The sun came out on Monday morning with her extended family. It was blazing the whole day 35ºC inside and 50ºC outside (or at least that’s as high as the thermometer we have can go. Before the two weeks were over it had gone up to 45ºC inside). Had breakfast and we were off to the clinic to preach to the staff and those who were waiting for treatment.
I had decided to use the method of teaching and preaching (storying) that I was going to teach the pastors to do all the preaching I was going to do whilst there. I did this with the intention to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method to a people who are oral based in their perception of truth. We shared from Luke 15. I never opened my Bible, just told the three parables as stories to the group. The attention was incredible. The unsolicited questions they shot at me in the middle of the preaching were telling of their understanding. One lady remarked after hearing of the reaction of the father to the prodigal son; “He did not chase the son away? How merciful He must be!” needless to say I was excited at the work God was doing through His Word.
The pastors trickled in one by one that afternoon for the meeting. I’d shared with Koang my concerns about the group of men in the class. I was not seeing a passion for the Gospel and it’s propagation. I was not sure they had owned the work. Too many seemed excited about the class but lackluster about the church. I intended to give a talk to spur up the urgency of getting the Gospel out to the villagers, hoped to cast a vision for them about the breath of the work we could get done if we all worked together in the next two weeks, hoped to communicate the weightiness of the call to steward the Gospel in a place where there was so little knowledge of it. And it was done…the level of effectiveness with which these truths were communicated are only known to God with whom rests the power to send a revival whenever He pleases. I am content to leave it in His hands. We talked about the unending joys of Heaven and the inexplicable horrors of Hell in light of the fact that a young man had just died in the area a day or two before, a young man who was in their proximity, a young man who never heard the Gospel from any of their lips.
During the meeting it came to my knowledge that many of the men in the class were really struggling to provide for their families. There was a famine in the area. The price of Sorghum had shot up and become un-affordable for most of the villagers. A few men who had been able to come for the previous class were out of town seeking means to provide for their families. Some of those who had remained had remained only for the duration of the class after which they would have to go out to neighboring towns in search of jobs or help. These men have been called to serve amidst highly difficult circumstances. I feel a great need for grace to be able to lead them well through God’s Word in the next two weeks so as to point them to truths that will be an encouragement to them and their churches as they go through this struggle.
We planned how we were going to host an open air meeting in the market place and embark on a trip to two villages which are 4hrs walk away to do the same thing there. Not much enthusiasm was demonstrated but sufficient to set the plans.
It was an interesting night. Someone was getting married in the neighborhood so I slept to the sound of men dancing and singing well past midnight. I was so tempted to go see but resisted the thought knowing my hosts would not think it wise. A bat woke me up later in the night. It fell through the thatched roof and spent some time flying around in my tukul (hut). Thank God for the mosquito net. I went back to sleep without much difficulty.