Applause and cheers broke out all around me. Caught up in the excitement, I started clapping too. One of our Asian sisters had just finished leading a section of our church fellowship time. The week before my teammate and I had explained what each section of the church meeting was supposed to look like and then taught our brothers and sisters how to lead the meeting. This evening they were stepping up to the plate and practicing what we taught them. We were sitting back and letting them take over when the cheering took me by surprise. We hadn’t told them they ought to clap and hoot and holler when someone finished their part, but they naturally and very enthusiastically celebrated the moment as each person completed his own part! “You did it!” “You can lead a church!” Encouragement sprung up everywhere!
Fellow laborer, I’m so excited to tell you that God has been doing really awesome things these past couple months! Here’s the progression:

-On Easter, 8 of our new believers were baptized. This level of commitment is amazing!!

-We hosted a 3-day retreat where they learned more about having a relationship with God.

-The group of young believers studied a lesson on what it means to be a church and decided they all wanted to intentionally commit to being a church family.

-Each of the believers started learning how to lead various parts of the church meeting (like worship or studying the Bible together).

-My teammates and I needed to leave for a couple weeks so that we could attend a training event, so our Native friends stepped up to the responsibility of leading their church while we were gone.

-These are HUGE steps for us! Eight months ago we started gathering new believers and seekers together to meet once a week to worship Jesus. Now, that group really looks like a church!! Our church is conducted all in their native language. We’ve seen new believers commit to Jesus and to each other. Our church is transitioning into being led by all natives. This is awesome!!! Glory to God!