Veiled Country


ut sir,” Pastor Lata* exclaimed in anguish, “I don’t know the area. I don’t know the languages they speak there. And I don’t know anything about this Global Mission program. These new Global Mission pioneers you’re talking about, well, they’re enthusiastic and dedicated, I’m sure, but they’re uneducated. They don’t know how to talk right. They don’t know how to eat right. They don’t even know how to sit on a chair respectfully!”

Pastor Lata’s eyes were desperate as he pled, “I just can’t do it. I would be a failure. You need to send someone else.”

The mission president looked sadly at Pastor Lata. “OK,” he said slowly, “we will find someone else.”

It was the early 1990s, and the Global Mission program was just beginning. Donors had provided funding for stipends and supplies. Hundreds of pioneers had been recruited to go into unentered parts of their own countries to make friends, introduce people to Jesus, and plant churches where there were none. The mission committee had selected 260 pioneers and sent them into a massive, almost unentered part of this veiled country. The committee also voted to ask Pastor Lata to leave his churches and train, supervise, and support these pioneers.

At that time, this region had almost 500 million inhabitants, twice the number of people living in the United States. But in that massive population, there were only 18,000 Adventist members. It was a huge challenge, one that Pastor Lata felt unprepared for. He was sure if he went, he would be a failure.

The president and Pastor Lata knelt, and the president began to pray. Suddenly, a voice rang out gently but firmly, “Pastor Lata. You are rejecting my call!”

Startled, Pastor Lata opened his eyes. His heart was pounding. His legs were shaking. He was filled with fear, and there were tears in his eyes. But the president didn’t appear to have heard anything. His decision made, Pastor Lata interrupted the prayer and said, “Sir, God has just told me that I’m rejecting His call, and I don’t want to do that. I will go.”

Fifteen years later, Pastor Lata told me that the first weeks were as bad as he had imagined. He spent days trying to teach the Global Mission pioneers how to speak clearly so they could be understood and how to eat politely. He had to keep telling them how to sit in a chair properly—with their feet on the ground. They also practiced giving Bible studies, but they couldn’t even find the verses.

Finally, Pastor Lata couldn’t hold them back any longer and had to send them out to their new villages. They were excited, but as he watched them go, he wanted to pack his bags and leave the country. He was so embarrassed!

He didn’t quit, though. With great fear, Pastor Lata began to travel from village to village to visit. He planned to help the pioneers as much as possible and have them return every few weeks for further training. But Pastor Lata was amazed at what he found. Each time he visited, and they came together, Pastor Lata could only listen and watch in awe at what God was doing through the pioneers. Miracles took place. Lives were changed. Churches were established.

When Pastor Lata told me about his experience, he praised God for the privilege of being there. It was the hardest experience of his life, but one he wouldn’t trade for anything. Pastor Lata had watched how God can take uneducated people and make them into powerful witnesses for Him if they are willing. And he had seen how God could take what he had thought would be a horrible failure and turn it into a fantastic miracle! The membership in this region has grown from 18,000 to more than 163,000. It has gone from 127 churches to almost 500.

Oh, there is still lots to do. The region now has almost three times as many people as we have in the United States and only has 1 Adventist for every 4,962 people. There are still millions and millions of people who don’t know Jesus.

The work isn’t easy. During the past 20 years, many of our Global Mission pioneers and pastors have been persecuted—even beaten or killed for bringing this message to new areas. But they keep on going because they know what Pastor Lata has also learned—that when you are working for Jesus, there is no such thing as failure!

Please help Global Mission pioneers reach the 66 percent of the world’s population who haven’t had the opportunity to experience Jesus. To learn more, visit

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In the United States:

Global Mission, General Conference

12501 Old Columbia Pike

Silver Spring, MD 20904-6601

In Canada:

Global Mission

SDA Church in Canada

1148 King Street East

Oshawa, ON L1H 1H8

Please remember us in your will and trusts. Visit or call 800.648.5824.

Homer Trecartin now retired, wrote this story while serving as the planning director for the Office of Adventist Mission.