August 21, 2009
By Bruce and Stephanie Beers, serving in Ecuador
Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you show to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions. They dropped their nets and followed (Mark 1:17-18, The Message).
One day while walking along the beach, we came upon a group of fishermen who were pulling in their nets. They had fished all night, and their muscles strained as they toiled to haul their catch onto dry land. With each heave of the net, more birds circled overhead until the large black cloud of screeching birds nearly blotted out the sun. They dove and picked at the nets, trying to extricate any particle of food they could get their beaks on.
A Messy Business
This reminded us of what we are doing here as fishers of men. All the while, the devil is flying around, diving and picking at new and soon-to-be believers in order to discourage them or dislodge them from their newfound faith. We are going after some pretty “big fish” and praying for wisdom about the right kind of “bait” to use.
We read an interesting quote from Rick Warren the other day: “If your church is serious about reaching the unchurched, you must be willing to put up with people who have a lot of problems. Fishing is often messy and smelly. Many churches want the fish they catch to be already scaled, gutted, cleaned, and cooked. That is why they never reach anyone.”
On one particular Sunday, our church had a pretty big catch when we baptized eight new believers, who ranged in age from 12 to 90. We’d like to share some of their testimonies.
Luis, age 12, had many fears. He was especially afraid to stay alone. After asking Jesus to take control of his life, he felt at peace.
Daniela, a recent high school graduate, realizes the difference that God has made in her life, especially when it comes to the usual party activities in which most of her friends are involved. She wanted to get baptized to show her commitment to being a woman of integrity.
Ricardo said that before he became a Christian, he didn’t have any friends and people made fun of him at school. When Ricardo prayed to receive Christ, God changed his heart. He began to make friends, and his grades improved dramatically.
Norma, a widowed mother of four, said that she felt empty and cried constantly before she committed her life to Jesus. After placing her faith in Christ, an indescribable peace came over her. She knows that she will never be alone.
Patti trusted in men instead of God and was always disappointed. Now that Jesus is Lord of her life, she has been freed from bitterness, addictions, and false beliefs. He has given her freedom and a reason to live.
Magdalena, who turns 90 this year, thought she was going to get to heaven as a result of her good works and church attendance. Now she is sure that she is a child of God and that He will never leave or forsake her.
Please pray for us as we continue to fish, casting our nets and trusting God for a miraculous catch.
What You Can Do
Praise God for His life-changing work among these new believers. Pray that they will continue to be vibrant witnesses to those around them. And pray for Bruce and Stephanie as they reach out to people who need the Savior.
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Check out our Alliance work in Ecuador.