Black swamp water and investments in eternity

The testimonies of 11 new Biem believers shout the wonder of God's transforming power in their lives.

Just one year ago, Brandon and Rachel Buser were presenting the final lessons about Creation to Christ to the Biem people. It was a time of “eyes being opened and new lives in Christ begun,” Brandon writes.

The Biem church was born and the process of growth in Christ began for a number of brand new believers.

Because the Biem people have a history of “church-ianity” which has not been anchored in clear teaching of God’s Word, they have especially struggled with confusion about foundational truth about baptism that is taught in the Bible.

The misunderstanding about salvation as it relates to baptism caused missionaries to want to be sure that Biem believers really understood salvation truth, so Brandon says, “we did not jump immediately to baptising those new believers.”

But a recent Sunday, at a beach in the drizzling rain, 11 believing Biem men and women shared their personal understanding of God’s holiness, their sin, their inability to save themselves and the need for faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ alone.

Brandon shares the testimony of one of his Biem brothers who was baptised that day:

I was like a guy swimming in nasty swamp water. … I would see an island and work hard to get over there, but as soon as I stood on it, thinking it was the road to Heaven, then I would fall right through into the swamp again. Again and again I climbed on islands that looked strong, only to fall through and be back in black swamp water.

But now, God has shown me a road and I stand firm upon it. The road goes right through the black swamp, but never once have I fallen through. It’s the true road, the strong road of God’s talk. I look and see many of my Biem friends swimming and climbing on the islands and falling through. Why will they not come and stand on this strong road? It is the only way … this road that God has made.

“Man, I wish you could have seen the looks on the faces of the audience,” Brandon writes.

They sat amazed, listening to the new believers, including “former addicts and brawlers, … share with clarity and confidence that they are no longer separated from God, but that He actually lives within them now.”

Brandon says, “It was something I will never forget.”

Then he encourages, “Revel in what God is doing in the lives of Biem people.”

And while you’re celebrating and praising God for His work there, ask yourself what you have personally invested to share the gospel to unreached people. It’s wonderful and important to invest your prayers and your gifts in missions. But have you considered whether maybe God wants you to invest your life as a missionary? Many people groups are waiting right now to hear the Good News about Jesus.

Brandon urges, “These are investments that will never fade or pass away.”