We’ve had some sweet opportunities to enjoy testimonies from new believers here in Amdu the past few days that we can’t help sharing with you! Thanks for your ongoing prayers for what God is doing here.
Late in the afternoon yesterday Missy and I went to find a friend and hear what was on his heart since our last session on Friday. He was chopping firewood outside his house and was happy to see us. “I wanted to hear what talk you are standing on so we came,” I said to him. Smiling, he put his axe down and we sat together. “I’m standing on what Jesus did for me on the cross. Because of Adam I’m a broken off branch. But Jesus died for me and took my punishment. When Jesus comes we’ll see what God says about me.” I caught some uncertainty in what he said. So I directed him back to John 3:16 and what we taught from that Scripture on Friday. “Hasn’t God already put his talk?” I asked. “Since you are believing in Jesus’ work what does God say about you?” He thought, and said, “God says that I’m a child of God.” We went on to talk about how when you become a child of God that you are in the family forever.
Our friend’s brother-in-law was there too. He’s heard all the teaching and he was eager to tell us his thoughts. Before he launched I asked him, “Do you have a heavy with God?” I asked. “Yes! I was born a child of Adam and because of that I was a broken off branch from God. But Jesus is the only way. His death on the cross took all my heavy away. Every single thing you see. The mountains, the trees, the birds and the animals and the rivers and dirt and rocks; God made all of it. Our ancestors didn’t tell us the truth. God’s story, like what you have taught us is the only true story. And God sent Jesus. And Jesus alone can remove heavy. I say that is true! So, while it is hard to live on this earth because of Adam and Eve, I’m going to be in heaven with God one day.” The tears were flowing as we heard these dear men sharing where their confidence lies. Both of them are illiterate and this is heavy on their hearts. We have a literacy program in place and we just need time with guys like this, to teach them at their pace. Pray with us as a team to be able to meet these needs!
This afternoon Missy and I visited another hamlet of six or seven houses about 15 minutes walk from us. Two families have faithfully come to the teaching each day from this hamlet. One of the mother’s and her grown daughter sat with us and said, “God sent Jesus to this earth for the purpose of dying in our place. We’re broken off branches from God, born into Adam’s family. Getting baptized or going to church or following God’s ten laws can’t remove the punishment we deserve, which is death. Only Jesus can do that!”
Their neighbor who has also been super faithful to come and hear almost every lesson greeted us before we headed home. “What is your confidence in,” I asked him. He said, “Because I’m a broken off branch, my confidence is in Jesus’ death on the cross. He removed my sin and took my punishment.” After we told him how happy we were to hear those thoughts from him he asked, “What about sin that I commit in the future. If I sin do I become a broken of branch again?” I asked him, “What demon was Jesus unable to cast out? What sickness was Jesus unable to heal? Was there anything that overcame Jesus’ strength?” Because of the firm foundation that has been laid in our teaching he was able to say confidently, “There is no obstacle that Jesus can’t overcome!” “Right!” I said. “So do you think that Jesus was only able to pay for some of the punishment you deserve or all of it?” The smile; the glint in the eye; the open faced happiness said it all. “No! He was able to remove it all!” he said. “Just like you will always be your father’s son, you are now the permanent son of God. You won’t become a broken off branch again!” I asked him, “Should we talk some more about this?” He was adamant that we should and we shook hands and said goodbye.
This evening as we came home from our co-workers house, two ladies stopped us. They also have been through all the teaching we’ve offered so far. The first lady is in a permanent state of smiling. “I can’t stop thinking about all you have taught us. My heart is just so light!” We asked the other lady what her confidence is in and she said, “My rotten heart I have placed all of it on Jesus who died for me. He has removed it all!” The first lady jumped in, “So many of our friends don’t understand this,” she said. “We’re telling them, though, and they want to hear more!”
Praying friends, feast on what God has done and will continue to do here in Amdu! Let these testimonies fuel your prayers. Thank you so much for your partnership in this ministry from the start!
Benjamin and Missy