An important principle in disciple making is to find the hungry hearts and feed them (2 Timothy 2:2.) This was Paul’s admonition to the hungry hearted Timothy (Acts 16:1, 2) as he handed the ministry baton to his spiritual son. The context for this treasure hunt, though, is a larger group of witnesses. Paul ministered to the many while always being on the lookout for the faithful few; the doers in the crowd of listeners. The late Mark Zook, well known for the EE-taow story and one of our trainers often challenged us to remember that this treasure hunt should begin in the very early days of ministry.
The signs of faithfulness can be detected in an unbeliever before the Gospel is presented just like a rough diamond can be detected in the coal. A rough diamond must undergo quite a transformation before it is placed into its setting so to the signs of a future elder will only be faintly seen in the disorderly life of an unsaved man, so you have to watch closely. We have been watching closely these years. Literacy class has provided a great environment for spotting diamonds in the rough.
Can you see the hungry heart?
This is a picture of one of our literacy classes in session. My buddy in the red shirt, let’s call him Big Potential, was our ‘A’ student at the time. Peeking over the wall is another friend, let’s call him Hungry Howie. As you can guess from his vantage point, Hungry Howie wasn’t part of the first literacy class. Big Potential was an easy choice for us. We felt like he would easily succeed and could quickly become a teacher in his own rite. Hungry Howie on the other hand had many strikes against him although he made it clear he wanted to be in the first class. Lot’s of people were disappointed as we only selected fifteen applicants.
Quickly, though, it became apparent that Big Potential was going to be only that; potential. He took a lazy approach to his studies and responsibility and quickly started missing classes. All the while Hungry Howie peeked over the wall showing that he was undaunted and still wanted in. Eventually we asked Big Potential to stop coming to class. His reputation was in question and we wanted to save him further embarrassment.
When it came time to start class two Hungry Howie had a spot. He was not our best student and he still has a lot to learn but he never missed a day. He finished every stitch of homework and was an excellent example of faithfulness. At the end of his course he felt like he wasn’t given enough homework to do to help him get into the post literacy class. In fine Amdu fashion he found someone to advocate for him and they came and plead their case with me. For his grit and tenacity I decided to give him a few extra homework lessons.
Hungry Howie isn’t the only example of diamonds in the rough that we have been spotting. Each find thrills our hearts as evidence that the Holy Spirit is preparing the soil in Amdu for the sowing of the seed of the Gospel. Will Hungry Howie be one of the faithful men we entrust to take the helm of God’s church yet to be born in Amdu? What a thrill to know that our Captain sees it all from beginning to end already. He has gone before us and will come behind. It is such a privilege to be disciple makers in Amdu
Pray that God would continue to supply us with the wisdom we need to effectively make disciples among the Amdu people. Pray that we would be expertly prepared to feed the many while being keenly aware of the hungry hearts among them. And pray that God would sustain us to the day we are able to hand the baton on to the faithful men and women that Grace will raise up. If you are reading this and haven’t yet subscribed to the Amdu Hatton’s Newsletter will you add your name to the list. Fill the form out that you see in the right hand column of this webpage. We covet your partnership in prayer in these important days!