Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

For NOVEMBER 9, 2003


Check this to see if you are blessed compared to the rest of the world


            A person on a mission stands out in sharp contrast to other people. I have known a few people who were consumed by a mission.

            One was E. Stanley Jones, a missionary and evangelist. He was on a mission to invite the world to acknowledge Jesus is Lord.

            Another was Thomas Carruth, a preacher from Mississippi. He spent his last years at Asbury Seminary, teaching prayer. His mission was to teach people to pray.

            Yet another was D. Elton Trueblood, a Quaker philosopher. He was on a mission to teach Christians that they were yokefellows and that every Christian is a minister.

            A few years ago I became friends with another man on a mission. His name is Larry Cochran, a Methodist preacher who heads up a missions organization named GO INTERNATIONAL with a small headquarters in Wilmore, Kentucky. His mission is to reach poor and starving people who are not being helped by other outreach ministries.

            What Larry lacks in money, he makes up in zeal. He refuses to compete with other missionary boards, going only to places where others are not going. Still, he sends teams of people all over the world, mostly in third-world nations.

            In December of last year, my wife, Dean, and I joined Larry’s team in Monterrey, Mexico. We visited churches that were only shacks, but built to reach starving children who regularly pawed over garbage dumps scavenging for food. We met eager pastors, with little more than a high school education, who want to learn how to reach their own people with the good news of the gospel.

            We have been to San Francisco, but we did not leave our hearts there. We left our hearts in Monterrey where God is honoring the work of Larry Cochran through the loving ministry of Ignacio and Sarah. They lead a team of 45 pastors who, with little more than a shoestring budget, are making a difference among the poverty-stricken people in that city of five million people.

            In a recent mailing, Larry reminded us and other supporters of how blessed we are. Larry is probably not the author of this piece, but I received it from him, and I want to share it with you. Check this out to see how blessed you are.

            “You are blessed if....

            “If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed.  One third of the world does not have access to even one Bible.

            “If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

            “If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.

            “If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than almost 3 billion people in the world.


            “If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

            “If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the eight per cent of the world's wealthy.

            “If your parents are still married and alive, you are very rare even in the U.S.

            “If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

            “If you hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God's healing touch.

            “If you prayed yesterday and today, you are in the minority because you believe in God's willingness to hear and answer prayer.

            “If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, you are part of a very small minority in the world.

            “If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all.”

            Now, if reading this makes you feel blessed, you can express your gratitude by going to church and surprising your pastor by giving a gift for missions.

            Remember this: there are poor, starving people all over the world who desperately need help from the blessed people of the world. If you are one, then help somebody today, along life’s way. You will be glad you did! + + + +