James H. Zachary was Associate Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association and the first editor of Elder’s Digest when this article was written.

Local church elders can be among the most overworked members in the church. But when there is no one else to do certain tasks, God gives them a special measure of strength.

Unless they are retired, most elders have fulltime jobs in addition to their church-related tasks. Walter Britton, ADRA project leader in Bolivia, is no different. His long workdays include overseeing infrastructure projects, eight health clinics, agricultural programs, mother-child clinics, adult literacy education, and a reforestation program of planting 2 million trees in the next three years.

You will notice that the laborers are women. I was privileged to visit a group of these dedicated ladies as they prepared a stone surface for a road to their community. USAID through ADRA provides a salary for them paid in foodstuffs.

With all these projects to coordinate, Walter Britton is indeed a busy man. But when the West Bolivia Mission laid plans for a citywide evangelistic meeting, he wanted to be involved. Britton selected a target area in La Paz that had no church.

Others joined him in preparation for the meetings. Pastors and elders of the congregations in La Paz, El Alto, and the surrounding area assisted him. For two months Britton preached to the people. During the first month he held daily meetings. The sessions dropped to four times a week the second month. When he completed the meetings, those attending begged him to continue with Bible studies. Some families walked three kilometers one way to hear the gospel.

"After a long day with ADRA I felt so exhausted," states Britton. "But as I made my way to the hall for the evening meeting, the Lord provided new power. The joy of seeing people accept the gospel thrilled my heart."

The Lord blessed Britton and all the faithful laypersons and pastors helping him, with a total of 891 baptisms. Congregations continue to follow up another 905 persons in baptismal classes. Thirtytwo new churches have formed from this evangelistic endeavor. Today Britton serves as the elder of one of the new congregations, having 45 members and 40 children.

Team effort made the La Paz crusade successful. This large number of converts was possible because God was able to use the dedicated involvement of pastors, mission officials, and laypersons of which Walter Britton was only one.

Many believe that because the denomination has employed them in God's work, they have done their share. But Britton responds, "ADRA work is the Lord's work, but unless I give some of my personal time, I feel I have not done my part."