James 2:14-17 states, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (NIV).
An important part of the Christian faith is serving others. Whether at home or abroad, Christians are commanded to help others in their time of need. As good deeds without the Gospel are futile, so is faith without works. They go hand-in-hand.
Some Christians are called to give up their life in their home country and travel across continents and oceans to spread the Gospel in foreign countries. Some Christians are called to serve their local communities when people are in need. All Christians are called to serve and share the Gospel wherever they are.
According to the Feb. 4, 1843, issue of The Alabama Baptist:
The Executive Committee of the Alabama Baptist State Convention reported, “Missionaries in different parts of the state have accomplished much in the Master’s service.”
For instance, Rev. S. Henderson, employed as missionary for Benton, Jackson, St. Clair and DeKalb Counties, had preached 82 sermons, nearly as many lectures and addresses on different subjects and baptized 11 people during the past six months.
According to the Feb. 10, 1844, issue of The Alabama Baptist:
The paper reported the departure of new foreign missionaries Rev. and Mrs. Albert N. Arnold who were aboard a boat “bound for Smyrna.” The missionary couple was to be dropped off in Corfu, Greece, where they had been appointed to serve. Of the sailing, the paper reported, “The parting scene was one of deep and touching interest; the most fervent desires of many hearts united and ascended upward for the safety and success of the missionaries.”