«As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’ » (Romans 10:15).
ONCE AGAIN, Paul relies on what is written in the Old Testament, quoting Isaiah 52:7 to teach us the value of an envoy:
«How beautiful upon the mountains / are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ «
In the time of Isaiah, the message produced joy because it announced freedom from Babylonian captivity, which prefigured the coming of the Messiah. When writing to the Romans, Paul referred to redemption and definitive freedom from the bondage of sin. The message is not just any message: it is the message of the good news of the gospel.
The story of Pastor John N. Andrews is truly extraordinary. He was the first missionary officially sent abroad by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was the third president of the General Conference, and one who could read the Bible in seven languages and repeat the entire New Testament from memory. When Ellen G. White wrote to the first believers in Europe, she told them, «We have sent you the ablest man we had in our ranks.»
His young daughter Mary was a great help in the mission field in the preparation of the first French publication. Unfortunately, she contracted tuberculosis. Pastor Andrews found the best medical care for her and stayed with his dying daughter night and day even when he was advised to be careful not to get infected himself. Mary died on November 27, 1878 at the age of seventeen.
You can read the following in his diary: «Yesterday, at 4:30 in the morning, my dear daughter Mary passed away. This little girl helped me a lot in Europe, even when we went through moments of hardship. She faced everything with courage, patience, faith, and hope. What she suffered caused her to get sick with tuberculosis, which advanced quickly. She got sick when her help had become very valuable. Who will be there? Who can take her place?»
Andrews had lost his wife and daughter, but he continued to think with a heart of the sent. He continued to travel by sea and land and a few years later, he contracted tuberculosis himself. As the disease advanced and his body deteriorated, he asked for a pen and a piece of paper. Gathering his last energy, he wrote: «I leave $500 for the Mission in Europe.» ‘Then he said, «Is there anything else I could do for God’s cause?» And while the pastors were praying, he passed away to his rest.
In Crespo, Argentina, in the museum of the first church in South America, there is an immense plaque that says:
«By His Spirit they began; we will finish.» We need the same spirit of sacrifice and commitment that Andrews and all of our pioneers had. Are we the ones who will finish the mission so that Jesus can come? If not us, then who? If not now, then when? «As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’ »