Monday, October 1, 2012

Reuben's Story

"I'm not a Christian," Reuben told me (Adam) just one week after becoming our Enga language guide. "I don't go to church, and I like to get drunk," he continued. I was very surprised by his admission, because I had been lead to believe that he was already a believer. After all, his cousin was one of the key Engan leaders driving the Enga Bible translation project. Not only that, but Reuben had come to teach me Enga so that I could help translate the Bible into the Enga language. I was struck with the sudden realization that I now had my first opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with an Engan person. Reuben and I were taking our mid-morning break from language study, and so I took the opportunity to tell Reuben my testimony. "There was a time when I also used to get drunk and when I didn't go to church either," I told Reuben in the trade language of Tok Pisin. "But I felt like I had no meaning or purpose in my life. I didn't like who I was, and I wanted to become a better person. I quickly realized, however, that I didn't have the power to change on my own. But then Jesus Christ came into my life, forgave me of my sins, and helped me to become the person that God wants me to be. Now, I don't have any desire to get drunk, and I like going to church and worshipping God." I continued sharing more of my story with Reuben, and I invited him to the Ukarumpa Tok Pisin church service that Sunday. I also began praying for him and asked our friends, Humberto and Maria, to pray for him too. That Sunday, as soon as I entered the church building, I began looking all over for Reuben. I still hadn't spotted him by the time the service began, but I was pleasantly surprised during the "meet-and-greet" time when I noticed him sitting up front. I walked up to him, greeted him, and asked him to come sit with us. That night he joined me at a Tok Pisin Bible study. I started to begin our daily language learning sessions with a devotional in Tok Pisin and a time of prayer, and Reuben continued coming to church and to the Sunday night Bible study. Reuben shared with me how God was working in his life, and I felt God laying on my heart to ask Reuben if he wanted to ask Jesus Christ to come into his life. One morning in particular, I felt that the time was right. "Reuben," I said. "Would you like to pray and ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sins so that you can have eternal life?" He quietly, but resolutely replied, "Yes," and together we prayed as he received Jesus Christ into his heart. Reuben is different now from when I first met him, and it is evident that Jesus Christ dwells in his heart. He has also become a good friend of the family, and the kids love him (especially Asher, who calls him "Mr. Reuben"). Praise God for what He has done in Reuben's life!

Please Note
We are currently living in Wabag, Enga Province, where we have limited internet access. We are scheduled to complete our six-week visit on October 30, and we hope to give you a full report in November of our time here in Wabag. We may not be able to respond to email or Facebook messages right away, but we will reply as soon as we can. Please pray that God would help us to continue to learn the Enga language, to adapt to life in Wabag, and to begin forming meaningful relationships with the Engan people.