I never met my husband’s maternal grandfather; I have heard lots of stories about Grandpa Vikner, though. He and his wife were commissioned in 1914 for missionary work in Honan, China. They made their home there until the 1948 revolution. During those years, they preached the good news to the Chinese people.
Tim and I have one of Grandpa Vikner’s New Testaments among our treasures. On its leaves, it records the Vikners’ trips back and forth across the Pacific. Taped to the front of that Bible is a slip of paper with three words on it: “Jesus Never Fails.” We don’t know what led Grandpa Vikner to tape it there. It would have to have been some driving need to do something no respectable clergyman in the early part of the 20th century would do—tape something to a Bible.
Forty years after Grandpa Vikner left China, his son, David Vikner, traveled to Honan. To his surprise, he found himself surrounded by people who were eager to tell him, with great joy, that they remembered his father! Not only that, the church his father had begun with them had continued on in their homes with bold faithfulness through the years of communist rule. Jesus Never Fails!
This message was adapted from “Act Boldly with Faithfulness” written by Sue Gamelin that first appeared in the March 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.