For all of you praying along with us for the birth of new believers here in Amdu we have a change of plans we want you to be aware of. We have decided to move our Death, Burial, Resurrection lesson from Monday back a couple days to Friday. It is Thursday morning as we write this. This morning we condensed a couple lessons together so that we could present the good news of Jesus triumph over sin and death tomorrow and have the weekend to enjoy retelling it and hearing our friends testimonies of how it is impacting their lives. This instead of waiting through the weekend until Monday seemed like the best way to go. So for you in the States around supper time your Thursday night we’ll be kicking things off here.
Thank you for how much you have prayed with us these months. We’re so happy to be at this point in the journey with our Amdu friends and can’t wait to be able to call some of them FAMILY very soon. Today we taught from Mark 10:45! Awesome content in that verse and there were some very bright, beaming faces as we explained the significance of Jesus coming to take the place of sinners and pay the ransom for our sins.
Tomorrow as we walk through the story of the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus we’ll be peeling away from the narrative at times to point back to the stories they have already heard and show them that Jesus is fulfilling God’s plan that was put in place at the beginning. We are praying very specifically that our listeners will understand that this is not an historical event that has brought everyone into God’s family. Jesus took our place on the cross but it has to be individually accepted by faith. Pray us through explaining that one clearly. We know it is going to take time for some people to put all the pieces together, but we’re confident that the foundation is in place for us to be able to continue discipling them to understanding.
Over the next few days pray that we’ll get good opportunities with all those who are itching to talk and explain their thoughts and ask their questions. And that God would give us wisdom and ability to take these personal conversations and really steer each person accurately to Christ. It is a privilege to be here doing this, and we owe that privilege to so many of you who have not just been praying, but sacrificing for us financially too, especially during these uncertain times. We are so honored to be entrusted with such an investment.
Here are some great testimonies of how God is at work in hearts.
One man the other day said at the end of the lesson, “Everything I have been believing up until now, I am not going to follow that anymore. I am only going to follow what Jesus did.” (my paraphrase). After todays lesson, he asked Benjamin if he can sit down with him tomorrow. He said, “Some people who have learned to read and write – I am not one of them, but I have been listening to what you have been saying and I can see it.”
In a lesson talking about the religious leaders of Jesus’ day being offended by what he was doing and missing the whole point of why he came to the earth, one of the ladies sitting next to me said, “We have been doing that too.”
One of the men who has had some outside bible training and is here leading one of the religious groups said, “In that school, we were only taught some things, but you guys have taught us the real meaning of what’s in the bible.” There were about 4 other guys who were speaking up after yesterday’s lesson saying that this “talk” they are hearing is different. They are hearing and understanding the meaning of the scripture.
In a lesson last week about Jesus healing the paralytic, before he healed him, he said, “Your sins are forgiven.”. Jesus knew his heart. Jesus’ number one work was that! – helping with the physical stuff was secondary. ” Jesus ‘healing’ our hearts comes above all the rest.”, Benjamin said while teaching, and an Amdu man said, “That is it. It’s only that!”
One of our older attendees was being persuaded by her son to hike with her to another far away village, which would have taken her out of the rest of the teaching. That morning we saw her before the lesson and she said, “He wanted me to go with him, but I said, ‘I am not going anywhere. I am staying to hear all the teaching!'” That is a big deal. In this culture, when you are being persuaded by someone to do something – especially by a family member – it is very difficult to say no.
Someone was relaying to Benjamin today about a lot of badmouthing that is happening in certain circles. People that are coming to the teaching are being pressured and some mocked. But he said, “They are doing this, but my wife and I are sticking with it to the end and we have been reading together and thinking about the things we have been learning.” He said that he had gone to one of the men that was being pressured not to come anymore and he told him, “Don’t worry about what they are saying. You still need to come.” – and this man showed up again this morning!
There are many more, but this is getting to be a long update. We will write more later! Thank you again for being with us in this amazing work!
Benjamin and Missy