John Mastin - After the Regional Workers Meeting - Saginaw - October, 2007

To all in the Philippines,

Now…I have only a few minutes to start on this before we leave this home and go to another. But I do want to start it now so that I will be pushed to finish it later today! Only yesterday we finished the regional workers meeting at Saginaw. One meeting on Tuesday…five on Wednesday and two more on Thursday morning before lunch. Each of the meetings was SO rich and we all came away feeling we had had another taste of heaven. There were over 200 of us gathered there. (Often during the meetings, I would look out over all who were there and just marvel that THAT many men and women have been willing to leave all the other
possibilities in life and respond to the call of God to be sown as a corn of wheat so that others might have an eternal hope.) All of the workers from California/Arizona/Pacific Islands…Oregon/South Idaho…Washington/Alaska…plus several overseers from Canada and from some from the eastern part of the United States.. So very evident was a wonderful blending and unity of Spirit.

In each meeting there were two brothers who spoke (either an overseer or a visitor)…then open testimony time…and then one more of the older brothers would speak. Each meeting was 1½ hours long. I dont think anyone there would be able to remember all that was shared so richly…but NONE of us will ever forget the effect on our hearts. Besides the two families on the Saginaw grounds, those who did all the cooking, serving, cleaning, etc. were parents of workers. And they served SO cheerfully. When we went in for lunch after the last meeting on Thursday, after we had sung grace, those friends were gathered at one end and they sang to us, hymn number 405…The Call to Labor…changing the words to Lord, let THEM hear, once more the call to labor…., etc.. It was almost more than we could take! And then Harold B. had asked us to be ready to sing to them number 370…Lord Grant Thy People Grace…. It was a very emotional ending to SO rich an experience. We know the friends greatly appreciate the sacrifice of the workers. But we know the sacrifice is far from all ours…a price is paid by ALL in this wonderful kingdom! Now….since those meetings have ended and we have begun to move among the friends, we are just beginning to grasp just how with us they were those days. SO many have not only told us how they prayed for us during that time we were together, but even from since they first heard that these meetings were being planned!

Our Bible studies here are in the book of Acts and the next one…chapter 16…somehow has a new meaning for me…and I am sure for all who were at the regional meeting. We read of the apostles and elders gathering at Jerusalem. Their purpose was to promote unity among the brethren at a time when there had been a disturbance. That is what was accomplished and all were able to go out and continue sharing the help of Heaven with others and bring peace to God's people in every part. We have the same desire after our days together.

So, now Cody Rathbun and I are together. The first thing I did was get him to tell his testimony and of how he heard the call to labor. He started in the work in January of 06…so only about 1½ years so far. I can assure you he is a very mature young man who just turned 22. So he was only 20 when he started in the work. He says he made his choice when he was only eight. At 19, he saw the need and heard to call to labor…and could hardly think of ANYthing else until the day he offered!! I hope you some day get to meet him. When I just now asked his age…telling him I was introducing him to you…he asked me to give you his very hearty greetings!! (^_^) I am going to depend heavily upon him these next few weeks we are together. Since he was in the Vancouver field last year, he knows all and can make wise plans about where we stay. As happened last time I was home and had the same short amount of time in a field, the hardest part by FAR is having to decide where we WON'T have time to stay!! Cody has already gotten us set up for gospel meetings on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. We start on Wednesday the 26th. That will make days seem to pass even MORE quickly!! We will have only five weeks in the field…time for just eleven gospel meetings. The friends got the halls all lined up for us even before we arrived here! So we eagerly look forward to this time with them. We have received SUCH warm welcomes…even way back last month when the new list came out and the folks learned who would be in their field. Cody was in the field last year, so knows all the homes, etc.. So, he will be my guide as well as my companion. A couple of things we heard during our workers' gathering were that God did what seems impossible…certainly not reasonable by mans thinking. When He sent to this earth His truth and way, He sent it in the care of a Lamb! Jesus was opposed and fought against at every turn…but it was the Lamb that overcame. He didnt resist or fight…nor did He allow His disciples to defend or fight for Him. Even so…He overcame the enemy who set out to destroy Him and God raised Him from the dead in victory…victory over Satan and all sin. When Jesus sent out His apostles to carry the gospel to others, He told them they would be as lambs among wolves. SO unreasonable naturally…but it was the plan of God…and we see how perfectly it works. We don't defend ourselves but rather depend on the One who sent us. HE gives the victory! Then God entrusted to children…those who have humbled themselves and taken on the spirit of a child…the very treasures of Heaven! Again, this is just not reasonable…but it is the wisdom of God…and it WORKS perfectly. Over and over we are made aware that we have a part in an ongoing miracle. This is totally impossible with men…but altogether possible with God! Now…it has taken me a WEEK to get this written…and this must be sent on its way. Sorry to be so inefficient with my time. I expect it will be the same the next while with us being busy moving among the friends. So it will likely be a while before you hear from me again?

Thanks for understanding! In Him…John