Bouncing Back

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree." - Psalm 92:12a

Yesterday I heard somebody was calling from my behind "Pastor." When I turned back to look who this Pastor was, to my surprise there was no one but a young man and I. He was addressing nobody but me; and he asked if I had some coins. I am not a Pastor, but he might had said as such because of the circumstances we met before. And this also happened to me. Some years back I met a friend here in a foreign land whom I knew in Eritrea. And this friend whenever we met for a tea, he had no other topic to discuss but the Bible. As you might imagine, in those times I might be a good man but I was not that much into the spiritual. His Biblical knowledge used to amaze me, however many a time it was a lengthy discussion and I was bored. One thing I was sure about him was he must be a Pastor. One time I met a lady from a Church which he mentioned as his Church, and I told her I knew her Pastor and I mentioned his name. She was so surprised and said, "There is no Pastor in that name not only in our Church but also in all the Habesha Churches in this city." And I said to myself "I thought these Pentes do not lie ." Later I confirmed my friend was a layman like me and she was telling the truth. It was only my imagination. I should had better asked my friend before I called him a Pastor in public.But as of the young man he might also called me a Pastor to corner me and milk some coins out of me. How could a Pastor say no! I know he is very smart but so far wasted in other areas.

I met this young man on September 2012. It was a mission month in our Church. Accordingly we the congregants were given four witnessing cards. The purpose of the card was to register the details of the person who gave his or her life to Christ. The registration would help for follow up in discipleship. It was a good challenge so I was determined to reach these four people for Christ. And if one person could witness for four people in one month and could also be able to brought them to a discipleship level that would be phenomenal. In fact ideally if each believer could be able to witness without fail only to two people in his lifetime, within a short hierarchy of 32 people, 8,589,934,592 people (2 to the power of 32) would become believers of Christ. Currently that would be an excess of two billion from the total world population. This of course is by assuming that every other factor would remain constant; meaning assuming everybody has a power to convince two people for Christ.

The first time I met this young man was on the roadside while I was coming back from Sunday Church Service to home. He was hopelessly in need of some coins and I was desperately in search for four people. We were both fishing for something which we thought very important. Accordingly he accomplished his objective but most importantly he gave his life to Christ. I gave him the copy of the card and for the purpose of discipleship I directed him to some friends in a Habesha Church as he could better understand Tigrinya or Amharic than English or the local language. I also thought he would be taken care well in his needs both physically and spiritually there. Sadly he returned back to his old habit. "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness." And life continues to hit him hard.

But whenever we meet the Lord has always some few words of encouragement for him. And he always seems to get it right. In fact the first time he gave his life to Christ he was kneeling and tears were in his eyes. And yesterday I told him, "Not to give up just because you are bitter with life." I reminded him of King David's 400 men. They were bitter, beaten, distressed and discontented with life. However their stories did not end there. God change their situation and they became great Commanders and Generals in King David's mighty army. What's needed is only to align oneself with the ways of God, then with the God given potential one could be a great General and a leader. Only with God we could be able to bounce back and produce sweet fruit like a palm tree when the hurricane of the desert and the storm of the sea hits us hard in life. And he seemed to understand it again as I saw him nodding his head in agreement and throwing away his half smoked cigarette to the ground.

Love and blessings

Brehane-meskel Araya