The task of the team is to walk the dirt paths of the town, talk to people, and share the story of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Engaging in conversation will not be difficult. The people have an open friendliness towards others and live a life-style of “front-porch” conversations.
The ultimate, long-term goal is that a group of believers will form and gather on a regular basis to keep sharing the gospel to the surrounding areas. Traditionally, this can take a few years. However, what we have experienced in Madagascar has been anything but traditional and a group could be gathering within months, even weeks. This certainly is our prayer.
The team of believers have been eager to practice and role-play evangelistic conversations the past few weeks. Ben taught the group how to share the gospel and weave in their own story of coming to faith. The group giggled and laughed like school children when they took turns practicing. Some played the role of the unbeliever and challenged the group with cultural replies they will encounter; beliefs in witch-doctors and following their ways were discussed. The stakes are high when you follow Christ no matter the culture.
Last week Ben and our pastor friend traveled to this target village to meet the town leader and conduct a brief interview of his area. The gospel was shared with him as well as a few lingering ears. He did not follow in belief but he said there were some in town that did believe but have no place to gather and pray.
When we visit again this week we may play the role of connector and introduce the believers of the town to one another. That has been done before in another village where believers were living close but had never taken that step of sharing their faith with others to even know if there were others like themselves. That seems strange in this friendly culture, however, on closer examination one can find a connected people that fall short of sharing deeper thoughts.
The final thoughts shared with the mission team today were reminding them of the 2 kinds of people in the world: believers and nonbelievers. Our goal is to encourage the believers to share the good news because the harvest is ready, and to the nonbelievers, they need to hear The Story. The words repeated around the meeting area as the time came to a close were, “be ny vokatra fa ny mpiasa no vitsy” the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. “Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37
“Now, go.” Luke 10:3