Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gangs

Motorcycle Gangs

Ever heard of Hell’s Angels? The group of motorcyclists who… well, anyway… Heard of them?

Well, we started a little motorcycle gang of our own… with your help… and here’s the story:

We’ve been here for over six years now. Some other missionaries here, mostly Jonathan and Melody Dietrich and Gary and Wendy Roberts and others still, started ‘Bush Churches’ or ‘Branch Sabbath Schools’. On any typical Sabbath morning, we would hop on a motorcycle and drive out to one of the surrounding villages and meet, sometimes under a tree, sometimes under and metal hangar, and tell Bible stories and sing and pray. And a couple of these places now have over 20 baptized members meeting each week and have built churches for their services. And one of these brand new churches is even going to their neighboring villages to have evangelistic meetings!

A few years ago, we were flush with volunteers eager to be involved in this work. We could cover all our bush churches, Delbian, Guissa, Dabgue, Bendele and Broum Toussou. So one Sabbath morning we loaded up our motorcycle and took off to have some church alone as a family. But on the way home, we stopped in the village of Nangere and threw a blanket under a mango tree next to the village foot-pump well. Kids came out in droves, as did a few adults. We told the story of the flood and taught them some songs and prayed together. They asked us to come back and tell more Bible stories the next week. And so we did. And then we started going to more villages.

On a typical Sabbath morning, we could load up the pickup and leave at 7am and go to Nangere (the village), where Olen or Danae would tell the story in French and have it translated into Nangere (the language). Then we would go to Tchible, where maybe Little John would tell the story. Then on to Kassere, where maybe Brya would tell the story. Then perhaps Regis would tell the story in Tchoua. In Guissa Goro it might be Papa’s turn. Then in Moungoulou it could be that Gomde would tell the story. Romuald and Tony and Allah and any number of other people could be along any given Sabbath to tell stories and sing and pray as well. And we could get home as late and 1 or 2pm. It wasn’t always a day of rest, but it was always fun. And the villages probably average 50-100 people each Sabbath, of which 75% are usually children.

In addition to this, these young adults accompanying us to translate and then tell the story in their own language… they ASKED if they could go out and visit with the villages three times during the week as well! Of course we said yes.

Obviously none of these kids could drive a truck, but they learned to drive motorcycles and they would take our two motorcycles out into the villages on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, giving Bible stories each day. This is in addition to their regular school activities and going out with us every Sabbath. And any time one of the kids didn’t have time to go out into the villages during the week, the local villagers would chastise us the next Sabbath. For each kid to prepare and visit a couple villages and spend the time giving a quality Bible lesson, then get back in the dark and go to a home without electricity to study for school… it is hard, but a challenge and a responsibility they gladly welcome.

And now on Sabbath morning, so we could spend more time in each village, we have split up. Two on a motorcycle to Kassere and Tchoua. A couple to Guissa Goro and Moungoulou. And a couple to Nangere and Tchible. And sometimes we mix it up.

We have wanted to split up further and give more in-depth lessons or expand to more villages, but we are out of transport.

Or, should I say, we were…!!!

Until our amazing friends from the New Market campmeeting pitched in and helped us buy three new hogs! (Not pigs, motorcycles!!!)

They aren’t exactly Harleys, but they are great new Honda bikes, perfect for here. The day they were delivered, the young adults took them out for a joyride to test them out. Boy, were they excited!

So maybe we could call them Heaven’s Angels for the time being.

These kids are amazing. I know some worry about sending out people so young to witness, but if they don’t go, who will?!?!?!? To everybody who has questioned this, I ask them to propose another person to go in their place and tell the rudimentary stories in the Bible to entire villages who don’t know who Jesus is, let alone Adam and Eve and Noah and Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph and Moses and David and Daniel and and and… When they don’t have anybody as an alternative, I’m reminded of just how proud I am of these young men and women. What age do you have to be before you can read the stories from the Bible? What education or training do you need? Why should I stop these guys and girls from telling about their Jesus? Come and listen to them passionately tell the story of Salvation. Come and watch the people listening intently. Come and hear the young and old reciting dozens of memory verses despite their illiteracy.

We’ve also handed out literature, GodPods (Google them, they’re awesome!), Bibles, etc, and we will soon be buying bicycles for local evangelists also.

This is really exciting stuff and, at the end of the day, the reason we are here.

But we do need some help coming up with a new name for our motorcycle gang. What do you think? The Hardly Davidsons? Hogs and kisses? Veggie Hogs? What good ones can you come up with?

We hope you are also excited by this, and if you want to join in the effort, come on over and play! If that’s not an option, feel free to go to ahiglobal.org and look for the ‘Donate’ button. It’s tax-deductible and 100% comes to us. Just email them and let them know you are donating to ‘Bere’.

Please pray for the villages hearing the Word for the first time. And please keep these young people in your prayers. Pray they are safe on the roads, pray God gives them the wisdom and the words to speak, and pray for them as they continue their own upward growth toward the Kingdom.

2 comments:

  1. This work is amazing! Amazing! Yes! This is so exciting to hear about!

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