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August 1973 Newsletter
COLOMBIAN CHRISTIAN MISSION
Dale and Jeanie Meade
San JosÃ© del Guaviare in Colombia, South America
Volume 1, Issue 8 August, 1973
Jeanie and Dale examine a map of South America and points out their final destination, that being San Jose del Guaviare in Colombia, South America.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
By the time you receive this newsletter we should be well on our way to language school in Central America. We should have already met up with Phil in Mexico City and be somewhere in the interior of Central America.
At times like this it would be very easy to become nostalgic. But spending time looking back causes one to plow crooked furrows. We know where we are going. We know who holds the future. So, we shall press onward, ever confident of God's ability to control his creation.
However, this trip shall be a long one. We shall be on the road for a solid month. With any trip this size there will come some inherent danger. We will have to cross several international boundaries and this can cause delays and be very trying at times. For these reasons we now send out our most urgent plea for your help. Please pray for us. Ask that God be with us. With His protection we can be assured of a safe trip. With God's speed, international boundaries cannot delay. You can help us most now by making your prayers our constant traveling companion.
OPEN LETTER TO THE CHURCHES
On May 9, 1973, the leaders of the Rittman Church of Christ fulfilled part of their responsibility to us as a supporting congregation. They questioned a decision we had made to purchase a ham radio outfit. They did not spread rumors or talk behind our backs, but wrote and asked if we were not buying "luxuries before essentials were met."
On the following page we have reprinted in full our response to them. We encourage this healthy communication. When this ceases many of the advantages of direct support missions disappear. The people at Rittman were well satisfied with our explanation. Perhaps you would be interested as well.
R.D. #1, Box 71
May 12, 1973
Thank you for your letter of May 9. We appreciate your interest and concern in our work. We also value the fact that your interest leads you to question the wisdom of certain actions on our part. Guidance and aid in this way would greatly decrease the flagrant misuse of mission monies on the part of a great number of missionaries today.
We also appreciate the fact that you asked us when such a question comes to mind. It is perfectly valid and deserves a proper response. Yet, the facts could be misrepresented through misunderstanding and cause a great deal of damage. In response to your queries please allow me to make the following remarks. Last month we presented the reasons for owning the set to the Elders at the First Christian Church in Washington Court House. After considering our request, they felt it to be a wise move and okayed the purchase. You may be reassured by the fact that it was not a spur of the moment decision.
First, I would ask if you consider your telephone an unneeded luxury. Most people recognize the value in an area where mail service is rapid and the road system is excellent. In Colombia, phone service is not yet available. Roads are non-existent. The nearest doctor is three days journey by boat and three hours by plane. In a place where the political situation is shaky at best and banditry and terrorism is rampant, the need for communication is critical. When one adds to this the fact that a single two way communication to the U.S. by mail would take over one month, you can understand the need for a more efficient form of communication in this area as well.
Veteran missionaries in this area and other areas have advised us, that for our own safety and welfare, second to swimming ability, we should have a knowledge of Ham radio and the equipment to put it to use.
We consider this radio to be one of the most essential items we could take. That is why we moved to secure one before any other major item. There are many other reasons besides the ones that we have listed. When one is one hundred miles from the nearest airstrip, 500 miles from the nearest road or doctor, in a hostile environment, in a foreign culture, rapid communication ceases to be anything comparable to a luxury and becomes far more essential than either a phone, a car, or even a postal system in this country.
If this short defense does not answer your questions and put at ease the concern you feel for us, please feel free to contact us again. I will be happy to explain personally, and in more detail. May God bless the work in which you are involved here in Rittman.
In Christian Love,
Dale R. Meade
All donations to the Colombian Christian Mission, Inc. are tax-deductible.
Send donations to:
Mrs. Robert Meade
R.D. 1 Box 71
Rittman, Ohio 45204
A publication of the Colombian Christian Services, Incorporated