I asked Rev. Mathusela Limboo, pastor from North-India to write a guest blog about his impressions of the conference or International Course we had in King’s William’s Town.
When was the last you heard your neighbors speak? When was the last you lend your ears to them? Christianity throughout the centuries has always been in the aggressive mode. We have heard the pastors and evangelists preach, “Go to your neighbors, knock every door and share about Christ? If they listen, God bless them, if they don’t listen, they are condemned. As long as we evangelize, be happy we have played our part.” But is this enough? Is this the way what God wants?
My tribal folks say, “if you are a guest for a day, get the best treatment. If you are a guest for two days, get something good. But if you are a guest for many days, get anything which comes your way.” Ronnie and Tesray a wonderful couple for God, was my host in South Africa while I was in the International Conference '13. It is true that we do get tired hosting, if it is for such two long weeks. But I see not a sign of fatigue in their faces. They enthusiastically shared with me their love for God, their past life in the farms, jobs, politics, sports, food, jokes and what not! The course finally ends but their story never ends. They loved sharing. Then I quietly slipped into the room and started to think, why do they loved my company so much? Was it because I am a pastor and they liked me? Do I have some magnetic force that attracted them? No! Then I realize that, it was just because I lend my ears to patiently listen to them.
It is never in such conferences, people have a unanimous decision. While in the evaluation of our course we were asked to answer, What is that one thing positive you will take home from this conference? And everyone said, “to listen”. Yes indeed many conferences have I attended, and in all of them we were asked to voice our opinions and prove our points. But this one was different. Most importantly we were asked to “just listen!” We listened to the African Traditional religionist, we listen to our Hindu neighbors, and we listen to the Muslim Imam. We listened! and listened! and listened! And at the end they became our friends.
Listening is not easy. In the society we are living today, no one likes to listen. Everyone has a say in everything. But do you know there is such great power in listening? By listening you bring relief and healing to people. And more than that, you build friendship. Isn’t it much easier to share the gospel to a friend than to a total stranger? And it all begins when we start to “listen”. Therefore James 1:19 says, just be quick to listen…….”
Let us be reminded, that our neighbors have their story to tell and they are looking for a lending ear. Don’t you want to listen? Hey! Listen!
Als predikant van de Kruiskerk in Nunspeet en consultant en trainer bij De Verre Naasten maak ik van alles mee wat mij aan het nadenken zet over het leven, mensen en God. Sommige van die gedachten deel ik op deze site door blogs, artikelen en preken. In juni 2013 gaf ik een interview (53:36) op Groot NIeuws Radrio over mijn werk als predikant, mijn geloof en mijn twijfels.
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