Saturday, April 7, 2012

Power of an Invitation at Black Sand Nazarene Church

Samuel, Ruth, and Roline - Makfin's oldest kids - became church members at Black Sand Church in February

Janet leading the children's Sunday School in a Palm Sunday drama
 One of our ministry responsibilities since early 2007 has been to shepherd the flock at Black Sand Nazarene Church.  The church has had its ups and downs.  Black Sand community has many, many people who are not following Jesus.  We sense that Satan has a strong hold over many of those people.  It was at this church that Pastor Gideon began to explore God's call to be a pastor.  He is now the pastor at Prima Nazarene Church a few kilometers down the road and serves as the district NYI leader.

When we returned from home assignment last October, the attendance at Black Sand Church was at an all-time low.  The congregation had experienced some huge set-backs including the death of little Maowe and some other family issues.  There are several very faithful women who have helped to hold the congregation together - Maowe's mother, Janet, and Makfin, a sweet mother of 4 school-aged children - both women are on the church board. David consulted the church board recently and asked them what they thought might help the church to grow.  They suggested having a meal together as a church family each Sunday and then to go to someone in the community and encourage them by praying for them.

The first lady we visited, Mary Ellen, was in church the very next Sunday, and seems eager to take part in the other activities on Sunday.  The next lady we planned to visit, came to worship with us the day we were planning to visit her!  Emma is bringing her children to Sunday School and even helping her daughter learn the memory verses each week!  The next week we went across the road to Natu and Albert's house.  Many other people sat down with us that afternoon.  This last Wednesday at our Bible study, Natu asked me to pray for the other people who live in her "yard" (group of homes) and for Albert to come to know Jesus!  It is always amazing to me how powerful an invitation is, especially when it is made with sincere love.  By the way, as the congregation is growing, the Sunday meal is growing too!  Please pray for these new folks that God will use them to draw others to Jesus and that all of our church members will grow in confidence in sharing Jesus and invitations.

"The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 
'We have found the Messiah' ...  And he brought him to Jesus."
John 1:41-42, NIV

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