They were ready to go, a dear invested brother jumped in and covered the trip (12 people, 4 days and nights, food, water, borrowed sound system, generator, fuel, Bibles, transportation and tent materials...$247 USD) and that's how a part of the Emmaus body spent last weekend.
My very favorite part about these trips is when they get back.
Leading up to this weekend, 3 or 4 students have been sharing the Gospel in Difou 2-3 times a week. Unlike other places they have visited where they've had little or no interest in the Gospel, no person of peace, and have had to "brush the dust off their sandals", they were touched from the start by the number of people in Difou (the community right past Fev) who were incredibly interested...who seemed to never have heard It...who were anxious to hear more.
And this weekend gave them the opportunity to do just that! Emmaus can now say with confidence that every single person in this village has heard the Gospel, and continued to hear the Gospel unpacked throughout the weekend. On Sunday morning, EBS built these small tents, and when they asked if anyone was interested in giving their lives to this God they have been hearing of, forty people (FORTY PEOPLE) said they were all in. Dozens more said they want to hear more. Hundreds (HUNDREDS) came for morning worship.
Leme couldn't believe how little Difou knew of "traditional" Christianity. He said no one knew the hymns they were singing, no one knew how Sunday morning worship worked, no one had horror stories of crooked pastors or divided congregations or denominational disputes or unkind Christians...there is literally no church, no Christ, in the history of Difou.
That will never be the case again.
The one thing each student and staff member has repeated to me over and over again is how interested everyone is...how anxious to hear and learn more, how great their desire to know Him and be pleasing to Him. This is rare in ANY culture, and we're all just in awe of how God has prepared their hearts and how soft Difou is...
What an awesome opportunity to give the true Jesus, deep and wide and free.
I wish I had more pictures (always) but I'm just thankful that Leme grabbed a few on his phone the morning they put the "church" together.
(Me heading into a zone like this as a foreigner to take pictures of everyone is the opposite of the indigenous, culturally relevant evangelization and genuine conversions and spiritual growth we are praying for! No matter how hard I try, as a foreigner I am seen as being in a position of power...and trying to lead people into a true relationship with the Lord from a position of power rarely works)
I'm also incredibly excited to see evangelism happening in Difou, in culturally relevant ways, in the heart language of the people, by men and women living right down the road, and with DISCIPLESHIP following right after...continued.
This isn't a "40 conversions!" statistic and on with life. This is the planting of seeds of Truth and Hope and Redemption in people's lives, by His power, and then all of the watering and sunshine and TLC that must follow.
Though right now Phida and Leme cant 't stay behind, as begged, can't leave some of the students to live among them...Difou is nowhere near abandoned. This week, several of the same staff and students went from 1-3, as always. With so many zones even further than Difou who may have also never heard the full-Gospel, no one is anxious to abandon the road, either.
So, Leme and Phida are praying with the students about which of them God is calling to care for and grow all these new brothers and sisters in Difou (ideally, two of them will stay in Difou, going on weekends and 3 times a week) and the rest of the students will keep moving on.
I know this is no captivating marketing campaign. I know this is not a complicated or impressive strategy.
But I love how much this sounds like the Bible.
May that always be our strategy.
Add Difou to your prayers! Pray for growth, pray for more to follow, pray for our staff, our students, pray for sensitivity and humility and wisdom and great enduring love.
Keep on helping us do THIS.