The church service last Sunday morning was very encouraging. As a review we have been learning from the letter to the Ephesians for a few weeks now. The Dinangat Bible Teachers have been learning to write their own Bible lessons, and we are clearly seeing progress with that.
Jaspa was preached this morning about Eph.5: 1-2 and 7-10. He could have bombarded the church with the Scripture passage just like the Dinangats were used to do before. For the passage was about works… “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.“
Before these kinds of passages were misused to push, yes even to manipulate the people. Yet today the message was about “just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” Because Jesus did it, we will also. Because Jesus reacted this way, we will also. Because Jesus loved and forgave, therefore we will do that, too!
It was just wonderful to hear how Jaspa brought Jesus back into his message this Sunday morning. Jesus was the center of it, and that is exactly what the church needed.
For almost three weeks now we have been back together in Dinangat with our friends and coworkers, the Smiths, who returned from their home assignment. It is so good to have them back! After having been on our own for about 7 months, we really appreciate having them back here with us, not only to be able to share the load of the work but also to share the joys and also the hardships of life in here.
Mimi does have two older “brothers” now to play with, and she is thrilled and enjoys it every day. Also Naomi and Rebekka (together with Smith’s oldest son, Caleb) are back in the dorm at the NTM Center, and they are doing quite well. For all that we are so thankful!
Please keep praying for the remaining Dinangat villages. The main village M. is still one of our biggest prayer requests. Unfortunately the door to teach them the story of God is still closed. Many people from there do see the changes in the believers of the other villages and want to hear the story as well, but 2 main village leaders are very much against it and keep the door closed for them all. Please keep praying that God would work in these leaders’ hearts, and that His story will also come to that main village.
We thank you so much for praying! Together for His Glory!
Ralf and Elli Schlegel with Naomi, Rebekka and Mimi