sábado, 12 de novembro de 2011
PREACHING BAREFOOT In Southern Asia
I preached in the comfort of bare feet this morning.At the end of the message,21 adults,most of whom were hearing the story of Jesus for the first time,accepted Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.
The second-story rented room where we had the service would have held less than half the 300 people who crowded into it if chairs or pews were used.Thank-fully,no such space-wasters are needed here.Everyone sits on the floor.
The believers in the crowd spent the major part of the service singing ,dancing and praising God.The room got downright hot,so it was nice to let my feet breathe.However,if it had been the dead of winter,most folks still would have been barefoot.
People here,especially those from smaller villages and all the older people,have leather-looking feet.The soles resemble a beaver's tail,and their toes appear to be carved from wood.Toenails look as if they were hammered into place by a blacksmith.
Most villages can be reached only by several days' walking.I don't mean walking like strolling in the park.I mean walking straight up and straight down.The mountains in this nation have the world's sharpest degree of incline.Feet like those of a mountain goat are needed to get around.
I haven't worn socks for several months because of the heat and the monsoon,a soaking rain that lasts about four months.Last monsoon I thought I would overcome nature with a good pair of waterproof boots.Hip boots would have worked in most situations,but not all.And what a pain it was to take them on and off every time I entered a house!
This year I am cool.My foot gear is a simple pair of leather shoes or flit-flops with no socks.However,this has exposed my feet to the all-knowing eyes of the foot readers.One glance at my feet and they know I could last only a few hours on a trail,with or without waterproof boots.
But soon they decide I have beautiful feet.When I arrive in the area preach,word gets around that a foreigner has come to tell stories about his God .A crowd gathers.
The old men look at me with skepticism but not a hint of contempt.You see,they are searching.Deeply religious,they are doing all they can to find God with the little knowledge they have of Him .A four-wheel drive jeep or a white man with a formal education does not dazzle these leather-faced and leather-footed seekers.They are seeking truth.Their hearts have an emptiness that rituals cannot fill,so they are willing to give me a listen.But I had better be good!
The service gets under way as the advance force of Christian soldiers start to sing.A drum keeps the beat,but the raised hands and enraptured faces of the believers tell the story that the tune struggles to carry.After a few announcements,I hear the words that I have come to love since God called me to join Him in what He's doing here:'Please come,Brother.'
I make my way to the front as quickly as I can.As I face the congregation,I sense a serge of the anointing.The old guys sense something too.Our eyes lock.I state boldly,The presence of God is here!Everyone can know God.The relationship with God that you seek is possible through Jesus,God's Son!'
Now they lean forward,listening.Through the power of the Holy Spirit,my words touch their hearts.The Scripture verses I use vary,but the message is always the same.I prove that Jesus is the Way,the Truth and the Life by describing His hands-and His feet!
I can see their countenance change when they understand.Their skepticism turns to utter amazement.Their expressions cleauly say,' This man is telling the turns to utter amazement.Their expressions clearly say,;This man is telling the truth!Only God could use a man with feet that to spread the message of His Son to everyone!'
I would rather preach in this nation that eat when I'm hungry,or live in comfort,or be with my family at Christmas.I truly believe that god has a special anointing reserved for preaching to those who have never heard the name of Jesus .Perhaps there's a little extra for preaching barefoot.
A missionary to Southern Asia supplied this story.