Partnership with God

Stephen & Lynsey Auld left Madagascar last autumn. But God is still working in Mahajanga, as Abraham’s story demonstrates.

I love the words of 2 Corinthians 6:1, “Working together with Him, then, we appeal to you.” Could this not be a summary statement of all the work we seek to do as a mission? Working together with God as God’s ministers of reconciliation, we appeal to those who are estranged from God to be reconciled to Him. Sometimes, in all our mission strategy, methodology and zeal, we can forget that we have a wonderful God who takes the lead, inviting us to partner in the work he is already doing. This truth impacted our team powerfully when we received wonderful news about Abraham, an Indian Ocean Island friend, whom God spent two years drawing to himself.

“In unreached places, God often uses dreams to reach out to those who don’t know him. Does this mean that missionaries are made redundant in such cases? Not at all…”

In 2009, Abraham had a dream of a man in white coming to him with a Bible in his hand, telling him that he must get this book and read it. Abraham approached our TIMO team in Madagascar, where he was living at the time, to tell us he was interested in the Bible. We invited him to come back to test his genuine interest but he didn’t, instead leaving for his home island soon afterward. We didn’t see him again until 2011, just after he’d been released from two months in prison after being accused of murdering his wife. Abraham was devastated. We urged him to attend English conversation classes, where one evening he announced that he was searching for the truth. Although we tried to get him a French Bible we couldn’t, and Abraham didn’t pursue it. Last autumn, my wife and I returned to Northern Ireland when our term in Madagascar ended. But a few months ago we got wonderful news. Back in Madagascar, Abraham had had another dream. The man in white came to him again and said, “Why have you not gone to get the Bible?” Abraham immediately contacted our missionary friend to tell him he wanted to follow Jesus. He had found the truth or, to better put it, the truth had found him. In unreached places, God often uses dreams to reach out to those who don’t know him. Does this mean missionaries are made redundant in such cases? Not at all. One of the first things recipients of these dreams often do is seek out a Christian who can explain to them about this wonderful man who has spoken to them in their dream. God, always the first mover, uses whatever means he chooses to stir up a hungry heart. We who are working together with him can then bring the truth of his word. What we need most are faithful men and women of God who will be present among unreached peoples so that, as God moves by his Spirit and reveals Christ, we are there to share the gospel.

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