A Growing Interest in the Word?
With the mini generator hooked up to the battery of a pick-up truck and an electrical line running from the generator to a light bulb attached to a wooden board the room was lit enough for the Bible study to take place. Yes, this was the setting in Village EZ as I led a Bible study on the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) for a group of 11 villagers who came. At times I am amazed that we are only a few hours south of the boarder. But our church planting team was praising God because this is the highest number of villagers that has shown up to a Bible study!
However, the number of people who showed up was not even the highlight of the night. The true highlight was that one of the believing men who we have been working with and encouraging had also prepared something and shared from the Bible. This may not seem like a big deal to most but in MX it is. Why? When it comes to spiritual matters even men who are believers are very passive and it is usually the women who are the spiritual leaders in the home and in the church. So to see this man (newly baptized might I add) break that cultural norm and share his observations from the parable of the lost sheep our team was praising God. We pray that someday this man will be doing the main teaching in the study and we can move to more of a supporting and encouraging role for him. Wednesday night was a good first step.
Always Ready…Sprained Ankle and all
Our team had some great opportunities with some of the teens of the village. On Tuesday, one of our team members, Bryan, saw some teens playing basketball so he went over to play with them. When he arrived they asked him if he was a missionary and he said he was. After playing for a short time one of the teens called time out and they all sat down around Bryan. Bryan took the opportunity to read a gospel presentation he had prepared in Spanish – well he started to read anyway until one of teens took it from him because Bryan’s pronunciation is not the best. The teen then read the gospel presentation to the others. Bryan then pulled out his conversion story that he had written in Spanish and one of the teens read that as well. Bryan gave each of them a copy and he later saw some others who were not there reading a copy of it!
The following day a few members of our team were playing basketball with some of the teens in the village when a member of our team, Kelly, sprained his ankle. As he was laying on the ground with the teens were circled around him. Kelly saw he had a captive audience so out of his pocket he pulled out a meditation on Scripture he had prepared in Spanish and read it to them! Shortly thereafter he was carried to a vehicle and taken back to the house that we were staying at. He has not put any weight on his ankle since but what a great use of a captive audience!
Building the church of the next generation…
We had another great time with the children of the village. As we drove into the village some were playing by the side of the road and one of them was so excited that he ran up to our suburban climbed up the side and was giving our team high-fives. We did a couple days of Bible storying and activities with them. It is amazing to hear how much they remember from our previous trips. We have a pretty consistent group of 10-12 children showing up and they are very eager to hear the gospel. It really seems like the Lord is working in their little hearts. Ethan and Titus do a great job with them as well. They really work hard to interact even though they have a language barrier. It really makes my heart swell to see my boys working hard to befriend and show love to these children.
Ministry in the Midst of Great Trial…
We had an unbelievably sweet time of ministry with a family that is facing a severe trial that is not uncommon to those who live in Northern Mexico. As the woman of the house wept over the trial Betsy sat by her side comforting her by placing her arm around her and pulling her in close. Myself and another teammate, Joel, read Scripture with her, prayed with her, and sang some worship songs with her. It was amazing to see God work in the life of this family in the midst of an unthinkable trial. This was a great reminder in the power of just showing up with the hope of Christ.
As you can see, we had a very powerful time of ministry in EZ. One teammate put it best when he said, “Praise God for all that He has been allowing us to watch Him do.” Amen. All glory be to Christ the King!