Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Way to Life..

These are the two girls I met on outreach who have recently accepted Christ and are now on the worship team! The girl on the left is Justina and Chelisita is in the middle.

The teen girls from Greater Grace Zambia

So It's Thursday evening here in Lusaka, and I have officially had my first encounter with a Zambian Hospital :( I've been sick for a few days and this morning we decided to take a trip to a local hospital here to find out what was wrong..nothing too bad, just an infection which gave me a fever the last few days, but i should be on the mend now! BUT since the last couple days I've been a bit out of commission and for the most part stuck in the house, I decided to take a taxi to the local internet spot here in Lusaka to read for a bit. Even here, where there are churches on every corner, I felt the eyes of everyone around me as I took out my Bible, and started reading. Not even ten minutes into reading I had a guy from Ireland come over and, of course, as he was approaching me I was reaching for my chocolate milkshake (with much excitement :) and I was so startled from his tap on my shoulder that I spit it all over myself and him! haha...oh boy I made quite the first impression! Anyway, he said that he had come over to ask me a question about a Bible verse that his friend had told him about not long ago, but couldn't remember it. He said he saw that I was reading the Bible so we started to try and find the verse he was talking about. This led into a very interesting conversation about God, as he is from Ireland and has had a lot of "religious influence" in his life, but he said he's always had a difficult time really making a conclusion about the whole thing. As we were talking he said that he had read many Christian authors, including C.S. Lewis but confessed that it was his pride that has kept him from really believing. We talked for some time, and I left him with this verse "He who keeps his life will lose it, and He who will lose His life will find it." As we were talking I could see in him a desire to believe but, like all of us, he harbored so much doubt and unbelief about the way of salvation through what Christ did. After he left I remembered that earlier that day God had put the story of Naaman on my heart from 2 Kings 5 to read, and before he came over I had started reading the story...which after meeting this young man seems that much more applicable. So the story goes like this...

Naaman is described as a "great and honorable man" who was also a mighty man of valor, but was plagued with leprosy. One day he heard from one of his maids that there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him of his leprosy. So, with this information he had the King of Syria send a letter to the King of Israel that he would be coming to have his leprosy healed. The King of Israel responds, "Am I God, to kill and make heal this man of his leprosy?" So, enters the prophet Elisha who heard Naaman had requested this of the King. So, Elisha sends back word for the King to send Naaman to him. So, Naaman comes to the door of Elisha's house, and Elisha doesn't even come out to greet him, but rather sends a messanger to Naaman with this word...

"Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." At this word Naaman was irrate, for the Jordan River was known to be the most filthy river in Israel, and to be told to dip in it seven times was not just an insult but complete foolishness to him. Naaman declared to the messanger that couldn't he dip in one of the other rivers of Israel, wouldn't they be more suitable then the filth of the Jordan? And shouldn't Elisha at least come out to me and call on the name of God and wave his hand over me and I would be healed? So as Naaman was about to leave his servant stopped him and said, Wouldn't you have done anything, even a great and difficult thing to be healed of your leprosy, and the prophet simply asks you to dip in the Jordan and you refuse? So, Naaman heeds the words of his servants, dips in the river seven times and it says that "his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean..."

So, after speaking with this guy I thought that the way of salvation through Christ looks much like the way Naaman was told to be cleansed from his leprosy. The cross was messy, it looked foolish..the law even stated "cursed was anyone who hung on a tree". The way of salvation through faith on Christ looks like complete foolishness, and our natural man hates it...we think it should be a more "sophisticated way, a more glamourous way" but the way God chose to redeem man was through the complete humiliation and death of His Son. We tell people this..and its foolishness to them, and they walk away saying it must be a better way. But the moment Naaman dipped in the river he was "restored and cleansed". And the moment we believe in the work of the cross by faith we are restored and cleansed. I Corinthians 1 talks about how the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God...The cross is the foolish thing that has put to shame the wise, and the weak thing that has put to shame the thing that was mighty...that no flesh should glory in His presence...Just like at the point of salvation it looks like complete foolishness to believe, God asks us time and time again to put our trust in Him when it looks and feels like complete foolishness to do so...but when we do we find peace and freedom. Its never the way we think it should go, it's God's way...but God's way always leads to that we could never secure for ourselves.
Sooo I could go on and on but I just wanted to share that thought with you all!
Below I'm gonna post some pics of outreach and a recent baptism we had!
Love and miss you all!!

The Baptism with the Greater Grace Churches in Zambia

Pastor Joe Roche and a couple of the Zambian guys

1 comment:

  1. Precious Barbara!! I loved this post and am so amazed at the depth of your life with the Lord. It is a joy to read about your times in Africa and to pray for the work there. Thank you for posting and taking the time to let us all in on what the Lord is doing there in Zambia. Give big hugs to the two young ladies I met on skype a few weeks ago.