Blood, Sweat and Tears
Day 1: South Wollongong
Self-talk can be really helpful. Today, it was essential. Our team were split up, visiting 5 different churches. Keiraville International Church definitely had the international vibe. The room was half full with a mixture of international students and locals, representing a diverse mix of nations and stages of faith. Nicholas, one of our team members, preached on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, encouraging the saints with the hope of the resurrection, while warning others of the coming judgement, ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.where we will all stand before Christ to be judged.’ (2 Corinthians 5:10). Supper was served in the hall after the service, and surprisingly, many people hung around for it. Surprisingly, because it was stinking hot, despite it being 7pm. Somehow, the 38-degree heat which we were blessed with today, collected in the small hall in the evening, probably not wanting to miss out on all the action either. As I stood there, chatting to my new friend, the sweat, pulled by the forces of gravity, started making it’s way down my neck, back and legs. This is when the self-talk really kicked in: ‘It’s all for the gospel‘ is the phrase that I chanted in my head, praying that God would help me in my weakness. My sticky, sweat-drenched weakness.
Then the tears started coming. But no, they weren’t because of my intense suffering. They were way more significant. One of our team members, Faraj, shared his testimony, recounting the merciful way God drew himself and his father to know the true and living God. Tears of joy and gratitude flowed as the room hung on to every word. Even the sweat pooling at my feet faded into the background, as I was reminded of the power, love and grace that our Lord and Saviour has and continues to exhibit.
‘So where does the blood fit into it?’ I hear you asking. Well, praise God, there was no physical blood spilt tonight. But there was blood, spilt around 2000 years ago, which still played a major role tonight. For after the supper, the crowd split for bible study, and the work of the Lord that had been going on in this church for a long time, finally saw fruit. Praise God for J and N who prayed to trust Christ this evening at the International Bible study! Pray that God would be pleased to strengthen them through his Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith.
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priest to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.'”