Tabernacle Baptist Church
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Purple Team Report
Cary Roth, Matthew Early, & Brittanie Creamer
In the New Testament, Paul the Apostle began his letters to the churches with a greeting and a charge. In a similar way, we wish to report to you.
Patrick Alred, Amelia Cronin, and Rodger Hassler sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead, to Tabernacle Baptist Church, Cartersville, GA. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God the Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Church, you sent us through prayer and finances to travel to the Lozi people of Sesheke, Zambia, Africa, traveling through London, England, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Livingstone, Zambia. We had the mission to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by our verbal testimony of the way he removed our sin personally through the life, death, burial and resurrection of the Lord. We met our host missionaries, Daniel and Sky Scott, who have a mission to reach the Lozi people group, where they live "in the bush", on the bank of the Zambezi River, about sixty miles north of Sesheke.
We spent six days walking four to ten miles per day while prayer walking, and engaging people as God drew us together. We knew after the first day when we were prayer walking only, that it seemed as if we were in a spiritually dark place. We placed our faith in the Lord and asked him to break down the walls of darkness and shine his light. Indeed he did just that. We have never experienced from people, such a hunger to know God and hear what we had to say. God used our novelty of being white in an all black culture to draw their attention, but delivered his message by the Holy Spirit. Many knew Jesus by name and even stories about him, but somehow had missed the truth of needing to accept him personally and making him king of their life. The Holy Spirit gave us many divine appointments to reveal himself to men and women. Some people were changed, ready to follow Christ, while others were exposed to the truth about their sin and need to accept the gift of salvation, and will no doubt continue to move toward a relationship with him as he works in their life.
Some of the results of this movement of God were eleven new professions of faith in Christ, and several others choosing to follow the path of discipleship in order to introduce friends and family to Jesus as well. Some were instrumental in immediate discipleship by introducing us to people we may have never crossed paths with otherwise. They were able to experience the Holy Spirit at work, not only in our lives, but in their own as they learned to share Jesus with others. Other results were revelations in our own lives. In witnessing to a woman who had been selling herself and stealing to support herself, God showed us how our selfish decisions to follow our own plans, and deciding what we wanted instead of pursuing his perfect will, was disobedience. God changed us in the same manner he changed those we were reaching for his cause.
God was working in the lives of those on the field, but was also working in us. Daniel Scott made a comment at Tabernacle in October, and the same on the first day we were there: "Sometimes I am not sure if God sent me to the mission field to change the people or to change me." We did not understand or really believe that statement until the end of the week. God taught us that living for ourselves and depending on ourselves to get through life is not the plan he has for us as followers of him. What a relief to walk away from this trip surrendered and changed. We also saw the power of prayer with faith to change things and for the Holy Spirit to do his part. We must fulfill our part by supplying the words, and the faith. God moved this week in incredible ways because his church was fervent in prayer. Certainly he has changed us and will allow that change to change our world here as well.
We praise God for all he has done in the lives of the Lozi people and for the foundation that has been laid in Sesheke. Through your faithful prayer and acceptable sacrifices, pleasing to God, a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit was ignited in the hearts of key individuals. However, the mission of sharing Christ is never complete. The work is not finished. Jesus said, “The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…” (MATTHEW 9:37). May we not let this be the story of Tabernacle Baptist Church’s view on missions. You have been sensitive to his calling on you lives to sacrifice and give through prayer and financial support, and for that you will be blessed. We thank you for that and ask now, could it be that He is calling you to give of your time as well? Could you be called to go into the mission field and preach the gospel, teaching others about Jesus? Christ said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth” (ACTS 1:8). Cartersville is our Jerusalem, Bartow, Georgia, and U.S.A. refer to our Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth are just that. Where is God calling you to go?
Finally, as Paul would say, To Our God and Father be the glory forever and ever Amen.