The dispute had been simmering for three years.
In the lives of two Banwaon men, both of whom are believers, deep resentment steadily fermented and grew. The roots of anger and bitterness choked out their joy and love. And the ripple effect of their indignation was painful, both in the body of believers and in the lives of both men’s families.
Missionary Lynne Castelijn writes that all previous attempts at reconciliation had failed. The men simply refused to humble themselves and make peace with one another.
The Banwaon church leaders called another meeting to deal biblically with the conflict. “Enough was enough,” says Lynne.
And God’s grace prevailed. Lynne shares, “The two men came brokenly before the Banwaon church leadership with contrite hearts and openly apologised. They wept and confessed their sin of nurturing anger and holding grudges against one another.”
It was a beautiful scene. The church leaders surrounded the men, supporting them and offering forgiveness. There was much rejoicing at the restoration of fellowship.
Lynne’s husband, Albert, observes, “There was hardly a dry eye left in the meeting hall.”
The really wonderful part for Lynne and Albert was the realisation that they personally had nothing to do with bringing about this reconciliation. It was clearly the Holy Spirit at work in the Banwaon body of Christ, orchestrating the outworking of Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Lynne and Albert are rejoicing at God’s faithful work. “It is exciting to see God at work in the lives of Banwaon believers!” says Lynne. “To see His Holy Spirit patiently and persistently convict, challenge and then bring reconciliation where before there was bitterness and strife is powerful.”