Tim's next update. As you read, pray for the people involved. Some are now facing some health issues.
Thank you so much for praying! I have a strong sense that God’s Spirit is moving as a result.
(this post is a bit long but read the whole thing – I guarantee you will be encouraged or money back)
Last Wednesday I was able to introduce two of our students; Ash and Laura, to Nicci and Shane. They hit it off instantly and were keen to hear their testimonies. When we left there was an agreed plan to connect on Monday to open the bible together and explain the gospel to them.
Monday came and I was off to Airds with Bob, another member of our team. We met up with Nicci and Shane at the agreed time. I introduced Bob and he shared his personal story. I gave them each a new bible and a highlighter and suggested I could explain the gospel to them and at the same time begin to train them how to share the gospel with others. They were keen.
We opened the bibles and Maria knocked on the door and came in. She was keen to talk about some issues that were on her mind. About then Nicci’s phone rang and it was another friend, we’ll call Sarah. Sarah was intoxicated and had fallen and split her head open. Maria and Nicci jumped into Maria’s car and headed over to check on Sarah.
I looked up at Shane and said what do you want to do? We decided to plough on and he could catch Nicci up when she returned. We had just turned to Romans 6:23 from Romans 3:23 when Nicci returned. She quickly grabbed the first aid kit and bandaged Sarah’s head, called an ambulance and sat her down on the lounge. Maria left suggesting we could chat on Tuesday and after about a 30 minute detour we were back on track.
Shane quickly caught Nicci up. She marked her bible, read the verses aloud, responded to the question – “what does that say to you? (Luke 10:25-26), wrote the next bible address on the top of the page, and we were all having a grand time!!!
I was amazed at the insights the Spirit was giving them as they read the words of Christ aloud. I then told them we were at step 3 of the process when I was going to ask them some questions. Off I went; 1) do you know you are a sinner? 2) do you want forgiveness for your sins? (all yes up to this stage) 3) do you believe Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and rose again? (one yes, the other not quite there yet) 4) are you willing to surrender your life to Jesus Christ? (one yes, one not yet) 5) are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and into your life? (one yes, one not yet).
I asked Shane if he was okay with Nicci becoming a Christian without him. He was good with that. At that point I asked Nicci if she would like to pray and ask for God’s forgiveness, declare her faith in him, ask Jesus to come into her life and fill her with his Spirit. Off she went while the rest of us joined in with hearty Amen’s. She was very happy!
We jumped into my car and went to Cambelltown hospital to pick up Sarah who had received some treatment and was ready to come home. We took her and Nicci back to their place and headed off from Airds rejoicing and praying for Shane, Nicci and Sarah. I left him a copy of “The essential Jesus” and some homework reading. I told them I would ring on Tuesday morning to make a time to connect and that we would talk about any questions that Shane may have and take her through lesson one of T4T (Training for Trainers) discipleship series.
Tuesday morning and I was off again to Airds with 4 Global Gap Year students. I rang Nicci to see about a convenient time to come down and she said they would meet us up at the church building in 30 minutes. The team spent time worshipping and praying. Brian also joined us.
Nicci and Shane showed up with son Neil. They were beaming. Shane had read all of “The Essential Jesus” (gospel of Luke), read the intro to the bible I gave him and Nicci had read the first 6 chapters of Genesis and told 5 friends and relatives that she had become a Christian.
So there we were, two weeks into it, our first convert and the first small group was happening without even organising it. We spent most of the day worshipping, praying, bible study, discussion, and lunch around the table – it felt like community to me! Shane had quite a profound dream the night before and the team encouraged him that God was clearly at work. We didn’t push but he indicated he had moved closer to believing since the day before.
We worked through the first discipleship lesson as a group – it was great. The team was wonderful. I gave Shane a copy of “More than a Carpenter” (Josh McDowell) and “MY God” (Michael Green). He said he’d read them overnight.
I did some teaching re Church Planting Movements and the types of people we will encounter i.e. responsive persons, persons of influence, persons of peace, hostile persons etc. Nicci identified herself as a person of peace and we talked about some of her contacts and the ones she thinks will be most receptive for meeting with on Wednesday. They are keen!
Off we went rejoicing after a good day of Local Mission activity…
At about 8:30 pm I received this text from Nicci: “Hi Tim, its Nicci. Shane and Sarah accepted Jesus Christ our Lord in their hearts just now and I wanted to share this with you.”
Woohoo! Thanks again for praying. I’m off to Airds to see what God might do today.