Scripture Verse

Come over…and help us. Acts 16:9


Richard W. Adams (1952–)

Words: Ri­chard W. Ad­ams, Sep­tem­ber 2, 2017 (pub­lic do­main). Adapt­ed from Mar­tha E. Pet­tus, The Way­side Shrine (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Sher­man, French, 1914), pag­es 94–95.

Music: Ab­ruz­zo John R. Swe­ney, Joy to the World (Cin­cin­na­ti, Ohio: Hitch­cock & Wal­den, 1879), num­ber 33 (🔊 pdf nwc).

John R. Sweney (1837–1899)


A mis­sion­ary to Chi­na re­lates that soon af­ter her first ar­riv­al there, she talked with a Chi­nese wo­man at the lat­ter’s own door. They ex­changed on­ly a few words, and the mis­sion­ary prom­ised to call soon to see her.

She could not do so for months, but when she did call, the wo­man was stand­ing in her door, and re­ceived her with the words, I’ve been wait­ing for you.

Martha Pettus
The Wayside Shrine, 1914, p. 94


Only those few words of greet­ing,
Yet all through the sum­mer day,
In a teach­er’s heart were thrill­ing
Echoes sweet that seemed to say:
“O dear friend, from strange, far coun­try,
You came o’er the ocean blue!
Did you hear our voic­es call­ing,
Did you know we longed for you?

“Long the wait, the eag­er pin­ing,
Oh, how oft our hearts would swell;
Waiting long, with hope and pa­tience,
For the sto­ry you would tell!
Now you come, and so I bless you
For the hope you bring to me;
For the joyful, glo­ri­ous pro­mise
That mine eyes will Hea­ven see!

Like your Lord, you came to show us
How to reach our heav’n­ly home,
Give us light, dis­pel our dark­ness,
Show us pa­ra­dise to come!

Brothers, sis­ters, hear them plead­ing,
Listen to the sto­ry true:
From afar, come cry­ing voic­es,
“Here we wait, we wait for you!

Waiting for you to re­mem­ber
That we ne­ver here have heard
Of the joy that makes life bright­ness,
Of the com­fort in God’s word!
For we too, we need a Sav­ior!
For life’s sor­row, pain and fear!
O dear Chris­tians, send the Gos­pel
Send the truth you hold so dear!

Are you list­en­ing to their voic­es?
Do you long to heed the call?
Our Re­deem­er, who we trust­ed,
He has said He died for all!
So we speed, with pray­ers, our an­swer
To send far across the sea,
To sad hearts, in dark­ness dwell­ing,
Waiting still for you and me!