The burden of the Lord is the most overwhelming, life-changing thing that you can experience; and it can be a lifelong experience. When the burden of the Lord lifts, it is time to GO HOME!
I went to the missionary field of China as a very young woman. It was December 16, 1947, when I landed in Shanghai. I had just turned twenty-three. I went with the call of God upon my life and a burden from the Lord for the Chinese people. Sometimes the burden was greater than at other times. As the years rolled by and China fell to the Communists, the door closed for service there, but still I served the Lord among the Chinese people in Taiwan and Hong Kong, always fulfilling that call of God. Never for a moment did I think of turning back from that call that was upon my life. I loved the Chinese–they were my people–I belonged to them and their need was my need, their pain, my pain. With the arrival of my three sons (after ten years of marriage), my life was now occupied with family affairs. It’s hard to be a mother of three frisky, lively boys and still keep your missionary vision. Then one day in 1963, after I had completed sixteen years of missionary service, God met me with a new and wonderful anointing. As I saw what the power of God can do in the lives of those who have paid the price and received the anointing, I also began to seek God day and night in fasting and prayers for a fresh anointing. I made a new dedication of my life to God with a one hundred per cent total surrender to His will, whatever the cost, and God took me up on that vow I made to Him.
I was Born to Serve the Lord
Of course, it had always been my destiny, for, as my parents had afterward told me, they had dedicated me to the Lord from my mother’s womb. My mother had come from a godly family of sincere Mennonites who had served the Lord for many generations.* Our forefathers had paid a terrible price for their testimony. Years before, they had been banished from their beautiful homes in the Emmental Valley of the Swiss Alps and the rich farmlands of Austria because they had refused to give up the convictions of their new-found faith in Christ, which was salvation by grace. As the teachings of Martin Luther began to sweep the European nations, it had changed their lives. Many had died as martyrs, being burned at the stake or speared through. Young men were sold as galley slaves and old fathers were left to die in dark dungeons. After they were forced to leave their homes, they lived a life of wandering for many decades until finally Russia opened her door to them and gave them the thing they desired more than anything else, freedom of religion. The first cold winter in their new homeland, they existed by digging holes in the ground and living under the earth. But slowly they began to raise crops and prosper until they finally owned their own homes. Towns and villages of German-speaking people, all of them seeking religious freedom, arrived in Russia. When all was going well, the Lord visited His people and warned them through prophecy that great persecution was coming to Russia. A persecution that was greater than any they had ever known in the past was coming, and this time there would be no survivors. He told them to leave Russia and go to a new homeland. That is how I was born in Canada. My grandfather Peter Miller (Mother’s father) came into Canada as a young man and took up a homestead. I grew up going to the Mennonite church he had founded. After a few years of rebellion, I came back to the Lord, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and went off to the Assembly of God (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) Bible School in Ontario. It was at this school, during a great revival, that God called me to China. I went there as a faith missionary.
A Fresh Anointing Renewed My Vision
Now after sixteen years, God had renewed that great calling in my life, only this time it was not only to China but to all the nations of the world. Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected or imagined all that God had for me. I simply put my hand in His and began to follow Him step by step, day by day, and nation by nation. With this new and wonderful anointing came a tremendous burden for souls and an overwhelming vision for the nations. That call took me first of all back to Taiwan, then to the Philippines, and on to Indonesia. In the summer when the children had vacation, I took one of them with me. David, the eldest, was nine. He played the trumpet and helped me in the meetings. He always knew how to get the crowd. He would borrow someone’s bicycle, ride out to the market place, play his trumpet, hand out tracts and flyers about the meeting, and tell the crowd who gathered around him that they should come and hear his mother preach. We had great times together.
The Terrible Price
But then there were times when the children had to stay in school, and I had to go alone. I would be so lonely for them that it was like a knife in my heart. Only God and I know the tears, the pain, the loneliness, the longings, the price I paid to fulfill my vow to God! When I began to make excuses–and try to escape that call–I nearly lost my boys. Danny almost drowned in the South China Sea. David slipped right in front of a fast, on-coming car, and Tommy was rescued out of a river that was more like a stagnant pond filled with sewage. I knew God was speaking clearly to me–telling me that if ever I put my children ahead of Him there would be a price to pay–a price that would be greater than the one I was paying. So again I said yes, and turned my face to India.
