A few weeks ago, I got an email from an old college buddy asking for prayer for a man who was trying to choose between Jesus and the cult that his village embraces. He was about to take his family to join in the ritual practices, but was feeling the Holy Spirit call him to Jesus. He had his ritual garments laid out, and he knew that if he went, he would never choose Christ. His spirit was tourtured. I got this email today.
January 16th will forever be marked in history as the birth of the Tobo church! Tuesday, Jason (the missionary. empahsis mine) taught on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. There were many people that came, more than what we were expecting. A large group of people left immediately after the teaching to go get dressed in their traditional clothes to show support for the cargo cult. Yet others stayed around just silently sitting and talking. 2 groups of men formed around Jason and Chad as they pelted each of them with questions. Some were having a hard time believing that Jesus washed ALL their sins away.. if they were to sin again how would they stay righteous before God? Others had worked all their lives to gain God’s favor and didn’t want to be told that all those years of “works” were for naught. And yet others still didn’t want to let go of the Cargo Cult and were looking for some way they could follow both.
Jason and Chad took the rest of the afternoon going to different houses and asking questions and seeing where people are at. We don’t know how many are saved, but we do know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ here now. We know of at least 4-5 families who have put their faith in Jesus alone, and we haven’t been able to talk to everyone yet. Tragically, there are some who clearly have rejected, and that saddens our hearts. So we ask you to continue to pray as people are still struggling to choose. God is working in people’s hearts!
We are VERY excited to tell you that not only did Alis and his family stay back from going to the Cargo Cult meetings; but they are now believers in Jesus Christ! After the teaching on Wednesday, Alis was just sitting there crying, so Jason went to him and just sat with him for a while, and Alis said, “Thank you Jesus.” Jason asked, “What are you thankful for?” And Alis said, “I am no longer afraid that I will go to hell, Jesus’ blood saved me.” Alis is our land owner. To say he has been nothing but a frustration to our team would be an understatement. If we could have picked one person whom we didn’t think would get saved it would have been him!:-) Thank God that our thoughts are not His!!!! Alis is very much like a Peter in that he speaks often without thinking first; but there is a definite change in his life these past few days. And we also know that as the Holy Spirit works in his life that others will see the change. In the last week or so, we have been noticing a change in his personality going from a very angry man to almost quiet and humble. Isn’t God awesome?!!!!
As God shows us who He has chosen to be His church here in Tobo, we will be sure to share it with you.
Thank you again for your prayers, it is because of your prayers that many of these people have trusted in Jesus as their Savior. In a way the work is just beginning! We have babies in Christ. Pray that God would work through us to disciple these new Christians so that they can someday soon reach the rest of Tobo!
His Clay Pots,
Jason, Kellie, Micah, Sophia, and Malachi Knapp
I had coffee with my sweet friend the other day, and he told me that when they killed Saddam Hussein, they didn’t let him finish his prayer. They only word he got to say was the name Muhammad. My heart broke in pieces. Oh, that the last word on his tongue was not the Name above all names that has all authority on heaven and earth over life and death. And what a stark contrast this story brings. What a joy to see LIVES changed by the power of Jesus!