As I walked with Samuel across the dry cracked ground of Nasir in the dry season on our way to the market, we began to talk about things that he had heard about America.
The conversation quickly turned to the spiritual condition of our respective home nations.
We talked about the people in them that were Christians by name only. We talked about the danger of false teaching and how important it was to have the Word of God as the guide to truth. It broke my heart as we talked, and it became finally fully clear that while Samuel called himself a Christian and went to a local church--he was convinced that Jesus was not God.
He thought he was saved, but insisted that the Jesus he knew was not God. The discomfort of the heat and the walk faded as I realized that our purpose for God calling us here was being confirmed. One-on-one discipleship is for some people here in South Sudan the only way they are going to hear the hope of the Gospel.
It was apparent that for some, it was going to take a face-to-face conversation with someone that they trust before they would consider the Gospel as truth. An ongoing relationship may be the only way to provide enough specific teaching to correct some of the false teaching that plagues this country, because the people have so little access to the Word of God.
While I realized that one-on-one discipleship was a necessity, I also became overwhelmed by the task. We are only nine people among 8 million. I understood in a new way the urgency for high quality, locally produced radio that has the capability of reaching the community at large with the truth.
Radio carrying oral Bible stories seem like the only way to give all the people of South Sudan an opportunity to hear of the love and grace that Jesus has offered. I was suddenly grateful for all the hurdles that we had to jump the week before as we pursued improvement and sustainability of local gospel-centered radio.
All the frustrations we had experienced recently seemed worth it and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of what God is doing here in Nasir.