New Covenant Foundation (NCF) takes a group of people every year to visit Ethiopia. Watching and learning are the primary goals of each and every trip. "It's essential to see what God is doing and then we can best join HIm in what He is doing." Mike Stemm, President of NCF is quoted as saying. This past November, NCF's group saw the power of God in the life of several church planters. Four of the church planters and their families came out of the field to share testimonies of what God was doing in and through them.
Diane Samson, one the trip participants, wrote in her journal following one of the church planters testimony to the group:
It was well known about a woman who had been sick for 9 years. The church planter went to this woman. She did not cook, shop, or eat well. He faithfully shared the Good News. She asked, “If I believed in this God, can I be healed?“ He confidently told her yes. She joyously received God. Immediately He took all the idols and their paraphernalia away and burned them; utterly destroying them. The woman experienced complete physical and spiritual healing while many came to know the Lord and a church was planted because of her.
As a believer, several things leap out of those words to me. How about you? What do you notice? Do you see what I see? The woman sick for nine years! I whine about a week long cold. She asked the church planter, "If I believe in this God of the 'Good News' could I be healed?" Can you imagine being asked that question? I sheepishly wonder what I would say. What an example this church planter is to me. Can you just imagine the confident answer he replied to the woman; "YES....Yes....Yes...." wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall to watch this take place? I think I can learn a powerful lesson in what God's evangelist did next. They took her idols and paraphernalia away and burned them. What wisdom from above? I can only imagine the bonfire this created. King Jotham, son of King Uzziah, said yes to God like this sick woman, but he never removed his idols.
“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done. The high places (idols), however were not removed.” 2 Kings 15:34
May we learn a profound truth in this comparison. The sick woman experienced complete physical and spiritual healing. Jotham's people never did. They continued in their corruption (2 Chron. 27:2). I'm encouraged by this woman and the church planter. They took the next step and removed the idols. The result is overwhelming....new believers...a church plant. Perhaps others will come to know the Lord if I would remove my idols.
Please continue to pray for this woman, the church that was started through this work, and the many church planters who shared with Diane and the NCF team.
• 10 churches were planted this last quarter
• 6,312 people heart the Gospel
• 451 received the Lord Jesus and 83 were baptized
• 216 people rededicated their lives to the Lord
May the only true God renew you by His Spirit!