Friday, August 25, 2006

"The Chilean"

Last week, one of the members of our core church planting team who is a security guard told me that one of the residents at the apartment complex where he works was having some problems and wanted to talk to someone about God. Monday, we went to meet "The Chilean" (he's from the country of Chile, and that's what everyone calls him, despite the fact that it sounds a bit ominous out of context).

We sat in his micro-apartment and listened to him pour out his sad story. He had been married for 13 years, and had verbally abused his wife for that entire time. He told us how the least little thing at home or anywhere else would send him into a tirade. She took it for 13 years, and then one day, she walked out and left him with their 9 year old son. Repentant, crushed at his loss and desperately lonely, he was unable to sleep for days at a time. When he would walk past the guard post at the entrance to the apartment complex, he would see Simão reading his Bible. Late one night, he stopped and they began to talk. As a result, he began pouring over the Scriptures, and found that the peace it brought him was the only way that he could sleep. But, he had no way to understand what he was reading (see Romans 10:14), so he asked Simão for help.
On Monday night, an American, a Brazilian, and a Chileno sat together, with Bibles in Spanish and Portuguese, and "the Chileno" accepted Christ.

What a wonderful picture of the power of the Bible to change someone's heart! What a wonderful picture of the simple advice of a layperson to guide someone in the right direction. What a insightful example of the need for people to go to all the peoples of the world to present the plan of salvation to them in a way that is clear and contextual! Please pray for "the chileno" and his son, that the discipleship that will begin with him on Sunday will go well, that he will grow in his faith, and that he will become a faithful, reproducing part of one of our new churches.

1 comment:

Darrell said...

Thanks for the wonderful story.

I am praying for "the Chileno" and his son, and for Simao. I will pray for a total redemption of his family and oikos. I love the fact that it is understood that this is just the beginning with the chileno. The traditional church approach is to have him say a prayer and give him some tracks and hope he keeps coming to church.

I will pray even more that God would bring out of the "wood work" the many just like the chileno, lost, broken, angry, without hope, and without life so their lives can be redeemed.

On a much less important note you used the common term "layperson" in your post. I was wondering if you are still comfortable with this term. I find that I can't use it anymore. I see every believer as "clergy". The difference is some believers are obedient, some are equipped, and some are neither. I see every believer as called by God. I know the "official" doctrine of most churches teaches the priesthood of all believers, yet in practice it denies it. One of the reasons I love the CPM world is because it embraces and counts upon the truth of every believer being supernaturally capable of making disciples and planting churches. This story embodies this beautifully. I pray this manmade distinction disappears because in my opinion it is hindering the spontaneous expansion of God’s Kingdom.

Rock On Brother!