I sat between two men on a bench made from pieces of bamboo. Stanley began to explain what was on his heart. “I knew that Jesus had died on the cross. I had read this part before [pointing to Luke 24:6-7 ‘He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”], but I just never knew the reason. I had been told a long time ago that Jesus was the road, and I told others that. But that road of Jesus’ work so I could go to God wasn’t clear to me. Now that I clearly understand, I can no longer believe in fireflies, ginger, and rituals [the traditional beliefs]. It is not my works, but only the death of Jesus, the work of his death and resurrection in our place for our sins. I believe in God’s road only.”
He was one of the men that I talked to since our meeting two weeks ago, on Easter Sunday, when the Gospel message was presented in detail as the culmination to a group who had been studying God’s Word for months from Genesis through the Gospels. Others too are giving testimony of their faith in Christ’s work on their behalf. We are so excited for those God has drawn to Himself and have become His children. What an honor to be a part of a growing family of Patpatar believers.
Yet a few from the group are still making their choice. Do they continue on in believing what they have believed all of their life trusting in rituals and religious works, or do they place their trust in what Christ did for them? To make matters more complicated, some of the ‘older believers’ have told me that this group is currently being targeted in an effort to pull them away from the Gospel to “another gospel” of works and rituals (sounds a bit like Acts 15 and Galatians 1 all over again). It isn’t just this group that is being targeted however, it is also the new group who has just started through the evangelistic Bible teaching.
We know that there will be opposition to the truth and trials for believers, but for these infant believers and those so close to a ‘second birth,’ I was reminded of Briella’s time in the NICU after she was born. She wasn’t strong enough to be on her own and outside influences were dangerous for her. She needed love, care, and help to begin the new life that she had. So here too, with a goal not only being to see people saved, but to present them mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29), there seems to be a need for some Intensive Care.
- Praise the Lord with us for those who have been brought into God’s family from years of darkness.
- Praise the Lord for the more mature believers who right now are willing to stand strong, and encourage and challenge those who are struggling in their decisions.
- Pray for them and for us along with the Patpatar families who have been teaching them to help them during this critical time.
Fact: Great news for the Patpatar translation. Madonna just completed another final check with the translation consultant of a portion of the Patpatar Old Testament. Now nearly ¾ of the book of Genesis is finished and ready to be printed.