This morning tears welled up as I sat there listening to person after person thanking God for saving them through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. After returning from home assignment we are still getting a feel for where the church is at after being away from them for a little over a year. And the church seems to be at a really good place. The life of Christ is so evident when they meet together and worship it is an amazing thing to witness. God is at work in the lives of so many and this morning during open sharing time they were quick to share and give glory to God for His gift of grace through Christ. One who has been a believer for a long time shared this, “When Jesus carried the cross and died on it he took upon himself a huge burden, and I know that even now no matter what or how big my burdens are if I give them to Jesus he is able to carry them for me.” This person requested a Simbari song that is like a prayer which goes like this:
Oh Jesus you died for us, we give you thanks, you are so good
You took much pain for us, we give you thanks, you are so good
You took our place, we give you thanks, you are so good
The whole time as we were singing the song this person just wept tears of thanks for what Jesus has done for us. The message to follow from Romans 8:14-16 was very powerful and afterward many just about jumped out of their seats in excitement wanting to share once again. One new believer from another village said: “When I used to listen to teaching about the Bible in English and Pidgin I was completely in the dark, but now hearing it in my own language it is so powerful and has shown me that Jesus is the way.” Another new believer also from another village also spoke up talking about how he had been on the wide path but that just recently he had trusted in Jesus and is now following the path that Jesus has made for us. There were many more testimonies and then a lot of discussion about the message from God’s Word regarding their adoption as sons through the Spirit of God and the difference that the Spirit makes in our lives so that we no longer have to live in fear and so much more. (see Rom. 7:5-6)
These new believers are a result of an outreach to a new village an hour or so away that began before we even got back from our home assignment. Some of the believers from here saw God opening a door for ministry in the new village and believed the Spirit was leading them to begin teaching there each Friday morning at a public market area. God had prepared the hearts of some of the people from this village and so even though they are only hearing the early parts of the Creation to Christ teaching they peppered the teachers with questions in the evenings around the fire and several of them have already placed their trust in Christ. One of those new believers observed that, “no man could have forced this all to happen, only God alone choosing us and orchestrating everything was able to make this all happen”. God is indeed building His church and it is exciting to be a part of it!
Another thing that was started up in our absence was a Sunday school for the children. Over the years the believers have tried some informal children’s meetings in their homes but it was hard to be consistent so they decided it best to do it on Sunday mornings when the adults are hearing the message. This way one of the mature believers can teach the younger kids on their own level in a much more engaging way than what can be done in the adult worship service. We are so glad to see the church leaders taking steps to meet the spiritual needs of people both inside and outside the church.
Like the prayerful song mentioned above we also say to God, “We give You thanks, You are so good”.