This morning, a quiet old man stood up after church and said, “God gumə ənə peme kekevat gagəb.” (“God himself is our joy.”) In that simple statement, I was struck once again by the fact that I am being allowed to witness something I had never experienced before – a believer being taught the Word of God by no one else but the Spirit himself.
So far, we have not translated any Scripture that talks about God being our joy, nor has anyone on the team (to my knowledge) taught people that God is our joy. But this believer is communing with God through the Holy Spirit and is learning things from Him that He wants everyone to know. Amazing.
Yesterday evening a teen-aged girl came to my porch to tell me what she’s been thinking about lately. That may not seem very significant, but it kind of is. This girl is pretty shy; she has never spoken to me voluntarily before. Also, as we all know, teenage girls tend to move in packs (or at least pairs). But this girl felt led to come and talk to me, and she obeyed the leading and came. It was such a blessing to me to hear her pour out her heart about all the things that she believes about Jesus and now understands about the Bible and life. She didn’t even ask me if her thinking was right or not (a very common practice among the people here) – she just knew it was!
It was so wonderful to be reminded that God is working in ways that we cannot, and that He is the one who changes hearts and gives understanding. When so many people here are still having a hard time believing the things that we teach them over and over and over, we are truly thankful for the grace of God that allows us to glimpse the things that He is doing completely without our help in the lives of others.
Not only do those others believe and understand what is being taught by us from God’s Word, but they are believing and understanding things that we have never taught them. The power of God’s Spirit is amazing, and it is so good to be reminded of that when we are bogged down in discouragement over our futile attempts to make people understand spiritual things.
Thank you for praying for the Pal people. Even in these last few weeks we have seen those that we thought were hard-hearted beyond recall soften to the Word of God and show signs of repentance. Although most of the time it feels to us like we are the ones suffering through the “fire”, God is slowly refining many of those whom he has called us to minister to.
Please continue to pray for the people here, and don’t forget to thank God for the way that He keeps His promises and redeems people from every time and place known to man.