Monday, May 4, 2009

So, It's been a while.....

I know I haven't been very good about updating this blog thingy, but as the semester comes to a close, each day gets more and more busy! Seriously, in the last month I've been to Grand Rapids once, Port Huron twice, took a road trip through Indiana and Illinois to Waukesha, Wisconsin, went to Ohio..............and still learning a TON as we continue to study the Word of God! We're tackling our first Pauline Epistle...1 Corinthians! It's truly truly amazing! I love getting spiritually beat to a bloody pulp on a daily basis. Feels great. No does. I know that growth doesn't exist without pain, so I'm welcoming this daily spanking with open arms. As odd as it sounds, it's great to be reminded as often as possible of our great need for Christ, and in this, I'm also reminded of the gifts I receive from Him as well. A growing awareness of my struggle with sin makes me forever grateful for the knowledge that when God looks at me, He only see's the perfection of Jesus Christ. "Because a sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free, for God, The Just, is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me!" What a joy it is to rest in Christ!
This concept has been going around in my mind for the last few days and blowing me away...pretty much every 5 minutes. I read this story about the ministry of one of our missionaries Chad Mankins in Papua New Guinea and thought I'd share it with ya'll. It's amazing how God provides wonderfully creative ways to express the joys of Salvation and all that it entails to people from all cultures and languages all over the world!!!

Grandmother Alowe giving testimony using bamboo joints and some dirty sticks.

Missionary Chad Mankins used bamboo and sticks to illustrate the concept of justification to the Tobo people of Papua New Guinea.

Chad is teaching through the book of Romans and since the Tobos do not have a word for justification in their language he demonstrated the meaning with two bamboo joints and some dirty sticks.

"At the end of chapter 3," Chad wrote, "we discussed the fact that our faith in Christ does not mean that we stop sinning and become perfect people in our daily lives on this earth. But it does mean that God says of us, or declares of us, that we are straight and righteous people now. …

"But the righteousness we have is that of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God sees us, He no longer sees our sinfulness, since Christ took care of the penalty for that when He died on the cross. Instead, He sees us as covered with the righteousness of His Son and our Savior."

Bamboo joints are hollow tubes with segments between the hollow spaces at top and bottom. Chad took two joints that were cut open at the top, and the bottoms were left on, so they formed two long cylinders like large cups that a small child could reach their arm into.

One bamboo joint was old, brown and caked with mud while the other was freshly cut and green. Chad had placed several dirty sticks in the dirty tube and pulled one out to show the believers what was inside. Then he took the dirty stick out of the dirty bamboo tube and put it into the clean one.

He asked, "Is the stick clean now?" The believers replied "No, the stick is still dirty."

Chad explained that the dirty sticks represented all people. Then he put some sticks into the clean joint, and left the rest in the dirty one.

As he explained the concept, the believers began to smile as understanding dawned. Christ's death made them clean and God sees their sin through the blood of Christ.

"We still sin even now, " declared one of the believers, "but God still took us out of Satan's joint and put us into Jesus' joint because of what He did for us!"

Pray for Chad as he explains righteousness and justification to the Tobos. Pray also that the Tobo believers will clearly understand their position in Christ.

What a good God we serve! Out of the 6,500 people groups in the world, there are still 2,500 that have never been reached with the Gospel. If only there were enough people willing to take the Word to them! Please please please pray for more laborors for the Harvest! I'm part of a small group of students, under the supervision of the school's President, who meets weekly specifically to pray for the laborors of the Harvest, those at work on the field now, those who are in training, and for more people to be burdened to carry the Gospel of Christ across the world. God is so wonderful! May we never cease to share His love and pray for those who are giving their lives in His service!

2 weeks left and I'm coming home!!! I can't wait to see everyone! Thanks for your calls, texts, emails, and letters! It's always so nice to know that I'm remembered back at home. I love you guys!

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