We’re gearing up for the birth of the Iski church here in our neck of the jungle! In less than a week, we will be presenting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to our village at large. It’s a pretty exciting time, I’ll tell you!
We and our teammates are having daily conversations with different Iski men and women, and we are hearing some very encouraging responses from the teaching times. Many of our folks are hearing the lessons and taking them straight to heart, saying things like, “I am just like the Hebrew people at the Passover. I am a sinful person, and I need God’s promised Savior to die in my place, so I can live, just like their lambs died at the Passover, so they could live.”
They had always been told (via a mix of Western religion and traditional beliefs) that Satan and their ancestral spirits are powerful and that they needed to try to appease them to keep themselves safe and healthy. Now, after seeing these spirits’ power being contrasted with God’s, they are beginning to look at life differently. Yes, Satan and his demons are powerful, but they are nothing compared to the God who created them!
Moreover, through the Old Testament and the life of Jesus, they are seeing that God doesn’t judge us based on our good efforts or our outside appearance (contrary to what they had been told before). God is concerned with the heart. The road to being made right with God is one of humility. Those who acknowledge that there is nothing they can do to better themselves, and who put their faith in God’s promised Savior, these are the ones that will be saved from the coming judgment.
Many in our village have told us that their only hope for acceptance before God is the promised Savior. Many in our village are looking to Jesus as the embodiment of God’s promise. Many are convinced that Jesus is the only one who can save them, but at the same time, they are still unclear as to how He is going to do it, or what it will mean when their “sins are taken away.” Will they still sin after they hear and believe? If they do, will they be again separated from God? Will they still be under sin’s curse (sickness, pain, death, etc.) even after their sin-debt is paid by the Savior?
There are many questions like these on the minds and hearts of our Iski friends. Actually, several of our people have told us that they are regularly kept up at night, wondering how God is going to work everything out! We’ve assured them that the answers to those questions are coming, but still, many are concerned that they might not be able to “hear it well.”
If everything goes according to plan, we will be teaching the message of the cross (and the resurrection) on the morning of May 1st (Sunday evening, for anybody back in the States.) Please continue to be praying for our Iski friends! They are right on the edge of understanding what Christ’s death has accomplished for them, and what His resurrection means for their lives!