Make DISCIPLES of All Nations!

I've read Matthew 28:19 so many times:

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations."

At times, as I've read this passage, the word "GO" has stuck out to me. It says "go" and so we went.

Other times when I've read this passage the word "MAKE" jumped off the page.  To me, "make" signifies intentional devotion to a cause with a desired end in mind.

"ALL NATIONS" resonates with me; especially as we work hard to bring the Good News to the people of Peru.

Never before has the word "DISCIPLES" struck me, but today it did.  Let me explain...

A couple weeks ago Michael and I had some time alone to walk along the river and talk.  Curious what he thought about our ministries, I asked open-ended questions to get him talking.  "Jesus has been telling me that we're supposed to go out to far away pueblos where there aren't missionaries and introduce them to Jesus."  Michael continued to explain that we don't have time in our schedule to visit far away pueblos regularly, but emphasized the importance of "introducing them to Jesus".  I suggested that we take this idea to the rest of our family and try to make it a reality.  Four hours later, while at one of the pueblos we visit weekly, a woman asked if we could go with her to another pueblo, which is far away. Before we could respond, she acknowledged our busy schedule and assured us that it wasn't necessary to visit regularly.  She just wanted us to go once and "introduce them to Jesus".  The Holy Spirit was definitely at work.

The pueblo our friend wanted us to visit is in another region.  This is slightly problematic because it is overseen by different priests than those who invited us here to Peru to work.  

Last Sunday, we visited Nuevo Mundo knowing that it would likely be our only chance to evangelize the people there.

Wanting our visit to be impactful we brought along reinforcements.  In addition to our own family, we brought our friend who initially invited us to go, some of her friends and several people from San Hilarion.  In total, we arrived 21 strong.

As we lifted the roof with songs of praise and dove into scripture it occurred to me that we don't just need followers in Nuevo Mundo, we need DISCIPLES.

So what's the difference?

Followers believe in the saving redemption of Jesus, but they don't necessarily talk about their faith with others.  Disciples, on the other hand, desire to make more disciples.  Disciples want to spread the Good News.  Disciples understand the urgency of our mission and become part of the initiative.

The bombo drum is a traditional
instrument of Peru. 
As our time together was wrapping up, the Holy Spirit jumped in and took the wheel.  Although our praise and worship was fulfilling and the bible study was thought-provoking, it wasn't enough. The Holy Spirit knew that the people in Nuevo Mundo needed something else.   Through His inspiration, our conversation turned to practical strategies for developing the community of believers.  Currently, they have very few followers (15 to be exact) and extremely limited resources.  Without a church, their only option is to meet in a small, dark community building. They have only a handful of songbooks and a couple bibles.  Eager to help, we gave them the 9 bibles we had and promised to send songbooks with our friend the next time she visited.  In the meantime, they could have our bombo drum and tambourine to enhance their praise and worship.  Their eyes twinkled.  We discussed the importance of praying together and developing their own faith so that they could be disciples.  We explained that Nuevo Mundo doesn't need us; it needs them.  As disciples of Jesus, they can spread the Good News and build up their community.

Unsure of what physical aid we'll be allowed to provide, we are committed to supporting them spiritually.  We will continue to pray for them and ask that you do the same.

As we were driving home our van rang out with songs of praise.  Although my mouth followed along with the songs, my mind drifted to Matthew 28:19:

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations."

I looked around the van at all of the smiling faces...the faces of Jesus' future disciples...

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