1 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?
2 "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!
3 "Like your Lord, you came to show us
How to reach our heav’nly home,
Give us light, dispel our da"rkness,
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!
4 "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!"
5 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!
Adapted from Martha E. Perkins, The Wayside Shrine (Boston: Sherman, French & Company, 1914)
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."
The Wayside Shrine, 1914, p. 94