Approvals – God and Government
This concept is one often sought after by people from parents, friends, and institutions. In our case approval of our visas has been highly pursued over the last several months. Of course the greatest approval we all really need is from God. I have great news in regards to both of these realms!
Yes, you read that correctly! What usually takes 15 business days, was done in 24 hours! Our NTM-PNG government reps contacted us telling us the visas have been approved! The next step is to mail the passports to the PNG Embassy in Brisbane and wait for them to be returned. Knowing this, we’ve been able to set our return date to PNG. This step should be pretty quick and painless; but again we trust in God, not government.
Just before we left the tribe to do this visa dance I was in a translation session with Waritnu. During the session a man was working outside his house and could hear us reading scripture. He came by the office and stood outside for a while just listening. Then he opened my door and plopped himself right in the doorway. A little bit later he slid inside completely and shut the door behind him. He just sat there on the floor listening and afterwards said, “This talk is so sweet to me I just had to stop what I was doing and listen.” The three of us went outside and just kept talking about what we were working on in the book of Colossians. We marveled at God’s goodness and how He is so patient with us. Then another man showed up.
This man is one that has not been around too much and seems to have kept his distance. He claims to be a believer but just seems to not really understand it all. He listened in our conversation and somehow the focus shifted to him. I sat there and listened to the two guys I was with explain the gospel to him so clearly I was astonished. Here’s the part that I especially loved as it truly demonstrates the power of the gospel. The young man Waritnu said to him, “All of your sin even the one when you murdered my grandfather was nailed to the cross, and Jesus paid for that sin so that you can be united with God even though you deserve eternal punishment. ” Then he bundled his hands together and said, “God has wrapped up believers in the righteousness of Christ like this, and when he looks at you He sees Christ.”
Wow! Imagine saying THAT the next time you witness to someone! Even the sin that you did against me by killing my own grandfather is paid for by Christ! I was dumbfounded and then told them, “Do you guys see what is going on here? The power of God through his gospel it making itself evident! Before you guys would have condemned this man, excluded him, and demanded recompense. Now you are extending forgiveness to him because of the forgiveness you have received in Christ. This is incredible!”
This talk went on for 2.5 hours and we finally went our separate ways rejoicing about our approval from God found only in Christ.