When God asks you to walk the other way
Have you ever had God to ask you to do something a little different? Arturo, one of our students at SEMISUD (South American Seminary), was challenged by God recently. He and his wife are experienced missionaries and church planters from Chile. They came to SEMISUD to study and prepare for future ministry. Maybe to even take a little time to rest as they reflected upon their past years in ministry. Yet God had different plans.
Soon after arriving at SEMISUD, Arturo and his wife participated in one of our church planting courses. During this course, they were challenged by God. They were challenged to put their hands back to the plow and get back to work. Now was the time for work, not the time for rest.
As they were leaving the campus one day, they notice that everyone was walking through the main gate and turning to the right. This would be assumed normal and correct as the town, student houses, and buses are all located to the right of our campus. However, God stopped Arturo and his wife as they were exiting the gate and caused them to look to the left and ask, “What’s over there?”
So Arturo began to ask people where the road to the left went. The guard told him, “No where. There is nothing that way. Unless you walk for over an hour you will see only trees and cows. If you walk for an hour you will come to a little village inhabited by a people who don’t like visitors. Don’t go there Arturo. If you go, you will only find problems.” But Arturo could not deny that God was calling him to go to that town and visit the people. He knew that God was calling him to plant a church in that town!
Several local preachers advised Arturo against trying to plant a church in that village. They said, “Those people don’t want to hear about God. They do not want a church. You and your wife should work with us in our churches or try to plant a church in an easier area.
Don’t go to that village. If you go, you will only find disappointment and frustration.”
Despite the intense discouragement, Arturo and his wife could not shake God’s call to go to this village and share the Good News of Jesus. They had to go. And so they went.
As others had predicted, they did encounter many problems, disappointments and frustration. However, due to their faithfulness and obedience to following God’s call, within six months they successfully planted a church in that village. Today, a year after their attendance in our church planting conference, that church has over 50 members and that church has gone on to plant 2 other churches in two other villages. Arturo and his wife’s credit, our conference and training for giving him the inspiration and ability to plant this church in such a hardened environment. We praise God for men and women like Arturo and his wife that attend our training and use it to introduce more people to Jesus.
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