India, My Great Love
Beloved India became my great love. I always say, “China was my first love and India was my great love.” Twelve times I have served God in that nation. There are no words to describe what it means to feel God’s heartbeat of love for a nation. I would have gladly laid down my life for the Lord in India–in fact, that was my desire; but it was not His will. One of the greatest joys of my life of service to God was when He called me to raise a tent and preach in many parts of North India.
Argentina, the Womb of the End-Time Handmaidens
But India was not the end. Then came the call to Argentina where I again felt the heartbeat of God for the Spanish-speaking people of that great land. Throughout Argentina I had seen the mighty hand of God working with signs following the preaching of His Word.It was there in Buenos Aires one night that something happened which would change many lives. I had just ministered in a large Assembly of God Church. God had poured out His Spirit. Miracles of healing had taken place. People had seen angels. God had come down to be with us.As I went to my lonely hotel room that night, tired and exhausted, I lay on my bed. I looked up to God and asked Him a question. “God, how can you use me? I am nothing. I make mistakes. I am far from perfect. Yet I have seen Your glory like a trail of fire following me everywhere. How? Why? He answered me! “It’s because you are willing to do anything I ask you to do!” “Is that all, Lord? Then You could use anyone, any woman, who, like myself, would be totally surrendered to You!” “Yes, My child, I could,” He answered. “Then, Lord, raise up ten thousand women-women just like myself, who will pay any price, make any sacrifice, be totally obedient to Your will.” The year was 1966.
The End of the Road
Four years later–after I had ministered in many more nations all over the world–I found myself in Chicago. I had come to the end of the road. My children were in Hong Kong. My marriage was over. My heart was broken. I was sure I could never serve God anymore. I felt that no one would accept a woman whose marriage had fallen apart! I did the only thing I knew to do. I went back to the “drawing board,” back to the Cross. For another twenty-one days I fasted and waited upon the Lord–and He spoke. He sent a prophet to tell me I must begin to call out the End-Time Handmaidens. God said there was an army of women out there, in the background, standing “idle in the market place, whom no one had hired,” and they were waiting to hear the call to go out and serve Him in the harvest fields of the world. No one knew those harvest fields better than I. Already I had been to most of the main nations of the world.
The Beginning of a New Calling
I began to give the call, and they started to share my burden. The Holy Spirit prepared their hearts in the same way He had prepared mine, through fasting and prayer and brokenness. Maybe you wonder why you are alive. You feel you have no real reason for living, and that anyone could do your work as well as you do–or even better. I beg you, please don’t waste your life–answer that call of God upon your life which has been there since you were in your mother’s womb. God’s Word says to you, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)You say, “I can’t do it. God says, “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” (verse 7) You say, “I’m not talented. I have no gift to preach. God says, “Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” (verse 9)
Many years have gone by since I gave my heart to the Lord. I was seventeen years old then. I am nearly eighty now. If I could live my life over again, I would give it all to God again. But I can’t. I do not know how much longer I have left to serve the Lord. God has given me supernatural strength to fulfill a supernatural calling. But, as hard as I work and as fast as I run, I can’t keep up with it. I have now been to over one hundred nations and still they keep calling. A letter came yesterday: “When are you coming back to Argentina?” A phone call today from India: “Sister, please come back.” A tape recorded letter from Taiwan–a sister is weeping out loud–I can hear her calling me, “Please come back. We need you!” Day after day they’re calling, calling, calling. This call to the nations is there, ringing in my ears, burning in my heart. I want to go, but I’m getting tired now. I feel so sad because I can’t preach four and five times a day as I used to in Indonesia. I can understand the heart’s cry of Moses when he said, “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.” (Numbers 11: 14) Yes, it is getting too heavy for me. This terrible burden for Cambodia, North Korea, Zambia, Albania, Chile, Iceland, and all the nations where I have not yet told the old, old story of Jesus and His love–beside the nations where I want to return again! Moses wept. I weep too! Then I hear God say to me what He said to Moses, “I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” (Numbers 11:17)
Will You Share My Burden?
God wants, sovereignly and supernaturally, to put upon your life this same burden which He placed on mine. Are you willing to accept it? Are you willing to share my burden for the lost souls of the world? It will not be easy. It will cost you everything. The tribe of Levi had no earthly inheritance. The Lord was their inheritance. You need to make the same dedication. You need to surrender totally to the will of God. Only then can He use you anywhere, anytime, in any way. We are running out of time. Don’t delay! Ask the Lord of the harvest to touch your life. Ask Him to make it worth while. Remember, it is only as we share His burden for the lost that we can come into the center of His will.