“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32)
We thought that we were going on the river trip just to dedicate a church building in a village—but, God had other plans. After a day and a half of traveling in our canoe, we reached the village in which we had Storied last year. Since our last visit, the village people had built a church and then sent word for us to go to dedicate the building. God allowed our team to dedicate the church building, as well as baptize seven people, see four more people accept Christ as Savior and consecrate two of the men who were baptized as leaders of this new congregation. We had taken a lot of medications with us, so we were also able to treat the village people for simple health problems. As our four-day visit was drawing to a close, we thought that our work was finished—-God knew that, in fact, our work on this trip was just beginning. T, who was from another village on up the river, had just joined our team. All of a sudden he spoke up, “I have Jesus in my heart, but I have never been baptized—and I want to be baptized!” So, one of the pastors on our team baptized him. I then asked T, “How many Christians are there in your village?” He replied, “Counting me—there are four. But, more people want to know about Jesus, so when I return to my village I am going to tell them. Then, we will build a church and when we are finished we will invite the team to come and dedicate our church building!” Everyone was elated. The following morning, we left the village and started back down the river to come home. Around 11:30 a.m. everyone on our team began to get thirsty. We were almost passing by a village, when we decided to go back to see if they had any soft-drinks to sell. When we arrived, we found that they had one soft-drink, so we bought it and divided it among our team members. We then asked the village people, “Do you have a church in your village?” They said, “No we don’t—but, who are you all?” As soon as we told them that we were missionaries and pastors—-everyone jumped for joy! “Come and visit in our homes—we all need to hear about Jesus!” they exclaimed. “We will open up the school-house,” they continued, “and invite the whole village to come, so that you can tell us about Jesus! Then we will prepare lunch for you!” We were experiencing the hand of God working around us. We told them about God and Jesus, we read Scripture and prayed with them and we even gave out the rest of our medications. Then, suddenly, one of our team members came running up to me and declared, “There is a fellow over here who wants to know what he needs to do to be saved!” I went over to talk with the man, I explained to him God’s plan of salvation and then I prayed with him as he asked Jesus to come into his heart. While I was talking with this man, the village leader took two of our team members to see a piece of land that overlooked the river. “We have been saving this piece of land to build a church on,” he said—“but, until today we haven’t had anyone come by who could explain the Bible to us.” He continued, “If we build a church here, will you come back to teach us more about the Bible and to train some of us to be leaders?” We agreed to help in whatever way we could. Please pray with us about what God is doing in this village. Pray with us about what God is doing all along the river. Pray with us about what He is doing to draw all people to Himself.
1. Thank you for praying for the Bible Storying Training Classes that were held May 30 – June 5. Many people participated in the Training, as well as the worship services on the town square at night. Pray that we can begin to have more Training time with a group of young fellows who seem to have interest in what God is doing in their lives.
2. Thank you for praying for the special meetings that have been held in regard to our work. We were given approval for our river trip in May and God continues to open doors. Please pray that the possibility of working with Medical Teams in the villages will also be approved.
3. For the U people. Pray that God will give us the opportunity to begin work with these people this year. Pray that our team will be allowed to visit them and that God will prepare their hearts to hear and understand His Word.
4. For another river trip that our team will take—possibly in July this year. Pray that God will work out the details and that we will receive approval for this trip.
5. For the members of our church planting team. Pray that God will give us wisdom, strength, health and safety as we work together in what God has called us to do.
6. For A—a malnourished little girl that we met on our river trip. A is 1 1/2 years old and only weighs 9 lbs. She cannot even sit up by herself. We are trying to get her family to bring her down the river so she can receive treatment. Please pray for this situation and for the doctor who will treat her.
Thank you for praying,