Well, I cried in school today.
I was just watching a lecture, as usual, and at the end they added a video testimony from mission work in Papua New Guinea. The testimony was so awe-inspiring– the movement in the people was truly God-given. Plus watching the scene unfold answered my question from a passage I had just read:
“And thus I will make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has already been named so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” –Romans 15:20
I understood the thought of preaching to the unreached, but Paul’s explanation puzzled me a bit, to be honest. I was trying to wrap my head around the why– why not work with someone else who’s already broken the ice? Why not?
But when I saw the video I understood. He wasn’t talking about a Christian foundation. (Of course not, these people are unreached remember Janessa? Duh.)
The missionaries to this tribe literally had to start from ground zero. They needed supernatural patience to be able to lay a foundation where someone had never heard the gospel or anything in the Bible at all. They didn’t even realize the vastness of this earth we live on. They were merely in a bubble of their own culture and belief system.
The first two days the missionary taught them geography. Why? To show them, in the end, where the Bible even came from.
Then, it took two full months preaching five days a week, twice a day, to lay the Old Testament foundation.
Later as the missionary told the story of Abraham and Isaac, four different men on four different occasions came to him suggesting the end of the story– they knew that Jesus had to come from the bloodline of Isaac, but they also knew that Abraham would be obedient. They suggested that somehow God would come through and provide another sacrifice. They thought it would be a physical lamb.
Their understanding astounded me.
These people had never heard these passages before and yet they knew what was coming. They knew the end of the story and the importance of a blood sacrifice.
That’s when tears began to fall.
Because these people, with the right foundation, were understanding the Old and New Covenant on their own. I thought of our Western church culture and my heart was so grieved at our state of Christianity.
He waited a full two months before introducing Jesus to them. And when he did, Jesus was their hero. They loved Him and worshipped Him before they had even known what He had done for us. For them. They loved Him for who He was and is.
Again I cried and the same questions came over me– why God? Why is our country so blind? Look at these people. Look!
During the service about the crucifixion and resurrection the normally reserved people kept getting out of their seats and shouting “It is true!” and “I believe!” in their native tongue.
They understood the importance of the sinless life and the blood. They couldn’t keep from testifying until in their joy, they all started joining together in dance.
For two and a half hours.
They had found victory over their fears.
They had found victory in Jesus.
They understood the weight of the Gospel.
And how good this news truly is.
And they danced and danced and danced–
glorifying their Father in Heaven. They couldn’t keep from singing God’s praise.
And as they danced, I cried and cried.
Thinking, where are we?