Discipleship and training with A* had stopped for about a month when he moved to another area. At first, he told us that he only wanted to visit his brother, but later we found out from S*, member of his group, that A* left because there was a problem in his family.
A*, a sixty-one-year old house builder was baptized in July 2017 five months after he professed to believe. We have trained him to share the Gospel stories to others, to tell further stories from the Scriptures, to do baptism, and how to form and lead groups.
At the beginning of 2018, A* began to share the Good News with others and in mid-March he began discipling three new believers, B*, M* and S* in the group.
Previously, the process of discipleship and training didn’t always go well because we met at a coffee shop where there many visitors. We offered to meet outside their village for security reasons, but he was not yet willing to meet outside since it took time to get there and he would need to leave the village at night. His neighbors became suspicious of us, since we visited often.
When A* returned home, we asked what exactly had happened. He told us that his neighbor had been suspicious of our presence in their village and somehow his neighbors knew that A* had become a follower of Jesus Christ. The neighbor came to A’s* wife and told her that her husband was ‘apostatized’ and he provoked her to forbid her husband from meeting with us and forbade us from coming to their village. Because A* didn’t want to make a fuss with his wife and was worried that his neighbors would be angry, he temporarily asked us not to come to their village, so he went to his brother’s house in another area.
After that, we met again with S*, a member of a group who was close to A*, who told us that A’s* wife was sick. We decided to visit A’s* her, when we did, in a rising voice she said, “Just bring my husband! You are the one who made him convert to Christianity?”
“It’s not good to say that,” we said, “We just wanted to visit you. We heard that you are sick.” Then we asked if she had gone for treatment and how was she feeling. She had gone to the doctor and the doctor said that she had hypertension. We offered her garlic to treat hypertension in addition to medicine given by doctors. The mother was willing to follow our advice and we went to the market to buy garlic and other natural ingredients that we used. Then we gave it to A’s* wife. She was very happy to receive it and from then on, she welcomes us as friends. She doesn’t mind if her husband goes out with us. Their children also received us in their home.
Since his family was able to accept our presence, A* was increasingly enthusiastic about meeting with us and discipling his group members. Now he is willing to be discipled and trained outside their village, so that we are free and protected from the attention of his neighbors. Lately we have encouraged him to share the Good News with his wife, his five children and his three sons and daughter-in-law.
From May to October 2018, A* had told the Good News to fourty-two local people, six of whom are open and one believer, B*. The new believer is discipled in the existing group because the material being studied is still the same. We always repeat the same lesson sometimes even up to four times until A* really understands the lesson. He also does the same thing with the four members of his group, making sure they understood the lesson he had delivered.
In September, both B* and S*, the group members, gave themselves to be baptized after being discipled from the beginning of the year. One month later, two other members, M* and B* also gave themselves to be baptized.
We encourage A* to disciple and train B* specifically because he has begun to share the Good News with others. For the past two months he has shared the Good News with sixteen local people, six of them were open and four people believed.
The situation in the family really affected the spirit of A* to be able to meet us and his group members. With God’s help and a little attention were able to change the mood of his wife and children, from those who previously did not allow us to come to be open to our arrival and allow her husband to meet us.
- Pray that God will continue to give A* wisdom and knowledge in discipling and training his group members.
- Pray that the process of discipleship and training with A* will continue to go well and that God will give us wisdom and creativity in discipling him.
- Pray that group members will prioritize time to meet and study God’s Word together so that their faith will grow.
- Pray for A’s* plan to share the Good News with his wife, children and daughter and son-in-law, that he will find a good opportunity and that they will believe in Jesus Christ.
*Names have been removed for security reasons