So far there’s been very little interest in discipleship. But I also believe that God is moving in ways that a man can’t put a measuring stick up against. I see it in the form of questions that are coming up. Questions about confession, what I think about this sin or that sin, talks about love and God, that kind of thing.
When I stopped at the mountain school the other day, the pastor there said he’d put the word out to his flock to find out who needed bibles, and I agreed with the idea. Ever since I’ve had second thoughts.
In part because I am already down to only 56 bibles left, 55 after today, and I’m worried I may be giving them all away in one swoop, and also because I think giving them out personally, one at a time as the Spirit leads, is more beneficial. I get to talk with the soul in front of me and there is extra measures of peace and joy because of the face to face visit. We have a chance for a bit of fellowship, and I usually share that this book is true treasure, given by a God who loves us very much. As I leave I can see by the way they are so tender with the book that it matters. In fact, today I watched a young man grab the book out of a girl’s hand and start flipping through the pages. The air immediately shifted. She grew tense with a watchful eye, definitely concerned for her book, and his attitude was flippant, as if he wouldn’t care if the binding came unglued. One had respect for the words written inside, and the other didn’t.
I’m worried that, as my missionary friend said on the phone today, I may have to chalk this one up to experience, because I think I agreed to a distribution that maybe shouldn’t be.
But just as we may be running out of bibles because I’m only beginning to figure out the reordering time, God may be preparing a season for the discipleship.
I saw the first spark of interest today. One of the girls who I respect very much, had read the paper on discipleship and was willing to talk more about it today. She then happened to be there when I gave a bible to one of my neighbors, a younger girl who didn’t have her own, and suddenly what was once just on paper became real-life.
Another boy began to mock her, and she said, “God does not love you!”, pointing her finger right in his face.
“No that’s not true.” I said. “God does love him. Maybe he doesn’t love God, because not everyone does, but God loves all of us.”
I asked the girl if she could read, and she said yes. I asked if she’d please read Ephesians 4:25, and she did. Then I asked her if she wanted to learn more, and she said yes. I then turned to the older, Christian girl next to me and asked,
“So, Judeline, can you disciple her? Can you teach her. Can you sit and read with her?”
“Yes.” She said.
She wanted to meet later to talk about discipleship. She told me to bring Benson, and he’d translate for us.
Not longer after that, Pam, the veteran missionary in these parts, made her way into the village, and I saw her arrival for the first time with a different set of eyes. The normal buzz of the village was gone. There weren’t kids running around my back gate, nobody was swimming, the builders next door weren’t working on the boat, it was quiet. I felt strangely like I was the only one left in Ti Rivier, a feeling I’ve never had here. I was sitting out back, listening to the sound of nothing but the wind through the palms when someone called my name.
It was Darlene.
She’d wanted to stop and talk to me about discipleship. She’d read the paper and loved the idea, and she was going to start with her friend Esparanza. I thanked her and asked if she knew Pam was in town.
“Yes, I saw her as I passed by, but I didn’t have time to stop. I wanted to come and talk to you about this.”
Right after she left, men showed up to sell me a vehicle. It was very nice, and we were beginning to negotiate, when suddenly there was Judeline and Tati at my door. They were also ready to talk about discipling. I had to make a decision, to nurture these seeds and follow the mission for which God has called me to Haiti, or put them off and deal with the car salesman I’d been waiting for all day...
I apologized to the men and told them I couldn’t afford their car (especially since the price was now 2000 more than what I was told). I told them they’d have to take it back and I’d try to find a way to meet them tomorrow. Then I called Benson and he came right over to translate with the girls.
Judeline seems to have really grasped the idea, and she has this take-charge attitude, because really I think she’d follow Jesus anywhere, and I can tell she’s going to light up this world for Him. Tati respects her, and it’s easy to see how God has paired them together.
It brought me great joy to see they were excited to start. They’d already picked the book of Genesis, because the Bible I’d given Tati earlier in the day had the Old Testament, and Tati had never had it before. They are beginning their group on Tuesday.
It was also good that Benson got to hear all about discipling, through the translating, because he and I have been working on the concepts since I got here....
Not lying. Confessing sins. Reading God’s Word. Praying for others.
It felt like a new chapter beginning. :)