February 12, 2012

Crutches and Hospitality

A little over a week ago, my wife slipped and fell while picking mangos from the tree in our back yard. The tree is on a slope of about 40 degrees. So, landing wrong is always a big possibility, when jumping. She rolled her foot and tore, or at least severely sprained a ligament. She’s been on crutches since.

She had a cast for 3 days, and now she is keeping the foot immobilized  and icing it down several times a day. Once the foot is well enough, she can begin physical therapy.

So, this time, I went to Mr S’s house alone. The hill is too steep and there are too many deep holes in the dirt road for her to even have a chance to climb. I am still deaf, so going alone was a challenge, but like I mentioned in the last post, we don’t want to lose rhythm.

I asked Mr S to manage the Bible study time as best as he could remember. So he asked everyone to share something they were thankful to God for. Then He asked them to tell about what was frustrating in their lives or what needed God’s help. He asked someone to pray. We talked about last week’s passage and who we shared it with.

I then told the passage of Acts where Luke records Paul and Silas’s journey to Philippi. The family recalled the story together, making sure to get each detail right (this takes a bit of time, but is always worth it.) We then observed several elements of the story.

  • Lydia and her family being baptized right away.
  • Lydia receiving Paul and his companions in her home for an extended time.
  • The slave girl and her situation.
  • Her healing and the reaction of the city.
  • Paul and Silas’s reaction to being stripped, beaten and thrown in jail.
  • God’s response to prayer.
  • The jailor and his family being believing and being baptized right away.
  • Paul’s insistence on a correct resolution to his jailing.
  • The reunion at Lydia’s house with the other Christians.

The family began to make applications on two observations.

First, the way the gospel was spreading. People were being baptized right away based on believing in Jesus and not after being approved or passing a test. They talked about the importance of being baptized. They mentioned that one of their sons is being baptized in a local neighborhood evangelical church (today), and that they want to as well, but the church has a number of requirements for which they don’t qualify yet. They are considering if they should wait or just be baptized and start meeting as a church in their home.

Second, was how hospitable the new believers were. Lydia received a group in her home, provided for them, and held meetings in her home. The Jailer received prisoners in his home and took care of them. The family talked about how God brings people together. The family has been receiving a good number of people over for the Bible studies, friends and extended family, and even opening space for others to live with them. (This from a family of seven in a one bedroom house.)

Keep praying.

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