security is God’s gift to us. We should be grateful for it and not even consider leaving it to go to the mission field.” “ Now, wait a minute,” Georgia objected, giving her husband a little sermon about the importance of obey ing God no matter what the cost. For two days Norm played obstinate. He told the story: “ Georgia preached to me with such fervor dur ing those two days that she herself was convinced with out a shadow of a doubt that this was what God wanted for us.” Then, with a roguish grin, he added, “ You should have seen the mixture of triumph and vexation on her face when I told her I’d been determined to go all along!” Once their hearts were in tune with each other and with God’s will, Norm’s and Georgia’s material ties un raveled more easily than they had imagined. “ It is amazing,” says Norm, “ how the things that seem so precious to you can suddenly become so much
of all, I gave a concert. Then, Greg Tingson preached a dynamic Gospel message. Rarely have I seen a more attentive audience. “ In this Muslim area where usually only one or two will dare publicly, during an entire campaign, to ac knowledge Christ as Saviour, we were astonished to see 30 step forward. To some of these it will m ep persecu tion, being disowned by their families, and even the threat of death.” But it takes more than an overseas location to make a missionary . . . more than a charming cordiality and a magnetic voice. The missing ingredient was one which Norm Nelson sought for a long time. “ I didn’t have a burden for the lost,” he admits. “ I didn’t love my neighbor. I didn’t have a real desire to see him won. I prayed for this love. I tried in many ways to gain the same burden for souls that caused John Knox to cry, ‘Give me Scotland or I die.’ Yet I had to be honest with myself: the concern just wasn’t there. What was wrong with me? I prayed. I read my Bible. I tried and tried. “ Then God spoke to me through Romans 6:13. I realized that in order to have a burden for the lost, I would have to see them through God’s eyes, not through my own. ‘Yield your members as instruments of right eousness unto God.’ Surely an instrument does not try to play itself. As long as I tried to drum up my own emotions, I was out of step with God. But when I yielded myself as an instrument, God produced His own harmony.” “ If you want a burden for the lost,” says Norm from his own experience, “ if you want to become a mission ary, allow God to make you His own instrument. God’s eyes see each man compassionately, knowing and hating his sinfulness, but providing and desiring his salvation. When I become God’s tool, I no longer see my neighbor through self-centered eyes, but I see him as God sees him—with a redemptive purpose in mind. “ Now as I stand ind;he market place of an Oriental town, absorbing the unique sights and smells and sounds, there is a deep compassion within my heart. I look out on a plaza filled with sinful human beings, whose hearts know fear and failure, guilt and grief, and I feel something of what Jesus must have felt as He looked over the city of Jerusalem and cried, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together’ (Matthew 23:37).” Another obstacle Norm faced was what he called “ the battle of the talented.” But God gave Him grace to play the right chord. “ If God will not share His glory with another,” says Norm, “ then God and I will not get glory from the same performance. I soon learned that you cannot at one and the same time show how great you are and how wonderful your Lord is. The choice is not a once- for-all proposition, but rather a day-by-day experience. Each day I simply ask God to let me sing for His glory.” Norm admits that even after becoming a foreign missionary he had his problems, the toughest one being the inferiority complex he developed about being “ just a missionary.” Like most missionaries, Norm finds it necessary to travel a great deal. So now we see him on a sleek jet liner. Seated next to him is a sharp up-and- coming young executive. Soon they are in conversation.
In 1962 Norman Nelson sang before Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. excess baggage. Believe it or not, we were thrilled when finally the real estate man told us the house was sold. We were able to sell all our furniture and to get rid of our car. Within three months, we had been given a new station wagon for our work on the field, our sup port and passage money was raised, and we were ready to go.” Oh, the thrill of using a God-given talent to its full capacity, the delight of singing the Gospel to eager, attentive crowds, the deep satisfaction of following up genuine conversions! Norm and Georgia had known nothing like it in their American ministry. Norm teamed up with Filipino evangelist Greg Ting- son and began a crusade ministry that saw over 30,000 respond to Gospel invitations during Nelson’s first four years in the Islands. “We met in the plaza of one Muslim community,” wrote Norm, describing a typical meeting. “ As the eve ning began, we stood on the makeshift platform. First
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