A few weeks ago we finished up teaching Phase 1 (Creation to Christ) in our local outreach. When I say “we”, I really mean 20 Pal men who handled all the teaching in this outreach. Anyways, we ended Phase 1 by talking about end times – when Christ will come back, judge the world, and make everything new. Part of talking about end times included teaching about God pouring out his wrath on the world, and we read some paraphrased Scripture from Revelation about the plagues God will inflict upon mankind. As the lesson ended, rain started to pour and so we were hesitant to disperse. (Nobody is pulling the car up to the door here when it’s raining.) One hundred or so of us huddled inside the Church structure attempting to stay dry and warm together. Then the world exploded.
Lightning struck. The flash of light and the accompanying boom simultaneously assaulted us. Previous to moving to the bush of PNG, I had never experienced being directly beneath a lightning strike. I had witnessed some fairly close strikes, but nothing compared to what we have endured here in Pal. When lightning strikes right on top of you – not a 1/4 mile away, not a few hundred yards away, but right on top of you – it feels and sounds like dynamite going off. Or what I imagine standing next to an exploding stick of dynamite would feel and sound like.
We are all alive. We are all fine. No one was hurt. Nothing was damaged. We all just had a nice fright and then a good laugh. And now, maybe, the people have a little more fear and respect for the power of the Almighty God. Among the 120 or so people that were regular attenders for this Phase 1, I believe that many have understood the message of salvation and have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Very soon we will begin listening to testimonies from this group, and we will gain a better understanding of what God is doing in their lives. We are continuing with this group into Phase 2, a time of strengthening the good news of Jesus Christ, and a time of talking about where we go from here. And soon we will be inviting the new believers to join the body of believers already established here.
Continue to pray for this group – for those that have newly come from death to life, and for those whose hearts are still darkened. Pray for the teachers that they would continue to grow as men of God, as teachers, as shepherds, and as leaders in the Church.