In the past few months, most of my time has been devoted to caring for my wife, who has been very sick. Because of that, we have spent much less time on our ministry than is normal. Through the whole summer, I shared the Gospel with almost fifty people, and only one of them seemed truly open to it. These numbers are much lower than normal for me.
This started back in September last year. She was hospitalized for three days because of a stomach problem, which she recovered from for a time. In March, she experienced the same illness again and, after several visits to internal medicine doctor, her condition again began to improve. Unfortunately, in June, she became ill once again with the same disease. We decided to take her to the city for treatment in a hospital with more complete facilities than we had visited in the past. Once more, she spent three days in the hospital. During this visit, various examinations were carried out and all the results were good. The doctor said that she had no other diseases – only stomach problems – so she needed to maintain her diet and rest. We were very happy to hear these examination results from the doctor, and, because my wife was cured, we left the hospital and took leave for a week.
After a few weeks back in the field, my wife fell ill for a fourth time with the same symptoms. We have taken her to every doctor in our area, but there have been no changes. Her condition varies now by the day – sometimes she is feeling fine, but other times she becomes weak and can barely move.
Despite my wife’s uncertain health condition, I continue to share the Gospel with local people. An interesting experience I had recently was meeting with an elderly religious teacher in my community. He was sitting in front of his house when I met him, and when we got acquainted he asked what my ethnic group and religion was. After telling them, I directed the conversation to spiritual matters by asking if he was a devout person. He said he was a religious person, then proceeded to tell me about his religion.
I eventually directed the conversation in the direction of sin. This teacher said he knows that he is a sinner and had tried to do all the ‘right things’ to gain forgiveness. However, he said, even though he had done all of them, he still didn’t know or believe whether God has forgiven his sin. He then asked me how I could be so sure that I had been forgiven, which was the perfect opening for me to share about the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After telling the story, I asked whether it makes sense that we can’t be forgiven through our own efforts. “Everything you said makes sense,” he replied, “But I still don’t believe it.”
He also wanted to know about the ‘three gods’ that Christians worshiped. I explained that Christians only believe in one God, and did my best to explain the Trinity to him. Our conversation ended abruptly when he stood up and said he was done talking, and wanted to go back inside. He warned me not to tell anyone else about this faith, because of the trouble it could land me in. Before I left, I let him know that I would be praying for him, and asked if we could meet again to discuss this further, but he was not interested.
- Pray that the source of my wife’s illness will be found so that she is cured and we can do the ministry to the fullest.
- Pray for the teacher I spoke with about the Good News – that he will open his heart to believe in Jesus Christ and that we can meet again.
- Pray that we will meet with local people who are open to the Good News and prepared to believe.
- Pray that God will send church planters to do ministry with me