Four of the kids I work with were challenged to study a method of evangelism and teach it to the entire group. The next week we all (even a group from the USA who was here on a two week trip and who don't speak Spanish!!) took a big breath and went to the park to "practice".
Four of us sat out to paint faces and to tell the story of God's perfectness, man's sin, and our desperate need need of a Savior, that led to God's perfect plan of redemption.
One of the mother's listened intently to the story as one of the girls painted her child's face.
"Where can I find that story?" she asked.
"It's in the Bible, do you have one at home?" I asked her and then pulled mine out of my bag to show her.
"I have that exact one." she responded.
"Great! It uses really easy language to tell the story.
"Can you tell me how to get to THAT story you told? Do I need to start at the beginning and read the whole book?"
I smiled as I thought through my recent readings through the Old Testament stories and saw God Story of Salvation written on every page.
"Well, the entire book tells this story but you can get a summery by reading the book of John. It's really beautifully and simply written and if you want to know Jesus, it a great place to start."
As I showed her where to find the book of John, close to a dozen other parents huddled over my shoulders, interested in knowing where they could also find it?
And then the park official came over. Would he also want to know about this story I was telling? Not today. Today he would tell me that my story-telling time was officially over. And my heart plummeted. (both from the nervousness of being told I had broken the rules, and from disappointment that we had to stop.)
As we packed up our paints and told the children we had to leave it was hard not to feel the sting of rejection. It was easy to forget the thirty kids and their parents who had heard the gospel message in full.
As we walked back to the meeting place half an hour earlier than planned, the sky lit up with a rainbow and we stood under it staring at the majestic colors that swept across the sky. All four of us had forgotten the rejection and we just stood in awe of the backdrop of mountains and a rainbow. It was a double rainbow with a reflection inverted underneath and as we stared a third rainbow appeared.
Three rainbows. God's promise. Disappointment forgotten.
As we stood and watched the magnificent display, our other team members were leading six new souls to the throne of God. They reported that the rainbow appeared just after several of them prayed to accept Christ. An amazing harvest! Punctuated by God's promise.
But as we celebrate we remember that a prayer does not a disciple make and no where does the Bible command us to make converts. The hard work is still before us as we teach these six new believers how to follow Christ. Our work has just begun as we follow God's command to make disciples.
And I am humbled as we consider the best way to do this that I am part of a great team of people- national believers, all youth, who are dedicated to the task.
Will you pray with us. Will you pray for us? Will you take on this task of making disciples by partnering with us? It's exciting work, I promise :) (rainbow promise)