Every day is a new experience in Africa, or that is what I keep telling everyone that visits us. Mondays to Saturdays, we find new challenges but it seems like on Sundays, all these challenges have, all of a sudden, new proportions. The devil is fighting hard to discourage us, to slow us down and even to stop us, and it seems like most of his attacks are focused on the work with the churches.
Today we went to see Hope Baptist Church in the village of Milepa, some 1 hour driving distance away from the mission house. We’ve been trying to go there since last week, but the road has been closed by a broken lorry and there was no way around it. This time around, we got stuck in the mud right before reaching the church and it took us 2 hours to get the car moving again. This is the rainy season and people have been digging and loosening the soil, all which makes it extremely hard for our truck to go on. You see, to get to the church, we had to use the paved road, then use the dirt road, then reach the path way and then leave all that and drive on the field. We reached a point where there was barely a walk way, with grasses covering everything in front of us.
After 2 hours of pushing, digging and literally lifting the truck up in the air, we managed to get it moving again, but only in reverse. The road was very wet and soft and we didn’t want to risk another adventure, although we had another one since the rain started pouring down on us. We ended up having to walk to the church, reaching it completely drenched from head to toe.
Though the devil tried to fight us, we ended up having an amazing time of fellowship, with some great people that really love our Lord. This church is the most remote I have ever been yet, but the people are one of the most amazing I have ever seen. Their love for God was evident and the fellowship was sweet. They didn’t have much at all and it was even raining in the little grass building but, as one of their songs said: “Though we don’t have riches, we have Christ”.
Being 2 hours late was not a problem, as the service started with the blessed songs that always lift your spirit up. After the songs and the choir, Roxana shared a bit about her life, letting people know that we all serve a Mighty God. The Word of God today was from Psalms 19:7-11. The key verse was verse 10. Speaking about God’s law and His commandments, David said they are “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” I encouraged these people to value the Word of God more than gold, as their faith, provided is genuine, is more valuable than gold. 1 Cor. 3 compares our good works in Christ like gold and our reward, in heaven, is to walk on streets of gold, with God, in eternity.
You see, though the road was very bad and we got stuck in mud for 2 hours, though we got soaked and then got cold, our time together was sweeter than I can even attempt to describe. These Brothers and Sisters of ours live the words from 1 Peter 1:6-9 every day of their lives and teach us that genuine faith is not tied to air conditioning, comfortable chairs, electricity or harmonized music. These people have nobody and most of them have never even see a white man before. Who is going to bring them God’s love if not us? Who is going to share with them the Good News if not us? Romans 10:14-15.
I was telling Roxana on the way back home that I would always rather be in places like Milepa than any other comfortable church in Romania or elsewhere and, I tend to believe she shares that same view. This is where the need is and these are the people that have not heard yet. More than the so many physical needs, there are many spiritual needs and I, for one, want to repeat Isaiah’s answer to God: “Here I am! Send me.”