Simisi village. This village was far out of town, a road with many twists and turns. The closer I got the more uncomfortable I got and I was not sure why. With ministry so many questions come to mind. Am I prepared? Do I really have a word from the Lord? Am I meant to be here, you know, am I following the cloud or am I way off? All this is magnified because this is a new place.
As it was, I was right to be nervous. We arrived and the community began to assemble in an open field. As the chief begun to speak , I knew I was in trouble. He had been told by a pastor from his area that we were a ministry that did wonderful things for people and so they were assembled to ‘hear’ what we had to offer them. The words were said with an air of ‘what you got?’ So there I was, intimidated, wanting to dig a pit and cover myself within. I was tempted to tell Felix to get into the car and leave them all in the dust. And, yes, thoughts like that do cross my mind from time to time. There was a strong spirit pressing and pushing me out.
We sat down and faced the 70 or so people in the field. We sat and I begun to ask about salvation, still sitting. I was too weighed down to stand. How do you minister to people that are not gathered to hear the word? I guess that is the challenge to our comfortable lives. We are so accustomed to ministering to people that WANT to hear the word. But every one must come to the place where to minister to people who do not want to hear what you have to say. So we asked about salvation. What do you say it is? Religious answers ensued, “salvation is knowing what is good and bad and doing the good”. “Salvation is living a good life”. Salvation is this, salvation is that, salvation is work, work, work. So we asked the series of questions that help draw out the truth about salvation. What are we being saved from? Who is doing the saving? To where are we being saved? How can we be saved?
The chief kept looking back into the crowd and saying things to get them to laugh. This is ministry, facing opposition in the enemy’s favourite subtle way and standing you ground. Yes, eventually we stood! It took thirty minutes of challenging questions to get some of the group alert and leaning in to know the truth. The chief eventually stopped baiting the crowd and fell asleep. We used that to our advantage and preached Jesus. There is no greater message to bring than that of the simplicity of coming into relationship with Jesus, accepting His free gift and being made new. One of the greatest moments in my life is SENSING the atmosphere change and KNOWING that He is in control and has come to embrace those that would come to Him. So Jesus showed up and drew men to Himself. 29 people stood up and came forward to receive Christ. It was overwhelming for me because it was more than I had anticipated. All the while as I was teaching, I was praying, “Please Jesus, speak to someone’s heart”. I kept saying, “If you have an ear to hear, hear the call of God”.
Felix prayed with the group and our work was done. How many of the 29 had a true experience with Jesus, only He knows. Our job was to go forth with the good news of the Kingdom and we had. Our work is to introduce Jesus into the lives of those in the dark, what ever else transpires between them is between them. We returned to the city with rejoicing.
on the way home we talked a little with the pastor who had invited us to the village. he is native of the village but lives in the city. Too many pastors rush into the towns and cities, leaving this great void of a multitude of people feeling their way in darkness, searching for a way out. The thing is, there is not much the villages offer in terms of sustaining oneself. Pastoring in the villages is difficult, tithes are few and life is hard and so many called to the ministry run to the city, for a better life, for the PROSPERITY that so many modern minister talk of. not all are self seeking when they move to the city. every man has to feed his family. We asked the pastor with us why he was pasturing in the city when his village did not even have a church within an 8 kilometre radius. His response was that he went to the city to be able to do some business to take care of his family.
I think of the people who came to Jesus and I stand on the word that He that begun a good work in them, shall complete it at the coming of Jesus. i must believe that God has this, and I do. He has this. He always does.