We Are The Same

 

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I made a promise.  It took a year to fulfill it.  Our sending Church visited us the summer of 2014.  Our focus was sharing Christ through the Jesus Film to the Akyode Communities.  The following day we would follow up with the community we showed the film in the previous evening.  We divided up into four groups and went out.

My wife, one of the short-term team members, and one of our staff, were one team and met a gentleman in Keri.  He told them that he was not a Christian and did not want to attend a local church but was very interested to study the Bible.  Upon learning this, I (Chris) went to him and inquired if he was serious about his statement.  He assured us that he was very serious.  I promised him that I would come and spend part of a day every week studying the Bible together.  But I told him that I had many other responsibilities at that time and it would be some point in the future before I could begin.

Almost a year to the day of that promise, the Lord allowed me to fulfill it.  I went back to the village with an interpreter (we are still working on the language) and found the man.  I asked him if he was still interested in studying the Bible together.  He was.  And so we began.

We are using a Chronological Bible Study Story called The Story of Hope.  It is very well written, produced, and Gospel focused.  It has 40 studies from Genesis to Revelation.  This man and I connected through the story of Adam & Eve taking and eating the forbidden fruit, rebelling against God and going their own way.  I looked at the man across from me and told him that Adam was his Great, great, great,……great, great-Grand-father…and mine too.

He looked at me with piercing eyes that quickly became watery.  He said, “You and me, we are the same”.  “Yes”, I said.  “No, we are equals”, he said.  “Yes”, I said.  “NOOO!!” he became excited, “we are the same”!  I then asked him to explain further, because I “thought” I knew what same and equal meant and I “thought” I understood what he was telling me.

With eyes fixed upon my eyes he said, “All my life I’ve been taught that the white man is closer to God than the black man.  But you’ve just opened my mind that you (a white man) are no better than me (a black man).  You are not superior to me.  I am not inferior to you as relates to the ability to seek God.  You promised to come here and study the Bible with me not because you are superior, but because we are equals and you care for me.  I am now understanding that I do not need someone close to God for me to connect with God.  You are driving your car, using your petrol (gasoline), for…for me.  Thank you.”

At that moment I saw his defenses let down.  He was ready to receive the study with eyes, mind, and heart open.  The cross is open to all of us.  Salvation is a free gift.  Jesus died once for sin.  You don’t need anyone to go before you to Jesus – the door is open for you to walk through it all by yourself.  You don’t need to wait and clean yourself up first.  He’s ready to receive you in the midst of whatever you are dealing with.

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