We left before daylight on Saturday morning for our next home visit. This weekend’s theme was John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.
We arrived and met Barbrah’s family ready to greet us with tea (and about a million bananas, of two varieties). I have known her two older brothers for the past few years, so it was a special pleasure to see all three of them at home, and with their family and neighbors.
After enjoying tea, we split up and went around the neighborhood to share the truth of John 14:6 and invite people to the evening activities. I went with Michael (an ABIDE staff member), Joel (his four year old son), and Amon (a young boy from the village, serving as our guide). As we went to the first house, I noticed a middle-aged man working with wood. He had his plane out and plenty of wood shavings to prove he has been busy. Through Michael’s interpretations, I began talking to him about his woodworking, and telling him my father also makes things from wood. We spent a few minutes bonding over that, and the proud father even told us that one of his daughters has even designed and built some things. Joel had the privilege of sitting on a child-size chair that he made. He called for his wife and four out of five children to come home and talk with us. (They had been helping at a neighbor’s house to set up for a party.)
Once they arrived I began sharing from John 14:6. In this verse, Jesus is responding to a question from his disciple…Let me back up. This was the night Jesus was going to be arrested. He had just shared his last meal with his friends. He told them that he was going to leave them, and return to heaven, but that they knew the way. Thomas asked how they could possibly know. That’s when Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life…. There are so many ways people use to try to reach heaven: go to church, give money, do good things, variety of other religions, etc. But Jesus was very clear that He is the way. We are often confused because the devil is always telling us lives. Like John 8:44 tells us, Satan is the father of lies; just like they speak Runyonkole, and I speak English, Satan speaks Lies. Jesus is life. Belief in Him alone leads to eternal life. I kept talking, sharing the truth of the Gospel, then asked Michael to take over from there. (When it comes to actually challenging someone to put their faith in Jesus, I prefer to have it done in their heart language, rather that translated. I believe it makes it much more powerful and authentic.) So, I silently prayed through the rest of the conversation. Throughout the conversation, the dad kept looking at his children (Grace, Florence, Alex, and Emmanuel), and telling them that he wanted them to be born again. At first Alex (who is probably around 16-18) was laughing through the conversation and saying he didn’t want it, but before we concluded, he said that he too wanted to be receive Christ! When it came time, all six of them (dad included), decided to pray and born again!
After lunch, we walked to a nearby trading center to hold a crusade. This place was surrounded by bars, with many drunkards around. The girls did a good job of leading singing, dancing, and testimonies despite various encounters with some drunk men throughout the event. Michael preached a powerful message…well I assume it was powerful because of the response…I didn’t actually understand it! We were told that more people, and certainly more men, were attentive and responsive than they have ever seen in this village! Many people gave their lives to Christ before the night was over.
We walked back home in order to host a viewing of Passion of the Christ. Barbrah’s family had put up several tarps, hung from banana trees on their compound to create a tent. We hung a screen, and got a generator running so we could project the movie. The entire movie was translated live. The tent was packed with standing room only. As Jesus hung on the cross, we paused the movie. An invitation was given to accept this amazing gift of salvation that they were viewing. After so many people prayed, we started the movie again…Unfortunately we didn’t finish because it began to rain heavily! I didn’t like the possibility of all the electric cords getting wet, so we had to disconnect everything quickly before the tarps gave way with so much water sitting in them. Thankfully, we had gotten through the most important part! As I told people afterwards, the audience knows the story. So, it is okay if we missed the last fifteen minutes or so. What was so impactful was seeing what he went through up until that point. I rest in the truth that God is the God of creation, including the rain. He knew what was happening under those tarps, and He had a purpose in it ending early because of the rain.
The next morning we walked to Barbrah’s church. The ABIDE team led the service, including their first public performance of a skit they’ve been working on. It goes with the Lifehouse song Everything, showing how Satan is tempting us with so many sinful and dissatisfying things in this world, but Jesus has conquered all of them on our behalf out of His great love for us. We were all excited to watch it together in our evaluation on Tuesday afternoon and see how well they had done, and where to improve for next time!
After our walk home we enjoyed a feast that the family & friends had been preparing. However, we had to dodge some rain in order to successfully finish! Not long after, we had a time of worship and prayer with everyone, and eventually set off for home. It was only two days, but it was a very full schedule! We saw God really at work in, through, and around us…and we came home exhausted! May God receive all the honor and glory!
Lisa, What an amazing work God is doing and using you in the process. I love reading your updates. May God continue to give you strength and wisdom as you minister with and to the people. Praise God for adding to His family. Keeping you in my prayers.