Thank you for continuing to pray for the work God is doing here in Amdu. We started regular meetings again this week. We meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings now. The rest of the week we meet house to house with families and smaller groups discussing their questions and reviewing what we have been teaching. These times are especially sweet and motivating! Sweet to hear how our friends are putting into words what is in their hearts. Motivating when we see where certain individuals are confused and need more instruction.
Reviewing the gospel message is the focus of our teaching right now. We want to take our time to make sure that the meaning of the cross is clear. We are also bringing some essential truths for baby believers in each lesson trying to illustrate these things in a way that is tangible. For instance, on Tuesday we setup a typical Amdu garden fence inside the teaching tent. The fence formed a circle. We taught that God only sees two kinds of people. Believers who are inside God’s fence, and unbelievers who remain outside. On Thursday we illustrated this idea by using to string bags, the kind that we have given to many of you when we have visited you on our home assignment. All Amdu babies are carried around in a string bag until they are strong enough to sit on their parents shoulders. We emphasized again that God only sees two kinds of people. Those who are in Satan’s baby bag or those who are in God’s baby bag. Then we walked through the gospel again, asking how it is that people can be moved from Satan’s baby bag to God’s baby bag.
At the end of the lesson one guys asked, “So your saying that if I quit doing good works to be accepted by God and I trust in Jesus’ death for me alone, I will end up in God’s baby bilum?” Turning to the group it was great to hear how many people affirmed his question saying, “Yes! It’s only trusting in Jesus that gets you into God’s baby bag.” The high point of the lesson, though, was when we introduced John 6:37; the idea that no believer will be rejected by God. We had asked our group on Tuesday the question, “If you are in God’s fence, but then you sin again, what will happen?” Almost to a person they agreed that God would send that person out of his fence back into the ‘jungle’ again. We knew this would be the majority opinion. So we challenged them to think about a couple things. We asked them to think about how they got into the fence in the first place. “On whose strength did you get into God’s fence?” We also asked them to consider Jesus work when he was on the earth. “Was there any limits to Jesus strength?” We also asked them to consider again what John had said about Jesus. “Did John say that Jesus would cover over our sin penalty or remove our sin penalty?” On Thursday people were ready to talk this out and it was SO fun to teach that when God saves you he saves you completely. When Jesus paid your sin penalty he paid it completely. When you become a child of God (John 1:12) you are his child forever. One lady who, with her husband had helped me write this lesson, after she heard this said, “I was thinking that it would be like you are saying!” Her joy is over flowing. This couple have a son who is living in a distant village attending a school there. They think about him a lot. But they said, “We just can’t go and see him right now. We love what you are teaching us and want to hear it all.”
Later in the week, as we met in houses to review this material another husband and wife had this short exchange. The wife said to Benjamin, “We do all these things, like pray and try and do good to others, but God looks right into our hearts and sees that they are rotten.” Then her husband sitting on the other side of Benjamin said to her, “Yeah, but those people who believe that Jesus died and paid for their sin penalty, God saves those people. That is what we have been hearing!” The husband I’m referring to has a very clear testimony. He was one of the very few people who thought that God wouldn’t send a believer away if they sinned again. But he wasn’t totally sure! On Thursday as we laid out the truth of John 6:37 and talked about a loving Father who would always pursue his kids to build them but never cast them out, he was in tears, as were some others. These are truths they have never been taught before and we can tell it is food for their souls.
Keep praying for the Amdu people who are attending the teaching still. There is a good group of about thirty who are listening and are all at different stages of understanding and growth. We estimate that close to one half of these have strong testimonies and are clearly believers. One man who was helping Benjamin with next week’s lesson on believers being given the Holy Spirit, stopped and said, “This is really great talk! They way you are explaining it is very clear and I’m very happy!” Later Benjamin asked him, “So now that you are God’s child what should you and I call each other.” He said, “I will say to you that I’m God’s child and you will say the same to me. We’re brothers. Maybe I’ll call you big brother.” Another conversation with two men who have listened to every lesson showed that they are still a bit foggy on things. I asked them, “Guys, if we someone really dedicates themselves to doing good, I mean really dedicates themselves, what will God say to them?” The guys had a really hard time saying that God would not accept that person on the basis of their works. I’m thankful for these moments to see clearly where people are at and SO thankful for the foundation they have that we can appeal to. As soon as we went back and talked about Adam’s choice to abandon God you could see light flooding back into their eyes. As we walked through the work of Jesus and why he came and what he did on the cross, the smiles were back as if to say, “Man, we knew this! Why can’t we remember these things?” It’s great to be able to minister this way to our friends.
Thank you for praying and for continuing to lift up the Amdu people and there needs to the Lord. Thank you for praying for our team too! Thank you for asking the Lord to give us wisdom and to keep us focused on what is essential. I know some of you are dying to see pictures, watch video and hear the names that go with these sweet testimonies. In time that will be possible. Thank you for being patient with us as we focus on what is most important. This coming week we are introducing the truth of each believer being sealed by the Holy Spirit. We’re also going to touch on the implications of the intimate access believers have to God with the Father. That means we can confidently fellowship with God. What all does that mean? What should it look like? We’re just scratching the surface of these truths but still pray that the Lord would guide our mouths and give help to each listener!
Benjamin and Missy