The seasons are changing here in Pal. We are transitioning out of rainy season into slightly-less-rainy season. And you know it’s true because the wind has changed.
For most of the year we get a nice breeze up the valley on one side of our ridge that keeps us cool when the sun is shining and blows in the rain on most afternoons. But between December and early March, the wind changes direction and comes whipping up the valley on the other side of our ridge, and it is a different kind of wind altogether. It comes in huge gusts that sound like a freight train getting closer and closer until it collides with the house and buffets it for a minute or two, and then passes by and leaves us calm and quiet again. Until the next gust!
Last week the winds were so strong that it ripped part of our coworkers’ roof off. It pulled the nails from the rafters and peeled the tin roofing tiles back like a ripe banana. We were here alone at the time, and it was more than Chris could do to go up there in the wind and try to put it right again. Luckily, the coworker came back from his break the next day and God blessed us with a rain-free day so the men could all get up there and replace the roof.
On Sunday the believers met in the village and listened to Chris teach about another kind of wind. We will soon begin teaching through the book of Acts, so to prepare them for the first couple of chapters, we taught them what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit and what it means to each of them. The Pal word for spirit is “wind”, so the Holy Spirit is “God’s Wind” – kind of appropriate considering that the house was filled with the sound of a great rushing wind on the day of Pentecost!
The Holy Spirit is something that they have never been taught about clearly, so everyone was all ears on Sunday and heard for the first time that Jesus said the Holy Spirit is sent to help believers, to teach them, and to convict them of sin. It is also drawing unbelievers to repentance and faith, and Chris shared that it is only God’s Spirit who is able to do that; our job is to scatter the “seed” and be obedient in making disciples, but it is God who creates the miracle of spiritual rebirth.
One of the men stood up after the lesson and reminded everyone that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach them, and not just a few of them but all of them who have believed. He said that God sent us white people to scatter the seeds by preaching the Word, but that God himself through his Holy Spirit would be their teacher. It is exciting to hear them encourage each other and help each other understand what they’re learning.
In other news, our friend the translation consultant is here and has been helping us do the final checks on Exodus and Mark. When she signs off on the translations we can print them and hand out more of God’s Word for the believers to read. And they are hungry for it!
Thank you for praying with us and for us as we live and work here. God is a faithful master and we are proud to be part of the Pal harvest along with you.