Sunday, September 8, 2013

in our own backyard

A riotous crowd shouts loudly in a Filipino language, and it sounds like it’s right outside our window.   It makes me smile.  The shouting is from the The Jesus Film translated into *Mara, a local language with just over a million speakers.  The Mara received the New Testament in their own tongue in 1981, yet there are still under 100 known followers of Jesus.   

Our temporary neighbor, who lives practically in our backyard, has worked in their region as a nurse for the past 28 years, seeing little fruit, but tirelessly demonstrating love and sharing Jesus with them.  As I write, she’s graciously hosting a family of three Mara in her tiny 2-bedroom apartment for several days.  And tonight she’s entertaining them with one of the only movies in their own language: The Jesus Film.

our 'backyard neighbor's' front door - literally inches from our bedroom window
That’s why I smile.  I know that it would be highly unlikely for this family to pick up one of those Mara New Testaments to read.  But they are willing to watch the Gospel portrayed on film; the book of Luke telling the story of Jesus, who speaks authoritatively in Mara, their heart language.  

I may not be thrilled that some sinful man was cast to portray Jesus.  But I’m delighted that people who might not hear the Word of God in any other way are hearing it tonight.  Right in our own backyard.
That’s not the end:  Two days after writing this story, my neighbor told me that she had asked the Mara couple what they would do with this information about who Jesus is.  And to her surprise, both the husband and wife agreed that they wanted to pray and become followers of Jesus.   

Which they did that very night, in our own back yard.  
Shh…can you hear the angels rejoicing?

*Real name not used for sensitivity reasons


Judy said...

Exciting! Great news to hear!

Rosalie said...