During one of Ernie’s last visits with Harlow, Harlow talked about the crisis for Christians across the world. He was concerned that Christianity, as we know it, was being shoved aside and crushed, that not enough people would grow to know God and His salvation, that they would not feel His love and presence in their lives, and that they would not share in eternal life. He said of the 340,000 people being born worldwide each day, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to reach 1% of those people and introduce them to their Savior?’.
This comment was taken to heart and, with the help of two of his other friends and his wife, Harlow’s vision became our mission. In June of 2011, Cross The World was launched as a ministry to help others get to know our Father and serve Him through the instrument of the cross. And, you all became our feet!
Our little crosses were introduced in various ways. Maybe you greeted at the front door of the local nursing home, handing out crosses to all who entered; or, maybe you stood on a warm beach each day spreading the Gospel to those who strolled the pier. Maybe you kept a basket filled at the local coffee house or soup kitchen; perhaps you gave them to participants in a local 5K as you prayed for their safety and perseverance. Or, maybe you taped a cross to your loved one as they entered the surgical suite or watched someone dear to you clutch a cross, praying for them and witnessing their hand slip from yours to God’s. The list of how our crosses found a new home to bless continues to grow: countless Bible studies, hospital/care center/home/hospice visits; Christmas packages with the cross tied to the bow; baptisms; funerals; baskets filled by your front door for visitors or provided by shelters for the homeless; plates filled with cookies and crosses shared with neighbors. And, don’t forget the kids … the kids love these crosses!
Through the years, our little crosses traveled … and, they didn’t just stay stateside. Maybe it was you who carried them on a mission trip to Cambodia or Laos, Uganda, Central America or Mexico where the children would run ahead of you, drawing the sign of the cross in the sand because they didn’t speak English but wanted you to know, in their own way, they wanted something they knew you were carrying. Maybe you took the cross with you when you visited the Sudan refugee camps, or the orphanages in the Ukraine, or traveled in a small plane to the northern parts of Canada to the remote Native villages where visitors are scarce, all to spread the word of God’s love. Or, maybe you slipped them into the ‘we care from home’ packages that were sent to the military stationed overseas, into the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes … all intended to give the end recipient something they could hold that represented God’s promise.
Sometimes, the cross spoke louder than words. Were you the one who placed the cross by a fellow employee’s coffee cup that day, seeing that their spirit was broken? Or, were you the one who left a cross on the ground beside the driver’s door of a stranger’s car at the shopping mall, not realizing your actions touched that person at a time when they desperately needed to draw strength from above? Maybe it was you who gave a cross to a teen, struggling with addiction, and hoping beyond hope it would give them the strength to go on, sadly only to be found in their possessions by their mom after they had chosen to end their life? Or, maybe you were the distracted driver whose cross you had placed on the dash tipped in time to redirect your attention to the road ahead, giving you the seconds you needed to slam on the brakes to avoid a nasty collision with the construction truck blocking it?
Again, the list continues to grow. We liken these little pass-it-on wooden crosses to water … they seem to seep into every crack and cranny. They are warmly reaching people who can’t tell us who or where they got them from. They are being carried to places no one can explain how they got there. They are doing massive work for the Lord, saying and spreading words and messages that we would never ever be able to comprehend how to say. ‘The Lord speaks in mysterious ways’ … we continue to witness to that. To read more heartfelt testimonials, click HERE.
This month, Harlow’s vision was accomplished. His goal of 340,000 crosses has been met. Unbelievably, one third of a million crosses! Whew!! That’s a LOT of crosses out there spreading the word. And we have you, our Cross The World family, to thank for putting the feet to these crosses. We could never have dreamt of reaching our goal without you; we are so very thankful for your commitment to our ministry. We can’t say ‘Thank You’ enough! You are indeed God’s good and faithful servants!!
But, just so you know … our work is not finished. It’s estimated that our current daily worldwide birthrate is 385,000 and we hear Harlow asking us to adjust our next goal to that number. Our answer is a resounding ‘YOU BET’ ! In fact, we are already making strides towards that second goal. And, of course, we still need your help. There are still so many people out there who are starving to hear about God’s promise for eternal life, people who desperately need to feel God’s presence and know that He is in their corner. Sometimes, all they need is a couple of little sticks glued together to open their hearts to feel His love. Please keep doing what you’ve been doing; you’ve done a great job already! Bless you; we love you all. Onward Christian Soldiers!!