Saturday, October 25, 2008

Genuine fellowship

One really awesome thing that I got to witness during this epistle translation workshop was actually experienced during our first night here.
I brought out two of my friends from Mibu, Sesi and Lucas, because I needed their help and there were also translation courses for them to attend as well. All the other missionaries brought their translation helpers as well, so all in all there were about 18 helpers attending the workshop from all over Papua New Guinea.
The first evening we were here, I went down to hang out with Sesi and Lucas and see how they were feeling about things. I got there and Sesi has this huge perma-smile going and starts telling me about how happy he is that all the other nationals at this workshop are believers. He explained how that within an hour or two of everyone being there they'd all shared how they came to know the Lord and even shared some songs that they typically sing in worship to God. I seem to recall him excitedly commenting something to the effect that we're all different but we're all the same. Later, we were all outside sitting around a little fire. The whole conversation was filled with joy and happiness as these guys talked about the different things that they're learning about God and how His truth has been affecting their lives. I listened to this continue on well into the evening, just soaking it in. It was so great to watch and listen to the fellowship of these men! I mean, here are these guys who are separated by many many miles, rivers, mountains, etc. They all speak different languages (yet share a common trade language). They've never met each other in the past and many of them have never even heard of the places that they all came from. Yet as soon as they find out that these total strangers share the commonality of Jesus, they're instant buddies. They took such joy in talking about and discovering how, though their cultures are so different the truth that they're learning to live by is the same. It was just so spontaneous and genuine and I really treasured that moment sitting there listening to and sensing the joy that Sesi and Lucas felt as they met these other brothers in the Lord! It deeply challenged me about the fellowship that I often take for granted in my own life!
Now these guys have shared nearly two weeks of their lives together and formed friendships that very likely will not be realized again except just in their hearts and memories. They all seemed to be so encouraged to see other believers out there; other people who have seen the preciousness of Jesus and who have realized their need for him. It served as yet another validation of God's power through this single gospel message they've heard as they see it lived out in the lives of others regardless of cross-cultural boundaries!

1 comment:

Sue Jones said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. What a great example of the gospel at work! It is truly a message for the nations.


Greg and Sue