August 31, 2015
Yesterday I was riding in the car with Paul. We had a 2 hour drive to Lacharok and no passengers (quite a rare occurance!) so it was a good chance to talk to the guy who is sometimes our only faithful disciple. I was talking to him about the time that we’re going to be gone next year, from February to November, for furlough. Lately it seems like every time we have to take a trip or take a few weeks off from doing Bible study in the villages (Lalonga and Lacharok), it can take weeks to re-connect and catch up with people.
That makes the 8-9 months we’re going to be away next year a little stressful. I asked Paul what it would take to make sure that the groups keep meeting and keep learning Bible stories while we’re gone and he answered, “I can read the Bible and learn the stories I need to tell, but I don’t know how to get from the ‘What does it say?’ to the ‘What does it mean?’ and ‘What should we do?’” I told him we could work on some ways to do that over the next few months, but then decided to just talk about it. We reviewed the golden calf story and then I asked him, “What does this story teach us about God?” He couldn’t give me an answer, so I repeated the first two sentences of the story and then asked the question again, and immediately he said “That’s easy, God keeps his promises.”
After coming up with five statements about God from the story, I asked him, “What does this story teach us about mankind?” We went through the story bit by bit again but mostly came up with “People are quick to disobey and utterly rebel against God.” After that I asked him, “Now what can we apply to our own lives from this story?” Again he was quiet. I repeated the sentence, “People are quick to disobey and rebel against God” and said “Is that true about you?” He agreed that it was, so I said “How?” He gave me a few general answers about things he used to do, so I said “What about yesterday? How were you quick to disobey and rebel against God yesterday?”
Again he was quiet. I shared with him some of my own shortcomings. Impatience with people, especially my wife, anger and general arrogance about getting my own way, those were just a few things I told him. Finally he interrupted me as I was about to start again and said, “Sometimes my wife talks to me a certain way and I just get angry!” After that he went on to tell me about other things that he does, and knows are sinful, but they are things that he’s never really considered a need to repent from. They’re not “big” like drunkenness or murder or going to the rainmaker. We then discussed the importance to repent from those things, and have a right attitude about ourselves by realizing our own sin. It was a good drive overall…
Justin (and Amy, Ezekiel and “New Baby”)