Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prima Church Update - Stoned, and THEN...

Gathered for worship at Prima Village
On July 1st, all the Nazarene churches were invited to meet at Prima Church to worship God and also to bring an offering that could be used to help the church construct a better church building. It is basically just a tin roof held up with bamboo right now. There were some drunk guys who were nearby trying to disrupt the service. They were constantly calling out. Pastor Gideon and Kami were on guard the whole evening! Then, after the sermon when the altar call was being given, someone from outside the worship area, threw some rocks toward the church - four in all. The speaker and the worship leader were both hit in the leg. The area where we were meeting was quite crowded, and we are thankful that no one was seriously injured. Also, the stones didn't hit the church's tin roof which would have made a lot of noise and caused everyone to be very alarmed. Most of the people didn't even know at the time that the stones were thrown. Pastor Peter went forward and began to pray in a very strong voice against the principalities and powers of the darkness and that the people who threw the stones would be convicted in their hearts. Holding the stones that were thrown, Pastor Gideon, Prima Church's pastor, closed the service by asking for prayer for the young men that threw them. He has endured much persecution as the pastor of this church. But, he has been faithful to continue to humbly lead the church and reach out to the people of the village. Thank you for praying for Pastor Gideon, his congregation, and the village at Prima.

Second ladies meeting at Prima.
L to R: Pastor Jenny Isaac, Rehab, and Naoia (yellow dress).
Three days later, Sylvia was scheduled to share at the first women’s ministry gathering at Prima Church. When she got to Prima, none of the ladies were ready. Most of them were just coming back from “swimming” (bathing) in the river. Kami, who has been a Christian now for about a year, sat and chatted with her and told her that the ladies would be meeting at the home of someone from the other side of the village. The other side of the village is under a different chief and he is very antagonistic toward the church. He has rejected all attempts that Pastor Gideon has made to reach out.

This was such a surprise after the service on Sunday!  God is answering prayer for this village and how exciting that Sylvia could be part of the first gathering on "the other side!" After everyone had gathered, there were about 15 ladies, 4 men, and lots of kids. Sylvia could tell that many of the ladies were not from any church as they did not sing along with the familiar choruses as the meeting began. Pastor Gideon’s wife, Aline, shared a testimony, and then Kami's wife, Naoia, gave a testimony in her own language. Sylvia could tell she was talking about how she came to know Jesus and the difference that it made in her life. Then it was Sylvia's turn!

Church of the Nazarene Articles of Faith Study Map
by Stephane Tibi, copyright 2008.

Sylvia began, "I've experienced new life like Naoia has been talking about!"  Then she shared her testimony of how Jesus took away her fears and gave her life.  After that she shared from the "Articles of Faith study map" and explained through pictures how they could receive forgiveness and new life too. The Articles of Faith picture guide was developed to help people understand what the Church of the Nazarene believes, but it is also very useful in sharing the plan of salvation. When she finished sharing and asked if any of them wanted to receive the gift of new life, they all raised their hands! She guided them in a prayer of repentance that they repeated after her. When we were shaking hands and greeting each other, all of them had such lovely smiles which was a big change from how they looked when they first arrived. Later she learned that the ladies stayed until dark talking with Naoia who clarified in their own language the things that they had heard.

New Testament in the language of the
Southwest Tannese people

Wycliffe missionaries, Ken and Mendy Nerhbass, just completed the translation of the New Testament in the language of these particular people who are from the southwest part of the island of Tanna. They now have a printed New Testament and recorded reading of the entire NT in their own language. Many of the ladies who met with Sylvia never learned to read, so an audio Bible would be a great blessing to them, especially in their own heart language! If you would like to assist us in getting audio Bibles and written Bibles for these people at Prima, please contact us!

"...my word that goes out from my mouth...will not return to me empty..."

Isaiah 55:11, NIV

"[It] is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,

it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, NIV

1 comment:

  1. David, Sylvia,
    I was touched and honored to read how the StudyMap on the articles of faith was used in Vanuatu. I was wondering if you would like that I integrate the translation you made on the website (studymaps.org) with the name of the language.
    May the Lord continue to bless your ministry

    Yours in the Messiah
    St├ęphane Tibi