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Faithful witnesses still ready to ‘insert truth’
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
September 20, 2010

Faithful witnesses still ready to ‘insert truth’

Faithful witnesses still ready to ‘insert truth’
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
September 20, 2010

CENTRAL ASIA — With his

oldest daughter sick and his wife not feeling well, Seth* was exhausted, but

hanging in there during two weeks of leadership training for missionaries in

Central Asia.

Seth and Sara’s* children

stayed busy with a team of volunteers from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh

and South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., that provided childcare.

For this family of seven,

ministry is a team effort. Sara wanted to be a family on mission ever since

second grade when she met a retired missionary and knew she, too, wanted to go.

Seth took a little more persuading. He was living for the American dream until

one day in college the Lord put this question in his heart: what is the eternal

significance in what you are doing?

God opened Seth’s heart to

understand the truth of Philippians 2. “I realized Jesus walked among the

filth. He was our greatest example. That cut me to the heart,” he said. “I

surrendered. He finally had my future.”

Seth graduated from

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and he and Sara asked God to send

them to serve somewhere in the 10/40 Window.

And so, this family from a

small North Carolina town moved to a city of six million in Central Asia. Their

first two years in the country focused on language school and trying to start a

business in order to get a work permit.

Seth and Sara have lived

among the six million for seven years now. Of this six million, about 300 are

believers in Jesus Christ. Of the people Seth and Sara have met and ministered

to and shared the gospel with, no one yet has received Jesus Christ as their

personal Lord and Savior.

If Seth and Sara said this

statistic discouraged them, it’s unlikely anyone would fault them. But they

don’t see it this way. Seth said they know they are where God wants them to be

and that’s enough. Seth sees evidence of God working in peoples’ hearts every

time he is able to share the gospel. Or every time he is able to show love to

someone and they want to know why.

Simple, ordinary things

become not so simple for Seth. Like the time a guy at the pool Seth often

visits asked him why he talked to everyone — why he talked to the lifeguards

and even the janitor. Seth told him why he cared about others, no matter their

job or status. “People are attracted to the difference Jesus makes,” he said.

Seth’s goal is to, “in every

conversation, insert a piece of truth.”

For seven years this family

has lived away from family in Greensboro and from friends and other believers.

“What do you do when all that is stripped away?” Seth said. Learn the

importance of abiding in Christ and looking unto Him for spiritual refreshment.

“You can only minister out of the overflow of your heart,” Seth said. “If you

are dry, you have nothing to give.”

Seth has also learned the

beauty of worshipping with other believers — and it’s something he no longer

takes for granted.

Too often he sees believers

living in comfortable, safe environments “squandering the opportunity for

worship I yearn for.”

Seth remains focused on the

task of bearing witness to the truth of the gospel because he knows it is God

who gives growth and God who gives opportunities to share the truth. Seth talks

about 1 Cor. 3:5-9 as one living in the promise — one experiencing firsthand —

that all believers are servants, whether they water the soil or reap the

harvest. Seth and Sara will continue to serve the Lord in their city and pray

for the God of the harvest to make light shine forth from a city still in

darkness.

* Names changed.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Lilley, who

writes for the Baptist State Convention, was part of the Providence team.)