I've had the chance to witness several times this week as m-lims ask me: "Aren't you fasting, Don't Christians fast?"I explained that Jesus (He is their prophet Issa) talked about fasting.He said when you fast do not wear old clothes, and walk around with a sad face, hoping people will ask you if you're fasting. Or that they will know you are fasting, and think you are super-spiritual. Jesus said those that do that have their reward already. Jesus explained to fast in private, and that it was to be a gift between you and God. (I don't know what you think of my answer, but it does make my m-lim friends think.)
Ramadan is also a time when I am reminded again that we're missionaries in hostile territory. So many of my friends/aquaintances are m-lims. They are so friendly and fun to talk to. They are open to asking spiritual questions, and our relationship is usually so good that I forget that there is a spiritual battle going on.Ramadan brings that to mind. Those willing to follow a month long fast are committed to Islam. They are following religious rites that do not save, and will be lost in the end. Pray for these people who need Christ. They need to know that a relationship with Christ supercedes simply religiosity. Its not about rules & regulations, but about a salvation so great!
Preaching. I was asked to preach. I was all prepared today with a paint story board.So great a Salvation was on my mind, so I preached about that.I explained Love, Grace, Faith, and Forgiveness, for those who need to hear the basic gospel again. I explained the truths of justification and sanctificationfor those who have been Christians a long time, but are blocked by big words.The truths of Justificationa and Sanctification are why our salvation is so great. (Bookstore Friends- So great a salvation. Would you call that plagairism or just borrowing heavily? :-))
Justification, the job is done! We are 100% perfect in Gods sight.
Sancification, why do I still face temptations? I explained about how we have choice as Christians, we no longer are slaves to sin. We now can choose in the power of Christ to reject sin and temptation. Every time we do that we bring honor and gloryto God. He loves it! I had to preach in french, of course. Pastor Youssouf translated into Bambara for me.
Womens ministry is doing well. I asked the ladies if they were able to follow my block letters on the board. All but one of them said yes! Their literacy is coming along well. We are so excited about that. We are still looking for partners to send funds to help the womens ministry. We are looking forward to after Christmas, when most of the ladies will exchange their reading/writing books for Bible study materials. Thats' when the money will come in handy. We want these women to be able to study the Word of God!
Lisa comes back next week. I am ready for her to be back. 2.5 weeks as a single parent takes a lot of doing!
Thanks for stopping by,Tom & Lisa