As this issue devoted to missions goes to press, Religious News Service has released a depressing report of missions retreat and retrenchment by another large denomination, the United Methodist Church. Its 1974 overseas budget for missions is $4 million less than that of 1971 and about $1 million less than this year’s. The number of missionaries has declined from 1,309 in 1969 to 870. The situation is quite similar to that previously reported in the United Presbyterian Church.

The need of the world for the Gospel is greater than ever before, and the opportunities to present it are countless. The response of God’s people is less than adequate to needs and opportunities.

We are praying that this issue devoted to missions will stir hearts to a new obedience and to genuine sacrifice to fulfill the mandate that binds us: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

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