Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from March 31-April 6 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), was recently married to Grace.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.
There is always a witness. Don Richardson and his family were missionaries to the Sawi tribe of what is now West Papua. The Sawi were known to be cannibalistic headhunters. Somehow, by the grace of God, the Richardsons were allowed to live amongst the Sawi, and immediately they took on the task of learning the complex Sawi language and immersing themselves in the Sawi worldview. As they did so they were confounded by the differences between the tribe’s moral values, and their own. In this culture, deception and trickery were seen as positive traits! When they shared the story of the crucifixion of Christ, Judas was applauded as the hero, while Jesus was the dupe to be laughed at. How do you share the gospel in a culture like this?
During these times, several neighboring villages were at war, including the one the Richardsons were living in. Constant fighting and killing made it nearly impossible for the Richardsons to stay with the Sawi. But by this time, the villagers had grown fond of their friends, and wanted them to stay. So, in an effort to create peace, one of the Sawi men literally ran to the enemy village, and presented his own son as a peace gift to the opposing chief. This child was given up as the payment to bring reconciliation between the two parties. For generations, this was how peace was established between villages. As he learned more about this “peace-child” practice, it dawned on him that God had left himself a witness in the Sawi tribe! Don gathered together the entire village and shared that Jesus was God’s only Son, the peace-child, given to us to reconcile us back to Himself! The tribe wept as they realized, for the first time, the incredible love of God, and many of them came to faith.
Sometimes we feel like there is no hope for (insert name here) to accept Christ. But God has left himself a witness, even in the unlikeliest of cultures, even in the unlikeliest of people. Let’s strive to grow in the faith that our God is working all around us, even in places where we are unaware of it.
Lord, thank You for dying for me while I was still a sinner. Help me to extend this love and grace to those around me who have yet to know You. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 20-21