And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
It was Saturday, the end of another week filled with the ups and downs of life. I was in a “pit of despair” the week before and God hand delivered such encouragement that it had left me almost breathless and quite in awe. So, you can imagine the disappointment in myself when I found myself, again, the following week – this week – in need of uplifting again. Remembering the encouragement and love from the Father the week before, I have trudged through this week only because of Him.
We were invited to travel to a nearby village with friends of ours as they were in the middle of teaching sessions with a few people in the village. We were aware of the program sponsored by their church to go to smaller surrounding areas and introduce a 12 lesson series presenting the foundations of our faith from creation to the story of the cross and the relationship reaching beyond both. Because this also is our job and calling on our life, we wanted to observe their methods and so forth. Before we left for the afternoon, I asked God if He possibly could fill my heart with encouragement again. Would there be anything in this little trip that could cast the dark cloud away?
We arrived after a short 15 minute drive through terrain that would have taken an hour to walk through. I made a mental note to thank our organization again for the outstanding vehicle that could get us to our place of ministry! We set up a few little stools and 4 people emerged from the mud houses amongst the harvested corn fields. Two couples sat down and we made introductions. We sat in a circle and our friends, husband and wife, began a brief review of what the small group had been learning and then they launched into the new lesson. They opened the borrowed Bibles they were handed and flipped from passage to passage throughout the Old and New Testaments and one man was avidly scribbling notes in a small notebook. The group answered review questions but mostly sat quietly and took in all that was being taught. Ben & I were immediately engrossed in concentrating on the language, we were taking mental notes of the new words we were hearing and the ease in which the husband/wife team casually yet, eyes sparkling, explained theology of sin. When we reached the end of the lesson, the couples began to share a few words. One lady in particular said she never thought she would see her husband with a Bible in his hand…he was the one avidly taking notes. Tears began to slide down her cheeks as he spoke and thanked the teaching couple for coming. He had originally been very unfriendly of the teachers arriving and sharing in the village. I looked at the entire circle of people. Some with shoes, some without. Some on chairs, some seated on the cold dusty ground. Some clean, some dirty. All proclaiming, “Your God reigns.”
Beautiful feet carry the good news, proclaim peace, bring good tidings, proclaim salvation, and say “Your God reigns!” ~Isaiah 52:7
Do I need to say that I praised God the rest of the evening for yet again encouraging my heart? Yes, yes I do, because my God reigns!
P.S. What will become of this little group when they’ve finished hearing, learning and accepting these truths? They will be in charge of telling the rest of their village – a new church will be planted – and the story continues!