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Africa Inland Mission
June 4, 2017 8:41 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

One of my “mentors” in ministry was Jushua (Joshua – I wrote about him before at the beginning of 2017). He was pastor of a district about 30 miles from the mission station and whenever I had to go there for primary school maintenance or supervision he always was there to welcome me. No matter what the issue, his quiet and calm spirit pervaded every discussion; his spiritual insights and counsel were the foundation of every decision.
Even in church work, when he preached, he always used illustrations from life to underline his main thrust. I can remember vividly one of these as he challenged those listening to walk uprightly before the Lord God. His illustration went thus:
“The dry season wind blew well into the normal rainy season. Everyone in the village was in great difficulty because of the scarcity of water. Women, whose job it was, had to leave early in the morning to collect water from the ponds before the cattle arrived to muddy things up.
“A man went into the bush to gather firewood. In the distance he saw a tree with green leaves and, when he came closer, noticed that there was some green grass at the base of the tree. He started digging and soon water started seeping into the hole. He enlarged the hole, water trickled in and soon it was filled with water. In the nearby bushes, he cut some thorn branches and used them to protect and cover his new water supply. When he returned to the village he told no one about it, not even his wife. He just told her that from here on he would get water for their use.
“While it was early in the morning, while the hyenas were still howling, he would get up and go to his “private spring” and would then creep back into the village and hide the water in his house. Throughout the day, he and his family had sufficient water while the rest of the village suffered.”
The pastor paused and asked,
“What do you think will happen to the man when the rest of the village finds out about this?”
All the hearers started to say what would customarily follow – ostracism, forced departure from the village, burning down his house, even possible death through witchcraft – the pastor had made his point.
He emphasized that those who know Christ have the message of Life that is desperately needed by others. They must always be ready to share the knowledge of the source of Eternal Life and of Salvation in Christ. He warned them that if they did not share and make the message available to all, their very testimony and life could lose credibility and the Word of God could be brought into disrepute.
To us who name the name of Christ, we need to always keep this in mind. Jesus said, “You are my witnesses… .” Our Lord has “chosen us” and “ordained us” that we should be an example of real Christian living and testimony and so draw other peoples’ focus to our Saviour; to the “Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” May we be faithful in living and in witness and thus be God’s voice to others that they, through us, may find the Saviour.

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