Last night we were invited to a mission church with Pastor Josue. We arrived at 6pm, chatted with the people, watched our kids restrain the urge to chase the chickens, and got started around 6:30. As we sang praises, I tried to take it all in. Unfortunately, Matthew was very uncooperative. He cried and fussed...and eventually took it up a notch to screaming.
But as I sat there in my rickety wooden folding chair, I was amazed at this small body of believers. They were meeting in a small concrete and wood building with a tin roof. The wooden walls were insulated with cardboard, and the electrical wires were tacked to the cardboard. But there were flower arrangements in front of the pulpit, and curtains on the windows. Most importantly, there were smiles on the faces of the 30-some believers in attendance. Half of those in attendance appeared to be kids, and their sweet voices filled that church with praises. I wish I had the camera with us to share with you.
The first hour and a half was music and a Bible activity. For the Bible activity, the Pastor had everyone turn to Psalms and then he would start reading a random Psalm from the first verse. As someone found the chapter, they stood and read the rest of the chapter. It was a fun competition that had people scurrying through their Bibles. Pastor Josue repeatedly encouraged the people to read the Word, and to know the Word.
At 8:00pm the "sermon" began. It was actually the telling of the story of Jesus healing the paralytic man. The man's friends lowered him through the roof where Jesus was teaching because there were so many people in the house that they couldn't get in any other way. The words of Jesus, "your sins are forgiven" was the main focus of the message. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? Clay's friend, "F" was there with us last night...the one that he met on Friday. "F" rededicated his life to Christ, having strayed from the Path. I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit used the message of forgiveness to speak truth to "F."
We left the church at 8:40...everyone else was preparing for cena (the evening meal) and then another prayer service was to follow. As we left, a lady approached us and asked about the church. She said she lived near there and attends a "church" but had heard that she shouldn't bow to idols. She was looking for a church where she could learn what the Bible teaches. Again, I am amazed at the working of the Holy Spirit. Where had this lady learned that worshipping idols is wrong? I don't know, but the Holy Spirit is working in her life to teach her Truth.