Marcelan, the brother of Papan’ i Dery, visited the believers for a third time in AKZ. He is hiking 20Km one way to join them for worship in AKZ. He is coming to AKZ because he cannot believe that his brother is no longer an alcoholic. He wants to meet the Jesus who has freed Papan’ i Dery from sin. Each visit he has asked the believers to come to his village to preach the gospel. How can they turn him away?
Thirteen baptized believers will travel nearly 20KM from AKZ to Mangalahenatra (MGH) with Tim on Thursday morning to deliver the gospel. Tim warned the believers that he is NOT going to preach so they must be ready to “make a defense to anyone who asks [them] for a reason for the hope that is in [them].” The time has come for Tim to take a backseat and watch the believers do the seed sowing.
This is a big step in the life of the believers. They are demonstrating with their feet and their mouths that Jesus has all power, that He died, was buried and rose on the third day and that eternal life is found in Him alone. They are counting the cost of following Jesus in a way that is sobering even for us.
This is a heavy burden for us. Why has God brought this man from a village so far away from our current work? What is He doing? Doesn’t he know that its a 20Km hike for these believers? How will AKZ believers do the discipleship work as Tim transitions into assisting and observing, no longer modeling seed sowing, baptism and other elements of the work?
A lot about this situation reminds me of Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10. I hope the ending is the same.
- for the believers to be full of the Spirit and bold in proclaiming Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection to a new village. (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
- for the hearts and minds of the hearers to be opened to respond in faith. (Acts 16:14)
- that God would grant them repentance and faith. (Eph. 2:8-9, 2 Tim. 2:25)
- that God gives us wisdom to know how to effectively and consistently disciple those who may believe in a village that is so far away from AKZ.