I was feeling particularly worn out one Friday evening. But as my small group met and fellowshipped together during the early Sabbath hours, I began to feel refreshed. Due to COVID-19, our church has split up into groups that meet together several times throughout the week. We meet Wednesday for prayer meeting, Friday evening for vespers, and then Sabbath for church. It has been such a blessing. The groups are small, so there is plenty of time and space for sharing and interacting. Everyone is involved and engaged, and we enjoy studying and fellowshipping together. My group is made up of two families, a single girl named Kildit, and me.
Mindan, her husband Agus and their daughter Lisa live across the creek from the clinic. Mindan is the mom of the group who fusses over us and cooks for us. Lisa helps me with a branch group in a nearby village on Sabbath afternoons. She is 16 years old and attends our Kemantian school.
The other family is Arlin, her husband Mad and their daughter Hedasa. Arlin was one of my language teachers when I first arrived. At that time she was still a teenager and a student at the school, but now she has a family of her own. Mad was baptized a couple of years ago through Arlin’s influence.
Kildit is also a student at our school, coming from a village quite a ways from Kemantian. She has a true missionary spirit. She and I did an outreach group together once, but we had to suspend it due to her school schedule. Several times she expressed interest in starting it again. Now, with COVID-19 and our small groups, we have an opportunity to do so. Sabbath afternoons, Kildit goes to another nearby village and has a study there with a backslidden former member. Some Sabbaths she also spends in her home village where she is trying to start a group. She is faithful and dependable, and when I was gone one Sabbath, she led my group for me.
The group facilitators meet together regularly to share the blessing and struggles we are experiencing within our groups. It was such a blessing to hear the testimonies during the meeting last week. One facilitator, a member in our church across the river, shared how badly more workers are needed. She has more people requesting groups in their villages than she is able to handle. One of the families asking that someone come to teach them lives in a village where the chief is very much against it. However, he is gone on Fridays and Saturdays, so they invited us to feel free to come on those days.
In one of the villages near Kemantian, the group has provided a setting where an older couple who are uncomfortable in a church setting are happy to participate. The groups are providing a way for people to attend who would be too shy to come to church. Another couple who have studied in the past but didn’t commit are attending one of the groups and have decided to be baptized!
Please join us in continuing to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on these groups so that they will keep growing, reaching out and starting new groups in villages where people are still living in darkness.