When he was an old man, missionary Alexander Duff returned to his homeland of Scotland to die. There, during the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr. Duff addressed the meeting, then made a strong appeal for young people to vol- unteer their lives for India. But no one responded. Under the strain of the appeal, the aged missionary fainted and sank to the floor and was carried off the platform. The doctor bent over the old vet- eran and was examining his heart when suddenly he opened his eyes and asked, “Where am I? Where am I?” “Lie still,” urged the physician. “Your heart is very weak.” The old warrior interrupted, “But I must finish my appeal! Take me back! I haven’t finished my appeal yet!” Again the doctor cautioned, “Lie still. You are too weak to go back.” But the missionary would not be stopped. Gath- ering his strength, he got back on his feet, and with the doctor on one side and the Assembly Chairman on the other, the old white- haired warrior was led back to the rostrum, while the whole con- gregation rose in honor of his courage. Then he resumed his ap- peal. “When Queen Victoria calls for volunteers for India,” he con- tinued, “hundreds of young men respond, but when King Jesus calls, no one goes.” Then he paused. And once more he contin- ued: “Is it true that Scotland has no more sons to give for India?” Again he waited, and still no one responded. There was silence. The old man then made a major decision and under the heavy burden of India’s unreached millions he concluded his call.
“Very well, if Scotland has no more young men to send to India, then, old and decrepit though I am, I will go back, and even though I cannot preach, I can lie down on the shores of the Ganges river and die, in order to let the peoples of India know there is at least one man in Scotland who cares enough for their souls to give his life for them.” As the old veteran turned to leave the pulpit, the silence was broken at last. All over the congregation young men were getting to their feet, crying out, “I’ll go! I’ll go! I’ll go!”
I would like to ask you if Alexander Duff was the guest preacher for your church next Sunday and made this appeal, what would be the response? This is not a decision that the pastor can make. Every member of the church can and should influence their environment, how their people are equipped, and if their people will ever be exported.