«But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine» (Titus 2:1).
TITUS 2 has practical instructions for young Titus, other young people (v. 6-8), leaders (v. 2), women (v. 3, 4), and servants (v. 8, 9). In addition, Paul also gave instructions for the whole church, remembering that we have been redeemed by the grace of God and must consequently live for Him (v. 11—14). It also has advice for preachers: they must teach true doctrine and encourage and rebuke with authority (v. 15).
Christ’s church is not made up of perfect people who never fail. It is made up of people in deep communion with God, in healthy relationships, passionate about defending the truth and fulfilling the mission, willing to pay price for the cause, and growing and maturing daily by the grace of God.
The pioneers who came to South America had a powerful blend of these ingredients with which Paul challenged Titus and the church in Crete. Pastor Frank Westphal was the first Adventist pastor in South America. He organized the first church on the outskirts of Crespo, Argentina on September 9, 1894. He later traveled to Brazil, established believers in several places, and organized the first Adventist church in that country in Gaspar Alto on June 8, 1895. Then he rode for hours to the port of Itajai, donated the little money he had to meet a colleague’s needs, and made the long boat trip back to Buenos Aires. He had to travel third class, that is, in a place where beds did not have mattresses.
Thus, he saw his family after this five-month missionary journey. His wife, who did not yet speak the local language, met him with their four-year-old son, but Helen, their daughter, was not there. He did not need to ask any questions. The mother’s heartbroken face said it all. Helen had passed away two weeks earlier. The girl had contracted measles followed by scarlet fever. The letters bearing the news had never reached the pastor. The mother buried her daughter in the Chacarita Cemetery in a place intended for foreigners. Frank was not even there to bid his daughter farewell.
In the midst of so many inconveniences, privations, and sacrifices, these courageous servants of the Lord had a strong communion with God and a passionate commitment to mission.
It is not mandatory to applaud; it is essential to imitate.