Davi* met a 13-year-old boy when he was getting the tire of his car fixed. Thiago walked up and asked if he could shine Davi’s shoes. Davi agreed, and struck up a conversation with the boy as he worked. He asked if Thiago had ever drank living water. Thiago had no idea what Davi was talking about but was curious. Davi shared that 34 years ago, he had learnt about the living waters and when he understood what it was, he drank it and found new life and everything he had ever longed for in his heart. Davi offered to lead the boy through a study and at the end of it, he would understand what living water was and how to drink it, just as clearly as he understood how to shine shoes.
A story from our staff member in Luxembourg. He had the opportunity to speak with two pastors, both of whom had taken to using the Luxembourgish translation of The Lamb in their churches. Pastor Pol* and Pastor Pier* had taken to distributing copies of “D’Lämmchen” to their congregations and had received very positive feedback from them. In all, over the Christmas season, 11 boxes of D’Lämmchen were distributed! Pastor Pier is now considering following up by guiding his congregation through a study of the German version of “The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus”.
The following story is an encouraging way to start the new year. The story highlights the importance of not assuming that our friends and family have biblical understanding of concepts like sin and a Holy God. Instead, we need to carefully explain biblical truths so that they are on the same page. Then the gospel makes sense.
My wife and I served on the mission field in the Brazilian amazon in the early 1990s. One day I was with two Brazilian Christian friends who we attended church with. We were at the river one morning and encountered a friend of theirs. This friend was not a Christian but was a very religious person. So my two Christian friends Tim* and Victor began sharing the gospel with their friend. As I listened (I had just become fluent in Portuguese) it seemed like their friend did not understand the message that they were relating to him. Suddenly I had a thought. Did this young man understand the biblical meaning of sin? So I asked Tim to enquire what his concept of sin was. The young man answered, “Oh I am not a bad person. I don’t steal or do bad things with girls. I try to help people when I can.”
A light clicked on for me. Tim and Victor were giving an answer to a person who did not have a question. If his concept of sin was not correct, neither was his concept of a Holy God. And if those two concepts were not right, it will be impossible for him to see his need for a sufficient substitute. Which explained why he saw no need for personal faith in the Saviour.
Over a number of years now, we have had the privilege of taking many through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Most all of them had no questions or the wrong questions at the beginning of the book. But at the finish of the book, most of them were suddenly asking the right questions. A good number of them trusted the Saviour. A few of the ones who were saved are now taking others through The Stranger book, and have seen some trust the Lord. This outstanding tool helps people come face to face with the right questions, which is absolutely essential to form the right conclusion on the gospel. And, it provides a great pattern and method for the new believer to share their faith.
In the tiny city-state of Singapore, there are many foreign nationals who go there to find work. They are employed as domestic helpers, construction workers, service staff and more. For churches in Singapore, they see that the “foreign mission field” has arrived at their doorsteps. These churches organize activities and programs to cater to the needs of these foreign nationals. They also conduct Bible studies and help to explain the gospel. Here is a story from Jessica,* a Bible study leader, who learned that there was more that God could do with these migrant workers.
Our Thai brothers and sisters in Christ are continuing to give out copies of the Thai translation of By This Name to anyone who is interested. Near Chiang Mai University where the books were being handed out, a man who runs a little shop selling ice saw the book and was very keen to read it. He asked for and received a copy. Please pray he will read it through and understand the gospel.
While a team of GoodSeed staff were in the UK conducting Worldview Rethink Workshops, we saw this poster at a church in Derby. The church runs “Just Looking” groups for people interested in exploring the Christian faith in a relaxed, non-threatening manner. The book that the church uses is The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Using the videos from the Interactive Edition combined with dynamic reading, the leader takes 15 sessions to go through the book and companion workbook. What an easy, non-threatening approach to explain the core message of the Bible to anyone who wishes to understand Christianity better.