||The full moon cast its light upon the bamboo, rain
trees, and fan palms. Their dark shadows covered the thatched mud-house
on whose porch had gathered a small ensemble of foreigners and locals.
They spoke in hushed tones, as though they were honoring the stillness
of the night. A runner was dispatched from the porch of the house, and
shortly a slow but steady stream of shadowy figures began to gather.
The foreigners, their fair skin reflecting
|the light of the solitary lantern, sat silently while
watching the throng gather. A word spoken, a little louder than the
hushed murmurs, a nod to a local, and then the word "Begin" came from
the lips of the national sitting next to the foreigner man. The
foreigner in the broad-brimmed hat turned to the crowd....
No, the paragraph
above is not from the script of a soon-to-be-released adventure movie.
Its a part of the great adventure of serving Jesus Christ! After I
preached to the crowd of about seventy-five persons, I led them in the
sinners prayer. I then asked how many had invited Jesus into their
lives, and the village leader stood up and confessed Christ! The people
then pressed forward, and we counted fifty-eight people who had
indicated they had received Jesus that night! Sharing the gospel in
Bangladesh was unique for me in many ways, and I want to share with you
what the Lord showed me on this mission.
Your Household." Acts 16:31
|This verse was demonstrated vividly time and time
again. In the West it is hard for us to understand this verse which
says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you
and your household." Westerners are very individualistic, while
the people of the East tend toward conformity. Furthermore, the people
of the East are patriarchal in their family units, even extending this
to not changing farming methods out of respect for their ancestors. God
used this characteristic to bring whole families and villages to Christ
Bangladeshi Christian worship music is very
energetic and rhythmic, and very different from anything western
Christians have experienced
|We were permitted to share the gospel with families so
long as the patriarch or eldest son was present. If the patriarch or
eldest son received Christ, the others were free to do so, however, if
they did not, no one was permitted to respond to Christ. In almost
every encounter, the patriarch or eldest son received Christ! The same
held true for the village leaders and their villagers. My four-person
team was assigned to a frontier (church-less or pastor-less) district
and saw 418 Hindus, tribals, and Muslims pray to receive Jesus as their
only Lord and Savior. The entire crusade, led by ten Americans and
seven Filipinos, saw 1,636 men, women, boys, and girls receive eternal
life through Jesus Christ.
What's the Trick?
That is one question
people have asked me since my return, "What's the trick to reaching
Muslims and Hindus?" What I learned are these things (listen
carefully): God must have touched their hearts in advanced, they must
hear the gospel, they must receive Jesus. In other words, they are no
different than any other lost person, they just have a different set of
objections. Unless the three things I described happen, none of them
will be saved, but because all three can happen, any of them can be
saved. I have accepted the invitation by International Crusades to
coordinate and lead the next Bangladesh crusade, which will be in fall
of 1997. It will be a privilege and honor to work with our Southern
Baptist missionaries and the Bangladesh Baptist Fellowship.
shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overpower it." John 1:5