Having come back from meeting with our Mahafaly churches in the bush, we wanted to give you a little update.
This meeting is where the original (what we call 1st generation) churches Grant planted meet together for teaching, reports, strategizing and camaraderie. These meetings have been going on over the past 5 years. But this was the first meeting hosted, organized, and taught by Mahafaly. We were still there to encourage and facilitate, to make sure things ran smoothly and to still have eyes on the teaching. But this was their show.
There were three men teaching, three men whom we call Mpandime–the Replacements. Now we’re not talking football replacements like Keanu Reeves but rather Paul’s replacements in Acts 20:17-38. In that story, Paul tells his disciples and leaders of the church in Ephesus that he is moving on and they will never see his face again. And yet he is convinced this is ok because he has taught them everything he knows and, even more important, he has given them the whole story–the whole Bible. He warns them that false teachers will come to try and destroy the church and dismember the believers like wolves devouring sheep. But the same thing Paul did to give them the truth is the same thing these men will do as they replace him. And Paul knows that God’s Word is able to grow them more like Jesus and keep them victorious.
Moving forward, these three Mahafaly men (Emasike, Emora, and Estifihezy) will be learning from us how to interpret and understand God’s Word for themselves, and therefore how to defend against an onslaught of false teaching. We’ve already seen Emasike grow as we’ve been personally teaching him over the past few months. He now speaks with confidence from God’s Word. Estifihezy and Emora are recent attendees, but they were able to learn from Emasike and then turn around and teach others at this meeting.
They will no longer be waiting on us to give them a new Bible story or a new teaching. They will be feeding themselves and feeding their sheep straight from God’s Word. Just as they started to do at this last meeting.