Personal note: I have been really busy with projects and travel so I have not been very involved in blogging lately. Tomorrow I will go to the West for two weeks of training. Arwen and the kids will remain here in Gondor so we appreciate your prayers. I will be pretty much off-line until I return.
Last week I traveled up to Andros to celebrate the completion of the project there. It was an exhausting but very rewarding journey. Halbarad and his wife were already up in Andros finishing the project when I grabbed his driver, Sam, and my daughter Luthien and we headed up over the twelve thousand foot pass and into the Cair Andros valley. It took us seven hours. After arriving we went and talked with the Emergency Services Director. We ended up spending the evening talking. Finally, I went to bed but not for long as we were back up at dawn and out to the village to for the end of project celebration. I did an interview with the Governor of the area for the local TV station. After all the big wigs left we got to sit with the villagers and I let Sam make a speech in the local dialect which he knew. We then went back into town to be shown around the area looking at potential projects.
That afternoon we met with some Christian workers from another organization. They detailed the difficult situation in Andros. Most of the male leadership of the three or four local groups have renounced Christ. One of the more important leaders gave into heavy persecution and now he has a commercial on the local tv station detailing how he became a Christian and is now a Muslim again. The local mullah interviews him and makes the point that foreigners should be avoided and there is nothing to this whole following Jesus thing. That's tough ground to plow in.
We went back out to the Emergency Services guy and spent the evening with him again. His leg is injured- possibly a pinched nerve- and he went to see the Mullah for their folk medicinal mumbo jumbo. We prayed for him but the Lord spoke quite clearly and said that He would not heal him at this time. Not the same day the Mullah did his thing. Luthien got a marriage proposal. It seems that the Emergency Services guy's wife thought she would be perfect for her son. She isn't, but she was flattered. Sam then proclaimed Christ in a very bold and direct manner for about 15 minutes. Halbarad's driver then gave his testimony, then I gave mine. We talked alot and the Emergency Services guy is very interested. We will keep praying for him.
I talked to Sam afterwards and ask him about his direct Gospel presentation. I told him that the content was great but didn't we have an indirect method that we used? He said, "I know, I talk about this all the time with Frodo and Merry but honestly sometimes I just can't keep quiet any longer!" Ok. I am always happy to hear the men of Gondor proclaim the Gospel in their own language. That makes my day everyday.
It rained that night in the mountains and the road was washed out over the pass. They are constructing a five kilometer tunnel and we tried to go through that but that road was washed out as well. We waited for about five hours and when they finally let us through the tunnel had almost three feet of rushing water through it. It was a remarkable journey. After 13 hours on the road we made it home.
Here is the thing I would like to point out. Halbarad is learning and growing in his role as an apostle to the Cair Andros valley. In a very short time he has learned the valley, the people, the language, how to run projects, and how to share his faith effectively. He is not a pastor. He is not a teacher. He is not an evangelist. He is not a prophet. He does not operate in any of these giftings at all. He is an apostle- and a very good one. He delights in breaking barriers and bringing hope to those in utter darkness. I am proud to work with him. I am honored to be a part of sending him and enabling him there. This too is an apostolic role. It is not for everyone, and it is not for so-called super Christians. It is for those whom the King calls and gifts to do it. I pray that you will be about your calling today. For the sake of the lost, and for the glory of God.