A Snapshot From Marcus Reese on July 20, 2009

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Dear friends,

A new Christian named Ramukas took me and four other Christians to his remote village for a short visit. The first day and a half was spent traveling. On Tuesday we took a truck to the end of the roads and then traveled five hours in a fast boat. On Wednesday we walked six hours inland. The walk should have taken four hours, but some of us were out of shape.

Many of the villagers were glad to hear the message about Jesus, but they all knew that they would be persecuted if they accepted him because the whole village is part of a controlling religious establishment.

By Saturday evening, a number wanted to be baptized. As they expected, there was a strong negative reaction. The first to suffer for Christ was Ramukas. His wife said that she would divorce him if he allowed the baptisms to continue. He continued to love her, but he loved God more.

That night, thirteen were baptized and three fallen Christians were restored. The first baptism was conducted by Ramukas. As the emotional sounds of repentance overpowered the roar of the lantern-lit river, it was obvious that many of the villagers had been wanting this for years.

The next day, Sunday, our worship was interrupted by a summons to a village meeting. There we were subjected to repeated interrogations, tauntings, and accusations. One leader said that we had turned the village upside-down.

The Christians stood their ground but remained respectful. Suddenly one of the accusers ran up to a new Christian, his own brother, and started beating him. The new Christian just held up his hands and said, “Kill me if you want. I died with Christ when I was baptized.” He and some other Christians received a few more punches and kicks, but God protected them from serious injury.

Then the accusers convinced the village magistrate that we should pay a K200 fine (two weeks wages, $80 USD) before we could leave the village. Thanks to my supporters that was not hard to pay. Finally they asked us to shake hands with them to show that there were no hard feelings. The Christians were glad to do this. As a handful of accusers started to file by the new Christians, I asked one of my friends to snap this picture. In the face of opposition, it was beautiful to me to see more than 20 Christians willing to stand up for Jesus and to forgive as Jesus forgave.

Please pray for them as they continue to follow Jesus.

Marcus (with Diane, Hannah, Hadassah, Rochelle, and Faith Reese)

P.S. The man you see close to me in the picture is the one that received the most beatings. His name, ironically, is Baptist.

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One Response to “A Snapshot From Marcus Reese on July 20, 2009”

  1. First Short Course « Says:

    […] Remember that Baptist we talked about two years ago? Not John the Baptist. Not a member of a Baptist convention. I mean the man named Baptist that was attacked in front of me for his faith in Christ. Pictures (from July 2009) are still on my blog. […]

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