How well do you know your neighbors and their messy lives? Discovery Bible Studies at home provide a natural way for participants to share their burdens. Because of these home-led studies and other neighborly interaction, we can walk within 30 seconds of our home to people facing the following heartaches (pic of neighbors’ house to the west). One is a single lady who is HIV positive and lives in a courtyard of unbelievers. A second is a woman with a preschool child and a husband who is a mean drunk and in law enforcement. A third person is a pregnant, unwed young adult learning to be a seamstress. People had to intervene to get the father of the child to pay her medical expenses. Another neighbor has ruined his reputation by serious drinking and belligerent behavior. His Christian neighbor and co-worker took his gun away so that no harm would befall people around him. And so it goes.
The Ivorian brother who teaches children under a tree on Saturday afternoons also has many opportunities to minister to neighboring families. The children in class run to him when things are not going well at home. Recently this church layman became a counselor for a couple about to separate. The Christian wife and Muslim husband have allowed him to be a peacemaker, since he kindly teaches their children at no cost. Many people in Cote d’Ivoire are like those in the States: few will come to church when you invite them. However, if the church goes to them in their need and messy lives, they will listen. Through Discovery Studies and in personal witness, they can hear of the One who took a naked, raving, demon-possessed maniac living in a cemetery and transformed him into a man clothed, seated, and in his right mind. Truly, there is no impossible case in His hands!
All next week our Community Health Evangelism (CHE) team will be north teaching in a Bible Institute for pastors. We expect participants from a nearby village, as well. The students will spend 36 hours learning the foundations of CHE, as well as participating in DMM Discovery Studies as mentioned above. We trust that they will learn to practice these simple but powerful skills permitting them to bringshalom into hundreds of messy lives.
PRAYER & PRAISE :
Pray for a Spirit-filled week of CHE training that will help equip leaders for fruitful service.Ask that the reconciliation recently forged between the neighborhood husband and wife will last. Also pray for the husband’s salvation.Pray for the second Bondoukou church in training to lead DMM Discovery Bible Studies.
Your partners in the Gospel,
VERLIN and DEBBIE