Last night at our young adult group, made up mostly of college-aged people, Megan Hawkins passed around pictures of people from the Biem tribe in Papua New Guinea and we prayed for each of them. Seeing as it was approaching 11 pm (and I was about to turn back into a pumpkin), there is much of the details of these people that I don’t remember. Megan shared that a missionaries named Brandon and Rachel Buser and their family have been sharing Jesus with them by going through the bible chronologically. Missionaries had been there years before but gave them a message with a heavy burden: being saved is attained by following the 10 commandments and going to church.
Here’s the exciting part. Actually, I’ll let you read Brandon’s words for yourselves from an update he recently sent out:
Dear Friends & Family,
It’s been over 2 months since we started teaching the Biem people the truth of God’s word. Honestly though, sometimes it feels like we’ve been teaching for 6 months. The intensity of it all is definitely mounting, but we’re carried on by the excitement of what this next week holds…the final 5 days of teaching. Here’s what it’ll look like:
Monday: A heavy lesson on “Pharisee-thinking”, why it’s so insidious, and why Jesus couldn’t stand it. (Biem is full of this).
Tuesday: A lesson on the “rich young man” and the need for humble contrition.
Wednesday: Nicodemus and being born again.
Thursday: The Passover and Jesus being arrested.
Friday: The death, burial, and resurrection!
This last week has been huge for folks. The lesson on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and the words of our Lord really rippled through the faithful attendees. To finally have the answer (at least partly), that Jesus is able to make their spirits, that are dead in sin, alive again…this was ecstasy for many. Yesterday I spent the evening (till 3AM) with a group of guys that are giddy to hear the conclusion of this message. What an encouragement to see the working of the Holy Spirit as their eyes continue to open. One fella said: “Brandon the ways of this ground are so hard to follow. 10 commandments, going to church, all this stuff we do to become clean (righteous) in God’s eyes…nobody can do it, but we all try. Those roads become like a heavy weight that is too much for us to carry. But God’s way…that is easy. He says to believe only. I can’t wait to lay my heavy load (my man roads) down, and finally be able to walk standing straight up.”
With the example of Lazarus and Christ saying that He could make folks alive forever, many folks are starting to make the connections. We continue to point them to that fact that, “yes, Christ can do this, but HOW is He going to do it? Remember, YOUR sin demands a payment! He can’t just make you ‘alive’ without dealing with your sin. How will he do that? We’re going to find out this next week.”
At this point, many have hinged everything on Christ. They know that He is the promised Road Man (the one who will make a road for man to be reconciled with God), they just don’t know HOW he is going to do this. As you can imagine, there is some excitement in there air.
One friend asked this: “Brandon, OK so if God makes my spirit alive, if He takes away my sin, what happens then after that if I sin again…does my spirit die again? Will God have mercy and make it alive again?” I heard that and wanted, with every fiber in my body, to tell him that when Christ paid for ones’ sins, he paid for them ALL (past, present, and future). When you are made His, you’re His forever. But alas, the story is not there yet. Instead I said “Don’t forget this question…it’s coming buddy. Next week you will know the answer!” What a joy that security will be to one who has lived forever under works-salvation.
With these last days, please pray that God would give us great wisdom and we lay out the rest of this story. Pray for health as this week promises to be ‘full’. Pray too for the ones that are still hanging in the balance. One individual in particular is our island chief. He’s been faithfully attending and is tracking well, but the draw to leave the island is constant. Pray that he’ll stay and hear the end of the talk. Pray that many eyes would be opened to the work of Christ on the cross, their own sin, and their inability to do anything to rectify their predicament…ONLY God can save them.
Thank you for your part in this. We’ll try to send another update out sometime this week. We covet your prayers.
For His Glory,
Brandon sent this to Megan on September 23. By my calculations, his final day is tomorrow! So there’s just one thing left to say. Pray. Let’s pray God’s wisdom, power and presence on his messengers and the ones that hear them. VERY EXCITING! Are you with me?
–If you’re interested in signing up for Brandon’s updates, here’s the link: http://eepurl.com/nrLZb