“I WAS LOST, JESUS RESCUED ME”
We are part way through our travel in Brazil, and praising God for the impact our On-Expedition training is having. In our first city, Valinhos, we had over 100 people who attend all four evenings, making it all the way through the Book of Romans (Phase 1 is “The Book of Romans as a Life and Missional Map”).
The training is workshop in format, meaning the participants interact and apply the training to their lives. When we get to Romans 3:21-24, we train the participants to share the following:
“I was lost, Jesus rescued me, He can rescue you too.”
We have people write out their story (testimony) of coming to know Christ, and then practice it with each other (3 minutes each). This is the “I was lost, Jesus rescued me” part of connecting with people and sharing the Gospel. We then go on to…
“HE CAN RESCUE YOU TOO”
We go on to train the On-Expedition participants in a simple presentation of how they can help rescue others. Remember the 33 miners trapped in Chile? Their only hope for rescue was from above. Like them, we too are trapped and can’t rescue ourselves. The following is the GOOD NEWS of how God has provided for our rescue:
- Father God loves us and cares for us.
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).
“The LORD is my shepherd. He makes me lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:1).
- But something (“sin-within”) broke our connection with Father God and left us trapped.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23).
“…you were separate from Christ…without God and without hope in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
- Jesus came to rescue us and reconnect us with God. How?
He did this through His perfect life, His death as payment for our sins, and His resurrection and ascension back to heaven.
“For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- We must get in Father God’s rescue capsule—Jesus, our rescuer.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
“To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?
We send people out. We encourage them to connect with someone they know, share their story, and where possible share with them the good news above (we hand out printed cards with the four points and verses, and “YOUR NEXT STEP” on the reverse side). The next day as we begin our next training, we have them share with us about their conversations. The response to this part of the training is electric.
Every time we do this, people are encouraged (of course, they are scarred at first) and inspired that God can use them to share with others their story of connecting with God and the Good News about Jesus. Participants report back how people prayed with them to receive Christ, expressed an interest to know more, and want to come to church. Even when the response is negative, those sharing know that seeds are have been sown that may bear fruit over time.
FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS IN VALINHOS, BRAZIL
At the end of each On-Expedition workshop, we ask participants to write down one thing that impacted them during our On-Expedition training. Here are just a few of the 70+ responses we received:
- Pastor Rui: “Sen.sa.cio.nal. I wish the whole church had been here. I wish the whole city had been here.”
- Cleia: “I already had conviction that I also have a mission to be a rescuer and restorer, but starting now with this teaching I am more motivated to go forward impacting lives. Eita Deus!”
- Anonymous: “What impacted me most was the teaching that we should be rescuers of lives, because we were rescued and now we need to rescue lives that are lost and far from the paths of God.”
- Anonymous: “What impacted me most were the rescue aids. And principally Paul’s compassion for his beloved compatriots. I want to rescue whatever people. Not live just being comfortable.”
TWO CITIES TO GO
We believe that there will be much more fruit born from our training in Valinhos (we also did a mini-training over the weekend in Sao Carlos with people opening their hearts to Christ). We start our Phase 2 training tonight (at the time I am writing this) in Jacarei, Brazil and will do another Phase 1 starting this weekend in Recife.
Thanks for being On Expedition with us to train people to reach others for Christ, raise up disciples, develop leaders, and start churches that will do the same.
Because of His great grace and your partnership,
Linus and Sharon, for the Global Training Network On Expedition team.