This morning at breakfast we discussed Luke 5 where Luke records Jesus calling his first disciples. Peter, James, and John witness a miraculous catch of fish, and then Jesus tells them, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” I’m no mind reader (just ask Brad), but I have a few guesses about what they must have been thinking. Who me? I don’t know how to do that. You want me to leave the only life I know. Aren’t you kind of controversial? Why would I want to follow you? Why would I want to fish for people?
Just a short three years later, we find Peter, James, and John in Jerusalem… and they catch about 3,000 people that day (Acts 2:41), and they continue catching more each day (Acts 2:47). Now I’m not normally a betting girl, but I’d put money on the fact that their thoughts were quite different from the day when they were first called. That’s just how God works. He calls us. We say yes, and then He does it! He fills our net!
We went fishing today, and God was faithful. We caught people!
We began the day with children’s ministry in Simpetru. We had 17 adorable children, and KeLe put on an amazing puppet show for them. Together with Penny, she taught the children Ephesians 6:10-11; 13-17. Penny demonstrated the hand motions the children will perform for the church congregation at our Thursday night service. The kids caught on very quickly! PJ… could be short for either Pastor Jeff or Pirate Jeff… taught the children a lesson on the helmet of salvation, and then Penny and I helped the children to make their home helmet of salvation. Marvin and Laura led the children in outside games, and rumor has it that Laura got an early bath following a water game! We had a blast with these children, and we pray for our “catch” to be bigger on Wednesday and Thursday!
Following lunch, we traveled to Voivodeni to distribute food to two families in need. The first family we met was Ariana, her husband, and her two daughters, Alexandra and Andrea. Ariana’s husband was hurt on the job and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Despite the pain and hardship of their current situation, their hospitality and kindness was amazing. Ariana had made donuts for us and welcomed us into their home without reservation.
We then traveled to meet another family with seven children. Despite the dad’s work as a shepherd, feeding a large family is tough. The food parcel we left won’t last long. We have to know that their hope is Jesus. We have to believe that because we obediently cast our nets, He will catch them. Yes, Lord.
And, we weren’t the only ones casting nets today! God has called two faithful women to cast their nets in their own villages. I shared about Marianna in Baica two days ago. Well, Marianna has a friend, Camela, in the neighboring village of Voivodeni. We gathered in her home with several friends to share God’s love. We were able to pray over each one of these women, and we literally watched God tear down walls right before our eyes. We have no doubt He will reel them in. He is always, always faithful.
We ended our evening back in Simpetru for men’s and women’s Bible study. The men had a great group, and a young man we had met in the village on our first trip in 2012 translated for them. Jeff and Marvin shared that every man present spoke and contributed to the discussion. Thank you, Lord!
And, KeLe, Laura, Penny, and I had a tremendous catch tonight. We had 21 of our precious friends plus one baby! We had great discussion, and we issued a challenge to the ladies to be a light in the village… to share God’s love and grace boldly… to fish alongside of us! They heartily accepted the challenge, and we know that through their obedience, God will save many! Here’s our group picture from tonight. Notice anything different? You got it! We’re rocking the scarves! We could not love these ladies more!
Tomorrow we’ll be with the children again in the morning, and then will deliver food to families in Simpetru. For evening Bible study, we’ll be in the even smaller village of Stupini. Laura and I met these precious ladies in 2014 on our previous trip, and we cannot wait to see them again.
Please join us in praying for our strength and obedience in serving… for casting nets even when the water is uncertain… and for believing God for a great catch.
“The One who calls us is faithful, and He will do it.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:24