Monday, June 27, 2011

Visit to a Bush Church...

So last week Jim & Kathy Radcliffe invited us to go to a bush church with them on Sunday morning.  This is something that a lot of the missionaries and visitors at Kudjip do on a regular basis and there are plenty in the surrounding area to choose from.  The key is that if you visit a bush church you are expected to share something, if not deliver the morning sermon.  It had been a busy Saturday with Lexi's birthday party at the Highlander Hotel in Mt. Hagen (about an hour away) and the kids were off kilter from lack of naps and excess sugar & sunshine, but we decided that since the Radcliffes and the Deuels were going there would be enough kid backup help.

On Sunday morning we met at 8:30 to head to Banz, about 20-30 minutes away.  Kathy led us in practicing "At Calvary" the song that we would be singing in Pidgin as a group special and asked which of us were going to be sharing a testimony.  Karla Deuel and Joani were the volunteers and we learned that we would share during the sermon that Jim Radcliffe would be bringing.  All the arrangements had been made in time for us to focus on finding the driveway past the EBC church that had a wooden bridge.  Lest you imagine a carefully engineered structure built to withstand 200 times the weight it would ever be called upon to reality there were two logs across the ditch with half-split logs laying across them.  We made it up the driveway and arrived only a few minutes late to the meeting at the house church of Mr. Baru and his wife Sr. Christina.

Mr. Baru is the Health Administrator at the hospital and Sr. Christina is a nursing supervisor.  They had been feeling the call to start a home church for quite some time and 10 weeks ago it was launched.  The church has already grown to around 60 and has been seeing many people come into the Kingdom.  They are reaching people from drug lifestyles and broken homes and introducing them to life in Christ. 

The service went well.  It was a morning of "God-Incidences" with the songs and message and testimonies flowing together seamlessly.  I had to give Jim a bad time because he used all of the verses I had in my testimony in his sermon!  The kids were a little restless, but the Spirit was sweet and when Jim closed with an alter call some 10 people went forward.  We were basking in the beautiful morning sun, visiting with the church members and gathering at the van when we were asked if some of us would be willing to pray with some people.  They also let us know that they had some fruit and vegetables from their gardens that they wanted to give us so we loaded up heaps of oranges, tangerines, guava, passion fruit, cucumbers, peppers, pineapple, bananas, papaya & even a watermelon.  Everyone had a snack and before long we were on our way. 

Once we were in the car we heard the rest of the story from Jim..."we had a private time of special prayer and counseling for two couples who had come from Catholic background who wanted to really turn their lives and families over to God. They had wanted to pray but did not feel comfortable with coming forward in the evangelical tradition. It was a special time as they prayed to receive Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior."  WOO-HOOO!  There is a party going on in Heaven tonight! 

I was tired, the kids were tired, there was screaming and complaining and whining and crying, but knowing that 4 lives were forever changed made it all worth while!  This was most definitely a blog worthy day.  Thank you all...for making this adventure possible.
The Choir!

It is actually an "under" house church!

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