1st 2 Dao Believers!

"If the God of life is in fact with you, carrying you as a newborn lamb, you will be fearless in any suffering...If God pledges His absolute fidelity to you, if indestructible love will see you through to a good end, then you are able to walk a very hard road...If you listen you will endure. If you listen you will fight the good fight in the most terrible of wars. If you listen you will know that you need to be rescued. You will know that you need to be carried into the battle, and carried through the battle, and finally carried from the battlefield. If you listen, you will live." - David Powlison

God Has Carried Us Every Step Of The Way

As our two translation helpers Daapoi and Wikipai were hearing about the torture and death of Jesus Christ this last week they were astounded at what Christ went through. "The words that you are telling me make my heart hurt, this is a talk that would make us cry. Jesus could have easily fled from those men or killed them all by merely speaking, but he did not." - Daapoi responded as he was hearing that Jesus had been beaten, whipped and then nailed to a cross. As the lesson went on and they heard up through the death and then burial of Jesus Christ and why he had refused to fight back but instead died a willing death on the cross for our wrong doings, they were both very quiet and I could tell that they were thinking hard over what they were hearing. They were realizing that Jesus had died on our behalf just as the lambs had been sacrificed over and over again throughout all the stories they had heard from the Old Testament.

As we came to the part of the story after Jesus had died where three days later the tomb was found empty and the angel announced that just as Jesus had promised, He had risen again from death, Wikipai could not help but laugh with joy at what he was hearing! "Only the Son of God could do something like that! Only Jesus could come back from death! Is there anything at all that He is unable to do?! I don't think so!" . We continued on hearing through how Jesus appeared again to his disciples and walked the earth another 40 days to prove he had conquered sin and death itself. These two Dao men were soaking it all in with smiles on their faces as they were hearing that Jesus had come out victorious! I began to question them to make sure that they understood what they were hearing. Daapoi was the first to respond.

"If it were not for Jesus, our sins would have never been cleared away, if Jesus had not become the Lamb of God, sacrificed for us, we would have faced eternal punishment! I believe that this message is true, I believe that He died for me!" . You could see the joy on Daapoi’s face as he was realizing for the first time that his past had been forgiven and that because of what Christ had done, he was now part of God's family and would spend eternity with Him some day.

At this point Wikipai chimed in "If His sacrifice would not have been enough, God would have never raised him from the dead, if Jesus sacrifice had not been enough then the curtain in God's temple would have never been ripped in half to show us that we could now come into God's presence. I also believe that Jesus death on the cross was for my sins and that His sacrifice was sufficient!"

As we closed the teaching that day by hearing that Jesus had given one last command to "Go into all the world and share God's message with all the others that had not yet heard" and that He then ascended back to heaven to be with His father they got that much more excited and kept on getting up and trying to act out what they were hearing about Jesus ascending back into the heavens. The last verse that we covered was Acts 1:10-11 where the angels asked the disciples "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, whom you saw taken up into heaven will come back in the same way you saw Him go!" At the moment they heard these verses they immediately began asking me "When will he come back? Will he come back today? Tomorrow? Will he come back quickly?" to which I responded that He will come back when there has been people that have believed from every language and group of people and every body that He has called to believe has heard His message. They then said, "Well then we have to tell the others! We have to tell our families! We have to tell the Kupekuye clans and the Mokotaka clans! We have to tell the Taomi clans too so that Christ will come back! We have to tell them His message!"

So this is the plan! Seeing as how the Bible lessons and scriptures needed to teach have at this point all been completed, we will leave the Dao on Monday for approximately two weeks for an NTM field conference and then come back in to continue teaching. Lord willing, on approximately June 11th, we will together with Wikipai and Daapoi begin teaching our first Dao village so that their wives and families can also have the opportunity to place their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Please pray for these two men as they talk to their families about what they have heard over the past few months and please pray that as God continues working on theirs and their families hearts, that He will grant their families and the other Dao people repentance as they hear His Word, just as He has to these very first two Dao believers- Wikipai & Daapoi. Thank you for your prayers for us and also for the Dao people! God has been faithfully carrying us through and been daily giving us the strength to see His Word brought to the Dao people and we are excited to see the awesome things that He will continue to do in the Dao peoples hearts in the future.
Because He said "GO!" - Scott & Jennie Phillips - Luke 9:60/17:10