I never grow tired of being taught so much by new believers. Maybe it’s a way to ensure that I don’t puff up with pride but, for whatever reason, I’m constantly reminded that I may know more information than these brand new believers but that doesn’t mean anything.
One thing I love about having volunteers here in Niger is that you get to re-live those first few days of coming here every time a new group arrives. Things that don’t even cause a second glance are objects of amazement by the fresh volunteers (aka, camels, donkey carts, and guys peeing in the road). I get to see with fresh eyes the country I now call home.
This is also true for our new believers and Scripture. Passages we glance over without a second thought are awe-inspiring and thought provoking to our new believers. I remember sharing about the “wise” men one time in Ayorou and these brand new believers said, “Who tells a king that a new king has been born!?!?!” and thought it the greatest of ironies that we called these men “wise.”
Well, I had another moment like this a few weeks ago. I’ve been walking Andy* through the discipleship lessons in our E2E material each afternoon. We came to the story on persecution, which is about Paul and Silas in prison. They are wrongly imprisoned but an earthquake provides a route for escape. As the jailer weighs the outcome of an empty jail with his supervisors, he decides to take his own life. Paul tells him to stop because no one has escaped, they are all there. The jailer asks Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul tells him and the man and his whole household believed.
You’ve heard this story before right? Maybe you’ve even seen it acted out on flannel graph! So Andy, all 2 weeks into his faith, sees something in this passage I’ve never thought about. We read the story several times and then he looked at me and said, “How did the jailer know that Paul knew how someone could be saved?” Ever thought about that? The jailer didn’t say, “Thank you for not escaping,” but asked them how he too could have salvation.
Andy then made the application himself and said, “I want to live my life in a way that people will ask me how to be saved.” I picked my jaw off the table, dusted off my Master’s of Divinity and thanked God for His Holy Spirit, His Holy Word, and for saving Andy.