Petro (Peter) – Isolation but Faithful

Petro wasn’t a very distinguished man – I mean distinguished in the sense of being from an important tribal family or having connections in the tribe. His background was just as a farmer; he took his family away from a settled area and went to “cut down the forest” – to clear land where he could have a larger farm, plant crops and provide well for his family.
The area where he settled was far distant from regular church fellowships. He and his wife were believers and early on he determined that wherever he settled he would start a church and try to teach God’s Word to others who were in that same area. The family moved out across the swamps, to fertile land on the other side and there he went to work. He grew cotton, rice and maize (corn). He was never rich but was able to send his children through secondary school and see them well established
Soon a church was established. Several families regularly attended and a number accepted the Lord as Saviour. As more and more families moved into the area, and children needed regular education, he got the African church to build a primary school close to where he had his church.
It was to that same general area that Carol and I were sent by the Mission to open up a new mission station. Though where the station was finally located was on “this” side of the wide swamp, Petro faithfully came over, rain or shine, to help me in general church administration and leadership. When his old dilapidated bicycle finally broke down, we were able to help him get a new one which he used for all his church activities. He often accompanied me in evangelistic outreach.
We were moved to Kenya and an African pastor was sent by the church to care for that area. Petro continued to be one of the main leaders in ministry matters. His family had grown up. He even now had grandchildren. Then I heard he had applied to go to Bible College. To sit in classes with men much younger than him! To perform in studies which normally required one have a secondary school education! And Petro had only studied through the 4th grade!
But he triumphed. Though Greek and Hebrew studies were not forced on him, he was able to graduate. The church, as it does to almost all graduates, assigned him a ministry post – back home where he had begun a church many years before. In spite of advancing years and increasing physical difficulties, he faithfully kept ministering. The church grew and became stronger.
The Lord recently took him home. I am sure there was a “Well done, good and faithful servant” welcome for him.

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