Friday, July 9, 2010

you give birth to nothing

Now before all the mom's out there get mad at me and start talking about the hours put into labor and pain etc.
I'm talking about spiritual birth.

If you have ever been to the Big Feed or done a mission trip with Way of the Cross Ministries this is an important story to read. It’s a little long but it explains an answer to a question that many of us leave with after doing a mission trip with WOTC.

You see, the mission trips and Big Feed are only a few days long but in the span of those few days, hundreds, if not thousands of people will pray to follow Jesus.

The question is a question about discipleship.
I’ve heard it many times at the Big Feed.

“What happens to the new Christians after we leave?”

In fact, my first year at the Big Feed me and Mr. Valdes talked about this very topic.

It seemed like we came in as a Christian whirlwind and then took off leaving the new believers to fend for themselves.

It just didn’t seem right.

I hope that I have done justice in my retelling the story shared by Bro. Ben during a church build at the Way of the Cross Ministries Aldama Base Camp. Also a special thanks to Ms. Katy Spence for editing the story.

The group (Christ Community Church and WOTC missionaries) was wrapping up morning church service after hearing some awesome preaching by Pastor Tiburcio en espanol (Indira translated for us) and Bro. Ben started to tell us a story…

He said that many people ask what is done about the people who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior AFTER everybody leaves from the mission trip.

Bro. Ben told us how a very prominent preacher and the staff from a mega-church came to use the WOTC facilities for some very important church meetings. They told him that if he was quiet he could sit in and listen in on the meetings.

He was very happy about this.
He looked up to this pastor.
He felt privileged.

So for the first few meetings he served them in their meeting room. Bringing them water, food and doing odds and ends for them. And finally they asked for Bro. Ben to show them what he did for the people in Mexico.

He said sure, I’d be glad to.
So they loaded up in the bus (kind of an RV with a stage that would come off the side and it had a custom cross that could be propped up on top of the bus along with a thrown together PA system) and they went on a preaching run.

They had several meetings that day.
The pastors were ecstatic and all got up to share the gospel at the different sites.
It was incredible.

Bro. Ben was overjoyed. It was a huge harvest; so many people giving their lives to the Lord and as Bro. Ben puts it, “I just drove the bus, I didn’t preach that day I just drove the bus. God told me to drive the bus so that’s what I did as I carried these mighty men of God.”

Big things happened that day.

The next day Bro. Ben went to their meeting and the well known preacher man in front of his staff told Bro. Ben,

“Ben, yesterday I was disappointed in you.”

Bro. Ben thought he was joking, after all, many people came to know the Lord in just one day, surely the man was joking!

But he wasn’t.

He told Bro. Ben,

“Ben, yesterday a lot of new Christians were born.

They’re just babies in the faith.

By leaving and not teaching them you’re leaving them out on the table to die.”

This crushed Bro. Ben.

He respected this man and he had just told him that what he was doing was a disservice to the Mexican people.
It hurt.
He stopped attending their meetings and eventually, they packed up and left for their church and left a very sad and crushed Benjamin Butler in Harlingen.

He felt rejected.
He felt that the work that he was doing was now in vain.
He knew that he was doing what God told him to do.

He walked around sad and depressed and for those of you that know Bro Ben, you know that that is not the type of man that he is.

Shortly after this incident a friend of his brought a group down from his church in Oklahoma to do a mission trip and they were staying at Ben’s house.

His friend recognized immediately that Ben was not happy.

Finally he said, “Ben, what’s the matter? It looks like somebody has stolen your joy.”
Bro Ben told him what happened with the preacher and how he was just so upset that he was leaving all those new Christians out there with no one to fend for them as baby Christians.

The man looked at him and said,
“Ben, look at me.
That is the most arrogant thing I’ve heard you say.
You need to realize something, when you go out there and drive that bus and preach the gospel,

You give birth to nothing.

That is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives and those babies…
They are God’s babies.

God doesn’t leave his babies out on the table to die.

He is going to take care of them.”

At this point he looked at Pastor Tiburcio (the man who had just shared a passionate and loving message about Jesus as Messiah) and told us that he was one of the first converts that WOTC had evangelized.

Pastor Tiburcio taught the WOTC Bible School for many years.
Now he’s a pastor of different churches in the area.

You see, God doesn’t leave his babies out to die.

God has trained up men and women in Mexico to serve the church and grow them from spiritual infancy.

So the next time that you go on a trip with WOTC and you see hundreds of people coming to know the Lord and you wonder, what’s going to happen when we leave here and there’s nobody here to take care of them?

There is somebody taking care of them.
The One who saved them to begin with.
We can’t grow them with our teaching no more than we can save them with our words about the Bible.
That’s the job of the Holy Spirit working in their lives.
God will raise up men and women there to minister to them.
WOTC says this confidently after years of evangelizing in Aldama, Mexico where they have seen many pastors raise up from among the people to minister to their needs.

It’s awesome.
God is moving.

We give birth to nothing.

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