Every week, we share stories about the amazing ways God is at work around the world. We hope that you’ll be encouraged by these stories and inspired to greater involvement in God’s Great Commission to go out to the world – near and far – and train, instruct, and baptize people in Jesus’ Name. This week, we start off by hearing from Bill who shared the Gospel in many places throughout Myanmar:
We visited 28 different sites during the course of the week. Each day, we had no idea who we were going to talk to: they could be Christians, non-Christians… we didn’t know what kinds of questions we might encounter. It was really exciting to see God orchestrate each and every conversation.
So each day we would get back and discuss our day, and it was amazing to hear the stories and realize that the exact right people were at the exact right spots to answer each particular question. It was so encouraging to see that, even when we thought we were arranging certain schedules and plans, God is really the one who knows what is going on.
It was also exciting to see changes in people. You might see somebody become a Christian, but it’s not common to see the Holy Spirit transform them. You could usually recognize the Buddhists there pretty easily, because they looked so empty. Buddhism, is really a hopeless religion. What they strive for is to eventually live a life where in the next life you simply cease to exist.
On Friday, a Buddhist lady came in and she just looked very empty and unreceptive. Her baby, however, had a huge smile and I kept connecting with the baby throughout the day. Also, as the day went on, we noticed her disposition softening as she repeatedly heard the Gospel. About a half-hour before we were going to pack up to leave that day, she accepted Christ and the joy that was shone from her face after praying was incredible! It was just amazing to see the Spirit working within someone’s heart like that and transform her from somebody who was so downtrodden and empty to being filled with God’s love and hope!
But her husband, who is a Buddhist, wasn’t there that day, so she had a lot of trepidation about going home and facing his reaction to the fact that she had become a Christian. But, when we told her and the other people that we got to know that they were now a part of the family of God, which spans the globe and that there are other family members praying for them, it spoke to their hearts like nothing else.
So, we need to pray for her and the other new believers, that they would become solidly grounded, and when opposition and persecution faces them, that the local churches will be ready and able to take them in, comfort them, encourage them, and continue to disciple them.
All the world’s religions – except Christianity – basically have no hope. You don’t see hope in the faces of Hindus, nor Buddhists, nor Muslims. They may hope that they live a life that is good enough to get them into Heaven, but as we all know, if you try to live a life that is good enough to please God all on your own, you’re destined to fail. But we have hope through Jesus Christ.
Next, we hear from Christy who visited Peru and saw many people receive Jesus:
We noticed people on the first day of our visit “accepting Christ” simply because they wanted to make the Americans happy. They wanted to be polite and obligatory since we were standing there asking if they would like to pray and accept Jesus into their lives. But then, when we would invite them to the follow up meetings, they wouldn’t show up and we wouldn’t see them again. So, as we went out again the next day, I was a little discouraged. Yet, as I prayed, I couldn’t help but sense that God was telling me, “Relax. Just let me handle it. Don’t worry about whether or not you think their prayers are sincere or not. Trust me.”
So, later that day, we met a woman who was with her little son, just out on the street as she was about to hail a cab. She seemed receptive to talking with us, but her little boy was a big distraction. In fact, as soon as I said the words, “Jesus is the only way”, he ran at me and tried to kick me before his mother was able to stop him. As I kinda expected, she agreed with us and accepted Christ then and there. So, I told her that we didn’t want her to agree with us out of politeness. If she had any reservations, we totally understood and didn’t want her to take this lightly.
Then we were hit with a whole slew of questions: I’m actually afraid to accept Christ, because what happens if I mess up and sin again? What happens if I disappoint God? My translator assured her that none of us are perfect, and God even says in His word that all of us fall short. That’s why He sent Jesus; and Jesus’ sacrifice is big enough for all of our sins. By the end of our conversation, we verified that we had answered her questions and she prayed with us to accept Jesus as her Savior. But that night, she didn’t show up to our follow up meeting. So the next day, we went to her house and brought our discipleship materials with us to give to her.
Now, one of the questions in the follow up materials is a true or false question: It’s only necessary to believe that God exists to spend eternity in heaven. Very quickly, she answered, “No. That’s not true. You not only have to believe that He exists, you have to accept Him as your Lord and Savior.” It was such an incredible blessing to see that the Gospel had really sunk in and she had really thought it through and accepted Jesus instead of just placating us.
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