This week we started the process of getting back to our normal ministry travels. Across the country there are new requirements in place for social distancing, for people to wear masks in public ($250 fine for violations), and as of yet many businesses have still not opened. Thankfully, in spite of all the restrictions in place, many cafes have started opening up, and the contacts we’ve been messaging over the course of the last 3 months are wanting to meet!
So, we’ve started traveling to their provinces again to meet with them.
This most recent trip we ended up in contact with a guy from a town we hadn’t yet been to.
Now, I’ve talked before about the contacts we have on our list. As a refresher, we have about 2,000 men and women who have requested bibles over the course of the last few years. Most of those names are from the last 3-4 years, but some of them are much older.
The man that we met with this past week requested a New Testament in 2009. Eleven years ago. He got a Bible sent to him, and he started reading it. He wanted to meet a Christian, but the closest church to him was hundreds of kilometers away. There were no Christians anywhere in his province.
He studied the Bible that he was sent for a couple years, and eventually came to the place where he knew it was true. He said yes to Jesus, and has been a Christian ever since.
At one point over the last 10 years, he was able to have a conversation on the phone with another Christian in a city about 500 km from his home. But other than that, he had never met another Christian.
Because of that, he was super pumped when we got in contact with him and told him we’d be coming through his province. We met with him in a local cafe.
We were the first Christians that he’d ever met. Until then, all he had was his Bible.
He excitedly shared his story with us, not at all concerned that those around him would hear him sharing about his love for Jesus (something new believers sometimes can be anxious about around here).
At one point we asked him if he’d ever been baptized. He said no. We asked him if he wanted to be, and he replied with a hearty “Yes! Of course! Yes!”
As we talked, one of the things he said over and over was that he wanted to learn more… about Christianity, about Jesus, about evangelism, about everything.
He shared how he wanted to be able to share his faith with those around him, and said he felt like he needed to learn more to be able to be able to do that effectively.
We told him we’d gladly get him connected with the resources he needed to be able to learn more, but we also encouraged him that the Bible teaches that it’s Holy Spirit and our obedience that draws people to Jesus – not our intellect or fancy arguments.
Because Jesus is in him, he already has more than enough for the job.
We’re looking forward to visiting him again in the next week or two. We’ll be bringing more books and resources for him to learn more about following Jesus, and we’ll also start walking him towards baptism.
Please continue to pray for our new friend, and multitudes of people like him!
The Harvest is plentiful!