2. Link back here at The Gypsy Mama and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::
The year was 1992. We moved with our three-year old son and our one-year old daughter to a large town that had no electricity and few amenities. When we arrived, it is probably safe to say there were no Christians indigenous to the town. In fact, the general perception of Christians was that they smoked, got drunk, and lived immoral lives. That's what they saw westerners doing on TV and westerners are "Christians", so that's a Christian for you.
Through the years we got to know many people. Little by little people began to trust us. Faithfully we reached out with the Gospel. We ran a famine relief project. Then in 2001, six men came to my husband and said they wanted to study the Bible.
As he opened the pages of Scripture to them, they began understanding the Word of God. One by one they said they wanted to follow Christ. Several of them came every Sunday morning for worship as well as for the weekly Bible study. Soon they reported to us that local religious teachers were sitting under the tree down the street on Sunday mornings watching who came in and who went out. Still, they let their children and their wives come to Bible storying times I started for them. In fact, neighbors who weren't believers brought their children to be taught, saying they knew we would not corrupt them.
Then we went to the US for a year. During that time, their families really began to harass them. Their families threatened to not give them a portion of the crops they helped raise. Their families said they could do anything they wanted to them since they were no longer one of them. Their families said if they died nobody would bury them.
And when we came back a year later, they had all fallen away. Do they still believe in their hearts? We do not know. They are friendly to us, but seem no longer interested. We were crushed. We felt like total, absolute failures.
Sixteen years and nothing. No church. No believers. An empty piece of land on which to build a church. Nothing.
In college I had glibly sung, "Christ is all I need", a favorite chorus of our president. I believed it on an intellectual level. But now I found myself asking myself, "Is Christ really all I need? Or do I need success? Do I need something to show for all my work? Is Jesus really enough?"
Tough questions. But I'm more at peace, more able to acknowledge that Christ used us, maybe not even to plant, but to prepare the soil. Now, it's not just an intellectual assertion, it's something I believe. And yes, there are days I lose my focus, but Christ is enough.