Aaron Luse sat on a bamboo bench between two men and listened. It was several weeks after Easter Sunday, the day that Aaron had shared the full message of the gospel with a group of Patpatar people who had for months been studying God’s Word from Genesis through the Gospels.
“I knew that Jesus had died on the cross,” Stanley was telling Aaron, “but I just never knew the reason. I had been told that Jesus was the road. But that road of Jesus’ work so I could go to God was not clear. Now that I understand, I can no longer believe in rituals. It is not my works, but the death of Jesus, His death and resurrection. I believe in His road only.”
“He was just one of the men I have talked to since the gospel message was presented in detail,” Aaron explains. “Others, too, are giving testimony of their faith in Christ’s work on their behalf.”
Aaron and his wife, Lori, are excited. To see God drawing Papatar people to Himself is a huge joy in their lives. But the burden on their hearts for these people that they love has grown more intense now.
Some still have not decided to put their faith in Christ.
“A few are still making their choice,” Aaron shares. “Do they continue on in believing what they have believed all of their lives, trusting in rituals and religious works, or do they place their trust in what Christ has done for them?”
And for those who have recently come to know Christ, there is a different kind of concern.
Aaron has learned that this group of new believers in Jesus is being targeted. There is a calculated plot by some tribal leaders to exert power and pressure that will pull these young Patpatar believers away from following the truth.
This grieves Aaron’s heart and reminds him of when his newborn daughter was placed in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) because of her fragility and her increased need for protection and care.
“She wasn’t strong enough to be on her own,” Aaron remembers. “She needed extra love, care and help to begin her new life.”
It’s a lot like the kind of spiritual care that Aaron hopes and prays will be the nurture and protection for these young Patpatar believers in Jesus. “We have the goal, not only to see people saved, but to present them mature in Christ,” Aaron expresses, quoting Colossians 1:28-29: Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labour, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Aaron and Lori would love to have you pray with them for new Patpatar believers. Pray that they will be encouraged by mature Patpatar Christians and would be willing to stand strong for Jesus. Pray that Patpatar people who have loved and followed Christ for a longer season, will love and care for these new believers well. Pray for Aaron and Lori, too, as they love and teach and nurture the Patpatar church.
Aaron is expectant about what God’s grace can do. He rejoices to be part of His redemption story in the Patpatar tribe.
“What an honour,” he expresses, “for us to be part of a growing family of Patpatar believers!”