“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
The treasure of the Gospel and all the effort of the People Teams ministry is contained in and passed on by weak and fragile people (myself included). At the end of the day, the only thing that lasts are the lives that God transformed and the faith that they pass on to others. I have little control over what anyone will do with Jesus and even over my own life, but this fragility of ministry makes us trust all the more in the God who does the work, transforms lives, calls and sustains those involved, and raises up disciples to carry the torch into the future.
That is why I am excited to see people grow in their faith and begin to pass it on. After a couple of years in working with the Congolese teen guys, they have been taking some opportunities to share their faith with others. In August, we took a week-long mission trip with seven teen guys to Clarkston, GA. Each teen worked to pay for his trip doing different projects: home remodeling, selling scrap metal, and car repair. Although most of our initial contacts did not pan out, the LORD altered our travel plans to lead us to a church in a multicultural neighborhood where we could sleep and serve. The teen guys led worship, shared their stories of fleeing as refugees, did yard work, and shared the Gospel with other Africans in Atlanta. One teen sought out his extended family members to be able to tell his cousins about Jesus. Pictured is the group sharing with a rich Tanzanian businessman in a restaurant. They spoke with Hindus, atheists, and Buddhists as well for the first time. One of the students led another on the trip to the LORD. It brings great joy to see these guys passing on their faith and taking the lead in ministering to their own people with the language and culture gifts God has given them. We continue to meet one night a week with them for soccer, Bible, and being among the lost in KC.
Each week, the Horn of Africa teen girls group continues to meet. They have completed many Old and New Testament stories and are approaching the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Recently, the volun-teers sensed a spiritual darkness over the group and one commented that Satan fights the Gospel going to the unreached groups because he knows that his end is near when they accept it. Pray for the plans for two more girls groups and another guys group.
With the Horn of Africa teen guys, we still do basketball weekly. Some attended a Christian camp this summer led by New Hope Baptist. I’m grateful for volunteers who are involved in the lives of the teens as we try to discern those who are spiritually hungry and take every opportunity to share Jesus and find teachable moments.
I am excited to report that two Muslim women have accepted Jesus in the past couple of months. One with a sister ministry and the other has been attending one of our Association’s churches. Pray for their next steps of baptism and discipleship and for perseverance and commitment to Jesus in spite of any persecution from family. This is a great encouragement for those who have been faithful to spend time with Muslims over the past few years for the sake of Christ’s name. Pray that those coming to Christ will be willing to be introduced to other former Muslims so that an underground church can form if it is God’s will.
The door is always open for churches in BR-KC to help with evangelism projects, door-to-door surveys, Bible distribution, combining your youth group with a youth group from an African church for worship and fun, or any other creative way we can plug you into ministry cross-culturally. Contact Andrew at [email protected] if you would like to discuss it.