God of suprises: Finding my men of peace

20 03 2013

Today was a great day so far but it really began two days ago.  I was putting up my curtain so I could bath in privacy when I felt a thought come to mind.  You will start praying.  What a silly thought.  I already pray.  Why would I think such a thing.  God speaks to me in some interesting ways.  But that is another story.

Later that day, I began reading Miraculous Movements.  It is a book about God’s mighty work among Muslims.  Through visions, miracles, divine appointments and the simplest of people He is doing a great work.  The book pointed out that one of the key parts of this movement has been considerable prayer and fasting.  In fact both Luke 10 and Matthew 10 are preempted by Jesus directing His disciples to pray for the harvest.  So naturally I immediately understood my “thought” was the beginnings of the leading of God.  At supper that night I shared with my local host family and we prayed together.  We prayed again the next day in my home.  We prayed for our house churches and for God to give us a “man of peace” to bridge to the alcohol brewers down the road.  I had led one to repentance but it led to no further actions so far among them.

About three hours later a sound came to my door.  Hodi!  It was a little girls voice.  I naturally assumed it was Ruth, Pastor Moses daughter.  Pastor Moses gave me the land I built my little 12x 28 ft house on.  No electricity or water.  Just my own home.  It is wonderful.  Hodi is what we do here instead of knock.  Few have doors to knock on anyway so it is great.  I answered, Karibu!  Or welcome.  But no one came in.  Curious I got up to find a sweet faced little girl standing 15 feet back from my door.  She was obviously a bit afraid to be there.  With my limited understanding of Kiswahili and her limited use of English we did understand each other enough for me to know she wanted something at her home and for her to know that I needed a translator to understand more.  We eventually walked through the corn field together and Pastor Moses, who speak little English told me I was to go to her Nybani, house, in the morning after breakfast.

I woke praying about the visit and then again just before Jame, my translator and I, headed out.  We arrived to the small 8×10 wooden shanty up the road.  I met a mother and five children.  Later a man I recognized from the brewery down the road also came out to greet me.  They announced that the  little girl I had met had told them that she wanted to become a Christian and so they sent her to me.  I had actually shared the gospel with the mother two months back and she declined to repent.  I told them I would share with the whole family if they would allow.  In the book of Acts, whole families came to Jesus and I had become convinced to alter my message from individuals to families.  I know that is problematic in the West, but Biblically and in the third world it is sound teaching.  After I shared they all acknowledged they wanted to turn from the Kingdom of Darkness and enter the Kingdom of God, through the sacrificial death of Jesus.  They understood that Jesus had ransomed them from Satan and his kingdom and through repentance and baptism they too could enter into His Kingdom.

The father began his repentance with the usual prayer I get both here and in Kenya.  My sins are too numerous and terrible to mention.  So he just wanted to ask God to forgive him for his sins.  I will not baptize a person who does not confess, renounce and repent from specific sins.  See Paul’s visit to Ephesus in Acts 19:17-22.  I told the brother he had to name his sins and repent of them.  This seems to be very hard in Africa.  And that is good.  I am NOT into sinners prayer Christianity.  I am into the Bibical model of repentance and baptism as entrance into the Kingdom of God.  I am glad this is hard for Africans, I am sure it is hard for Americans.  But the way is narrow that leads to salvation and the path is broad that leads to hell.  So having to struggle to repent is perfect.  Seems God knows a thing or two about salvation.   When we repent something in the old man screams in agony.  He knows he may soon be dead and buried.  And he will in baptism.  Enough theology.

We knelt in the dirt and prayed naming our sins.  I knew this brother was seriously into alcohol.  And sure enough he began his repentance there.  He confessed to coming home and caning his family in drunken rages.  Sure enough when we arose from prayer, his oldest son had a tear stained face.  When I walk to the mother, I noticed that the older son also had the entire back out of his tattered shirt.  Scars were visible on his back and sides from caning.  No wonder he wept as his father asked forgiveness.  Who knows what prayers and desperation this young boy had expressed to God.

We will baptize them this week.  They will come to house church Saturday.  We are filling up.  We are feeding a small army now.  Widows with many children, former drunks and brewers.  Widows that work hard manual labor and are obviously very hungry when they come.  And now little girls that wanted to become Christians, and little boys with scars on their backs and now tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts.  Is this brother my bridge to the alcohol brewers?  I don’t know.  But I do know that with continued prayer we will advance the Kingdom into the lives of these wonderful people.  Thank you all for praying for these new believers and allowing me to be your hands and feet to the least of these.  Excuse me, there is someone at the door.

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