I recently shared Jesus with a pousse-pousse (rickshaw) driver in town in Toliara who decided to accept Jesus’ blood on his behalf. We keep track of how often we share and how often people make decisions. According to our records, I have personally shared the gospel 142 times in the past six months. Counting this man, Solondraza, this is the 3rd person we have seen decide to follow Jesus this year. Of course it doesn’t actually work like this, but statistically I shared the gospel 47 times before I saw anyone accept the offer. To this point, 3 men have made decisions and they have all been different:
First, there was Erik, also a pousse-pousse driver. He had stopped by our cell-group, heard the gospel, was convicted, but rejected the offer. Only later when he was at home at thought through what he had said again did he call out to Jesus. He told us the next week in our group what he had done.
We have been sharing with Efanake forever. He is husband to one of our women leaders who shepherds a cell-group of women out in the bush. Efanake is an ombiasa (witch-doctor), and is scared to let go of his proffession. Grant and I both have share with him numerous times. Only after he ran away from his wife, returned, and then joined her at a recent marriage retreat did he make a decision.
Solondraza was just ready. As I got out of the pousse we talked about churches. He immediately shared with me that he did Catholic mass but felt like there was more. I shared with him how Jesus sacrificed himself once and for all time for his sins and only by submitting to Jesus and receiving his blood could he be free. He immediately asked what he needed to do. God had already prepared his heart.
We consider ourselves to be serving God in a very open environment. It is very easy to talk about spiritual things here. And still it takes our time, effort, and endurance to continue sharing the gospel in hopes that people accept. I am encouraged to see the variety of ways God works to bring people to himself: One guy needed to mull over things a spell. One couldn’t run away from God. One was already hungry for more. I do wish people accepted the offer more often. But I am encouraged to not grow weary in our labor here (Galatians 6:9).
I encourage you to not grow weary where God has you. It is worth it every time to stand and pray with someone and feel the spiritual jolt in the air as a dead man comes to life. This is not our work; we only cast the net. And I am encouraged (and encourage you also) to keep casting, even to cast more often, to find the 1 in the 47 that God is preparing.