Not a Cheesy Christian Movie

By Matt:

If you wanted to read a heartbreaking or miraculous story, I am sorry because this won’t be it. I really wish it was though. It would be cool to have some story that could one day turn into one of those cheesy Christian movies that that everyone pretends to like but no one really does. Perhaps that experience may happen for me on this trip but no such experience occurred on my first day in the village.

 
However, that doesn’t at all mean today wasn’t amazing. And looking back at it and hearing the stories of the other team members, it definitely was a great day. The first three homes Dave and I visited had new people believe in Jesus and the heads of the other homes we entered were already following Christ. For the homes with Christians, we were able to tell them stories from Bible and talk about the stories with them. We also got to pray for each family we visited with and passed out gifts and supplies to help each household. 
Yet as we left the homes of these people, I had a weird mixture of emotions. I was happy that they said they were going to trust in Jesus (or that they already were following him) but I also felt like we were leaving them before we really got to know and care for them. And given the double translation from English to Amharic to the language of the Gumuze people, I wondered if they truly understood what we told them in our short time with them. I left asking myself if we actually made a difference.

 
If that last question is to be answered yes, it is really because of the work God will do through the disciple makers that accompany us as we visit the homes. I take comfort knowing that all the concerns I had will be addressed by the disciple makers. They will be the ones following up with the villagers, caring for them and helping them grow in a sincere and true faith. To allude to the parable of the sower, all we are doing is throwing out the seeds of the gospel because for whatever reason the Ethiopian people are more receptive to Americans. We are just seed sowers and while it is a very important role, anyone who has ever tried growing a plant from a seed knows that it is also the easiest job. It is Mesfin and his team of disciplemakers that do all the hard work to ensure that those seeds are firmly rooted in good soil so that they do not wither away but instead grow up to be fruit bearing believers. They truly are the ones that God is working through.

 
Before the trip, my prayer requests focused on our team and the people we would be sharing with. And after day one in the homes, I am completely aware of how misinformed and self centered I was in this request. While I am not going to say to stop praying for us, I do ask that you shift your focus in your prayers to praying for both the people of Ethiopia AND the disciple makers. Pray that God would keep the disciple makers safe and that God would grant them the perserverance to effectively and lovingly minisister to these new believers in the years to come. And when this trip is over for us, please remember that the people who came to Christ on this trip are more than numbers we report back and that they need your prayers more than ever as they begin their new walk with God. Thank you all for support and for your continued support of the disciple makers and people of Ethiopia!

5 thoughts on “Not a Cheesy Christian Movie

  1. I don’t really like “cheesy Christian movies” either but I do like the work God is doing through you and the team that you’re with. Yes, we will continue to pray for the much needed care of the seeds that you planted especially the disciple makers as they truly disciple the new converts and encourage the believers. And may you be encouraged that the kingdom is enlarged because you answered the same call God gave to Isaiah when asked “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”. And Isaiah (and you said), “Here am I . Send me!” May God continued to be glorified as the gospel goes forth!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt, I appreciate your honesty and the stories of the work God is already doing there. Thanks for reminding us that it is so important to pray for these people and those who disciple them, especially after your team leaves. Can’t wait to hear more! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a heart felt message. I will be praying for all of you. Praying also for all the Ethiopian people and the Disciple Markers.
    God Bless
    Cindy Hayes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 10)

    Matt,
    I love the down-to-earth honesty in your writing. I love too that you realized quickly that we are not all that important in the story of salvation except as objects of God’s grace and tools in His hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Matt I am thankful that you are there throwing out the seeds of the gospel and I am praying that the hearts are receptive and will grow to be mature fruit-bearing Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

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