There is a man I like to call Pastor Das. He reminds me of Mario, from the Super Mario Bros. video game series. I always call him the Italian Indian. He was one of the most joy-filled men I have ever met. His smile is large and given freely. He is on our team of pastors, and while in country I have visited two of the three churches he is currently shepherding.
Well, today we visited the church in a new village. I met Pastor Gobi and asked him about his call to ministry. This is the story he told me.
"I didn't know Christ, nor care to know him. And then one day a man showed up in our village preaching in the street. The gospel of Jesus called to me, and I was saved. So I started going to church every week in this man's faraway village. And then years later I told this man that I thought God was calling me to be a pastor. He encouraged me. He went with me to villages to teach me to preach and disciple. And he sent me out to begin this new work."
Who was the Pastor that disciples and then released Pastor Gobi into ministry? None other than Pastor Das. This is discipleship. This is how laborer so for the field are raised up. And not just pastors, but all true disciples. A mature follower of Jesus allows an immature believer or spiritual pilgrim to come into their life. They share life. They give life. And roots grow. And then that newly grounded follower gives away the life they have been so graciously given. Relationship. Time. This is what brings maturity. There is no shortcut. There is no magic bullet (aka 4 week curriculum). Life on life is the way disciples are made. And seeing out here is incredible.
Oh.. And the church's roof caved in when the main supporting beam cracked in two. We met outside on the street. It will cost $300 to fix this building's roof. Our goal... To get them under shade by Easter.