A couple of weeks ago, on a busy Saturday, I got a message from my study partner saying that she was going to have to miss our Japanese lesson that day with our teacher. It’s ok, she’s prego and I TOTALLY get it. Sleep, enjoy it. Savor it. These are your last months together, indulge in some extra sleep!
Back to the story. Sorry, I got a bit distracted there, like a hungry person outside a bakery, rubbing their hands together with glazed eyes. Sleep, sleep, I miss you!
Ok, I’m back. So, I sent her off to rest while trying to come up with a Plan B for a 2 hour lesson. On the spur of the moment, I decided I wanted to translate my testimony so as to be able to share it at cell group or even one on one. Not only that but it would be a great opportunity to plant more seeds for this young woman who we spend a couple of hours with every week. Already one week I had a chance to share some testimonies about God demonstrating that A: He’s real and B: He’s powerful in India and things that I saw Him do. She was really impressed and affected even by some of the stories of the miracles.
I wrote out my testimony and realized that I made logical jumps that within a church or even an American context is understandable due to the familiarity with Christ and Christianity. So, I carefully constructed what the message was that I heard that caused me to turn to Christ. I totally feel like it was the Lord leading and crafting His message to her, just within my story.
Lesson time came and as we were working through the story, she was moved. At the beginning, she said she wanted to cry. Obviously, I know the ending of my story and so I was like, don’t worry! It gets better! As we came to the story of Jesus and why He had to die for our sins, the expression on her face was incredible! She leaned back on the couch and looked up in a face of wonder and amazement– OHHHHHH! NOW I understand! I never knew this before!
It still surprises me when I meet someone who’s never heard.
She had seen pictures in old churches (I think when travelling) and saw the story line in painted glass windows but she didn’t know what it was about. She became more and more animated as we translated and later as she heard the ending, she was literally amazed what God had done in our family. Of course, when I was writing the testimony, I was careful to include that I realized I needed to make a decision about what I’d heard– if God was real, and if He’d done this, then it required a response.
I’m still waiting for the right time to probe about her response. We were both worn out at the end of translating (she even stayed a bit longer to help). I’ve since gone over it again with her to make edits and practice reading it smoothly.
But what I take away is this:
-As Christians, we have to be careful not to assume that people make the logical jumps with us. Especially here in an unreached country, the ground has to be prepared extensively to even lay the foundation. We start from scratch here. No, people aren’t familiar with the stories of the Bible. No, they don’t know why Jesus had to die. No, they don’t usually even know who He is! What does the Resurrection mean anyway? Why is that important? Perhaps practice sharing your own story along these lines.
-Use every opportunity. It could have been a regular study session. I could have cancelled class. But this was a moment God was setting up.
I’m excited to have had such an opportunity. And prayerful and patient now as I wait for God’s work to be done in the heart .
Besides, what’s a testimony really but God’s message to you through what He’s done in me? And what’s better than a testimony producing another testimony? Perhaps that should always be the aim