What would it be like to not be free?
I fear that for most Americans, July 4 means little more than a day off, cookouts and fireworks. There is supposed to be so much more to Independence Day than that.
But wait – I’ve got something even better. I have a freedom that can’t be taken away from me, even if I lived in the most repressive government on earth. I have freedom in Christ.
And two people groups are going to get a glimpse of that real freedom next week.
In Papua New Guinea, after years of preparation, the Siar people will begin hearing evangelistic Bible lessons.
Five Siar men – Amos, Bernard, Tande, Sali and Toiya – helped prepare Bible lessons for the teaching. Three more men – Jon, Benson and Ogen – helped translate Scriptures into the Siar language.
Now they will have the opportunity to put it all together as they, along with other Siars, listen to God’s Word being taught with key lessons about the character of God and His Creation to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
“Please be praying that these guys would embrace God’s free salvation and that their families would also place their faith in Christ,” wrote missionary Chris Lujan, one of the members of the missionary team among the Siars. “Pray that as we teach we would have God’s discernment on when to slow down and when to speed up, so that the message is clearly communicated.”
That message is in the final stages across the Indian Ocean in Africa. After months of teaching, the Mwinika people will hear about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
“The last week has finally arrived,” wrote Nadia Hattingh, who serves among the Mwinikas along with her husband, Francois, and Phil and Elin Henderson. “We can hardly believe that after 18 weeks of teaching daily, we have reached this point. Praise God who has been faithful in calling those that must hear to come.”
Attendance has been good, and some people who live too far away to attend every lesson have been keeping up by listening to recordings of the lessons.
“Francois is very encouraged with the way the listeners are tracking during the lessons,” Nadia wrote. “Their understanding has greatly increased, so much so that they can anticipate what will be said next. They fully and completely believe that God’s Word is the authority.”
Many of the Mwinikas have tried hard to seek God in the only ways they knew, through their traditional religion. They have tried to please Him through their traditional religious practices. But to this point, no one has shared God’s plan of salvation with them.
“They are so ready to hear the Truth and the Way,” Nadia wrote. “May many find Life through this teaching!”
Pray that the important lessons they hear this week will be just the beginning of the spread of the Gospel among the Mwinika people.
I wonder how often you and I take for granted the freedom we have in Christ, just as so many people take for granted the freedom we have in the USA. It’s worth thinking about.