A Report from General Assembly, Part 7
The following is from the OPC website regarding foreign missions:
The foreign missions work of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church is conducted through its Committee on Foreign Missions (composed of nine ministers and six ruling elders elected by the general assembly) as a part of the Church’s total Worldwide Outreach program. Realizing that God upholds, directs, and disposes all things by his most wise and holy providence, we are committed to pursue the opportunities he presents to us to further the proclamation of the gospel to the nations, always bearing in mind that ultimately he is the one who provides the clear and focused opportunity, the necessary personnel, and the required support. The objectives for the work on each of our eight active mission fields—China, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Haiti, Quebec, Uganda, Ukraine, and Uruguay—are the same:
*That the gospel of sovereign redemption through the substitutionary work of Christ be proclaimed in all its fullness in all the world, not only being expressed by word but also being accompanied by the deeds of love to God and man which must flow from it.
*That the unbelieving be warned of eternal punishment and by God’s grace understand by the deeds of love to God and man which must flow from it.
*That indigenous Reformed churches be established which will provide fellowship and instruction, and make the gospel known in its own culture and in others.
*That above all the one true and living God shall be praised and worshipped.
*That these objectives be sought only by means that are in accord with the Scriptures, both means and end thereby producing the overall objective, the glory of God.
By design there is not a lot of information listed about foreign missions on our denomination’s website. Many missionaries work in countries where there is persecution. We pray for a different missionary in our Church services each week, but we are also very careful not to list names and locations of missionaries online or in emails.
One particular highlight at this year’s general assembly was the recognition of Brian and Dorothy Wingard, who retired after 23 years of missionary service. The following was published as a part of the daily report from General Assembly and is listed at the OPC website.
Mr. Mark Bube, general secretary for the Committee on Foreign Missions (CFM), read the resolution approved in the committee’s February 2017 meeting:
The Committee on Foreign Missions of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church hereby makes known to the Rev. Dr. Brian T. Wingard and his wife, Dorothy, our deep thankfulness to the Lord for you, his servants, and for your twenty-three years of dedicated service to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Answering the Lord’s call through His church to missionary service, you were ordained to the gospel ministry on December 10, 1993, and the very next day you were married—and the next month you were off to Kenya to teach at the Reformed Theological College of East Africa in Eldoret (1994–1997), living in a simple house and carrying water in buckets from a nearby creek. In answer to your and our prayers, some of the men you taught have gone on in the following decades to positions of leadership in their respective churches, a testimony to our Lord’s grace working through you.
In 1998 you relocated to Uganda, to teach at the Westminster Theological College in Mbale (1998–2001), becoming only the second missionary family on that field. Again we saw the Lord’s grace and mercy in sparing your lives when you were attacked in your home in the middle of the night in October 2001 and left tied up for hours.
When it pleased the Lord to allow us to return to Eritrea in 2002 (having been expelled from that country in 1997), you served both as the director of the Mehrete Yesus Evangelical Presbyterian Theological College in Asmara and as an evangelist working with the three congregations of MYEPC (2002–2006). The Lord continued to bless your labors richly, and today your graduates are serving Christ’s church among the Eritrean diaspora, applying what they learned sitting under your patient instruction in the places to which the Lord has brought them.
When we were again expelled from Eritrea in 2007, you were again redeployed to Mbale, Uganda, where you taught at the Knox Theological College (2007–2011), and when an opportunity opened, you relocated a fourth time to South Africa to teach at the Mukhanyo Theological College in Kwamhlanga (2011–2016), where you labored until you retired from active missionary service. In all of these labors, you brought a zeal for God’s glory, a servant’s heart, and a steadfast commitment to the Scriptures as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and to our confessional standards as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Scriptures. And wherever you were stationed, Dorothy served in various supporting capacities in the theological colleges where her husband labored, taught women’s Bible studies and in the Sunday schools, and was ever ready to provide hospitality to students and visitors, providing a godly example of the excellent wife (Prov. 31). Your toil has not been in vain in the Lord. You have both planted and watered, and God will give the increase in His time. The Word which you have proclaimed will not return without accomplishing what He desires. May you continue to run the race that is set before you, fixing your eyes on Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things. To God be the glory!