Many of the Akolet people who are believers came to know Christ personally two years ago when the gospel was first presented to them. And this year, Julie Martin says, they decided to celebrate.
“They had no problems taking this idea and running with it,” she writes. “It was a celebration like no other, completely planned and organized by them.”
What did this “great big celebration” look like?
There were new Akolet praise songs written for the event that thanked God for making the way of salvation through Christ. They sang these songs together as a body, rejoicing in Christ’s work on the cross for them. The words to one are:
Father, before when we were in the dark, we said that we would make a road to You,
But our strength was not enough.
But You Yourself said that You would make a road. You rescued us.
Father, we thank You; Father, we thank You,
Because You sent Your Son down,
He came and plucked us out from underneath our enemy.
The celebration also included dramas entirely created and produced by Akolet believers. Lonsi and his wife, Samam, re-enacted a scene from their marriage before Christ changed their hearts, showing the bickering and conflict and poor parenting that once was a daily part of their lives. Eventually their drama showed that Christ not only made them right with God, but also gradually had taught them, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to live differently. It was a vivid portrayal of the huge changes that have taken place in their family in two years.
No celebration seems quite complete without a feast. The believers pooled their money and bought a large quantity of rice, which was cooked and combined with food from Akolet gardens for a time of fellowship and sharing a meal together.
All believers who attended, including some very recent ones, thoroughly enjoyed this salvation anniversary celebration. And Adam and Julie Martin were greatly blessed as well to be part of remembering and celebrating God’s ongoing, bright work of redemption and transformation among the Akolet people.
Julie shares joyfully, “It was a very fun and precious time and they are all talking about the celebration we’ll do next year!”