Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)
- TITLE: A Difficult Day
By Cheryl Flatt
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Zomba was set high on the mountain comfortably nestled into the hillside. An African pastor from a neighboring village had chosen Zomba for an afternoon crusade. Pastor Surtee believed that the darkness there could be pieced with the light of the gospel. A month ago he had shared his burden for the village of Zomba with the ministry Maggie worked for. It had taken weeks to pull together the small team of African pastors and lady teachers who were willing to do the crusade meeting. Much prayer had gone into this day. Maggie could only wonder what it would have been like without the blanket of protection from the Lord. Then she remembered that the day wasn’t over yet. It would be hours before the little pickup truck she was riding in would be able to work its way down off the mountain. The rain had turned all the fine dust that was part of the dry season in Malawi into a dangerously slippery mud. The first rain of the rainy season was not the day you wanted to be coming off the mountain in a small pickup truck with tires as bald as a baby’s newborn head. But since she couldn’t stop the rain, Maggie let her thoughts drift back over the day.
The day had begun with the first light of dawn. After breakfast the pastors and ladies had slowly begun to trickle onto the ministry compound. Once the mini-van and pickup truck arrived, they began to pack up the need supplies and materials. The pickup was loaded with the sound equipment, a small generator that would provide the needed electricity, the large speakers, and the big piece of plywood that would make the “stage” on the back of the pickup.
The trip up the mountain had been long, but it had gone smoothly. The pastors found a spot that they liked in the center of the village of Zomba, but the elders wouldn’t let them set up there. Instead, Maggie had watched the frustration build as the pastors were forced to set up their truck’s stage in the small cramped area right off the dusty road. Once the music began to play over speakers the people in the village began to gather around the truck glad for the break in their daily routines. But when Pastor Surtee climbed into the truck bed to share his testimony the men in the crowd began to heckle him
When the preaching was ready to begin, Maggie and the other ladies took the children off to the side. What happened next still amazed Maggie. The older boys mimicked everything that was said. They pushed the smaller children out of the way and physically began to bump into the teachers. After 30 minutes of this physical and spiritual pressure Maggie actually had felt battle weary. When they decide to hand out the colorful cartoon tracts the older boys began to greedily grab them all. Maggie was hopeful that the tracts would carry the gospel message to these angry boys.
As the team packed the truck up the heckling increased. The tension all around the ministry team was thick and heavy. It was with a sigh of relief that Maggie settled into the passenger seat of the truck, but the relief turned to panic as the villagers surrounded the two vehicles and began shaking their fists at them and chanting. Slowly, the truck took the lead and began moving inch by inch. Suddenly tiny pieces of white paper began to rain down upon them. It took several seconds for it to register in Maggie’s mind-the tracts. Those boys had taken all those new tracts and torn them into tiny little pieces. Maggie’s heart sunk.
With a sigh Maggie came back to the present and realized that they were off the mountain road. The ministry’s compound was just around the corner. Maggie couldn’t help but wonder if the day had any eternal value to it. Although she didn’t know the answer, she knew the power of the God she served. She would simply have to trust Him with the results.
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