t worth nothin’. You know what, God put me right where He needed me, down in the mud where I belonged. And I stood up there and read that Chinese message. That man had sent notices out to all of his children. He sent ‘em a note saying, “Dear children, Sunday afternoon you must return home, he is here.” And I went out there. There were 48 people in his house. Some of his kids were older than me. They had grown up and gotten married. They had their husbands and wives and children with them. I delivered a message out there on the side of that hill.

All of his kids were saved that day. You say, “How did that happen?” It wasn’t anything I did. It was the faith of a heathen man who had received Jesus Christ and he kept telling those kids, “He will come. Jesus said he’d come and He won’t break His promise — he’ll come — I know it in my heart. He’ll come.” The kids grew up and left home and their daddy said, “He’s gonna come. He’ll be here. He’s gonna come.” When I walked into that place, I had no idea what the Lord was gonna allow me to do. I’ll tell you what. People say to me, “What about the heathen? What about those heathen people?” They’re doin’ real good. They have one great need. They need more missionaries. That’s what they need.

I’ll tell you what. When we reach Heaven, there’s gonna be an old Chinese man and his family there and they’re gonna walk up and hug this man’s neck and they’re gonna start hugging necks of people here and say, “Oh, thank you so much. You sent us a missionary. You sent us a missionary.”

. . . end . . .

– bonnie@truthreallymatters.com

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