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Fishermen on the Lake

fishermen

Read this post as part of our monthly Story Letter.

   We live on Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake.

April’s Key Prayer Points:

1  Mid-April trip to Adjumani Refugee Churches with Riverside Baptist Church of Norfolk, Va. Pastor Bryan Breland and his wife Elizabeth.

2  Teammate J.D. Hull as he begins Arabic study.

3  Upcoming visit by our African leadership, Tim Cearly and Kevin Rodgers.

4  Upcoming trips to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Chad.

 

Fishermen

 

In the end, it’s all about following Him.

Everything else is just geography.

 

 

Six of us sit along Lake Victoria’s shore.

Our leader David Crane is waxing eloquently about the challenges and opportunities our Chadan Africa Team faces in the coming year.

 

He shares about the difficulty of carrying the Gospel into war-ravaged South Sudan.

 

Two of the six, with their young families, already live in a remote region of this unstable country.

 

Two more of the men will move into South Sudan during the coming year.

 

Living in South Sudan, even on its best days, is risky and difficult.

 

I love and admire these men, who with their wives, have chosen to move there for the Gospel of Jesus.

 

One of the greatest needs of our Chadan Team: young men who aren't afraid to go and live where it's not easy to share the Gospel with those who haven't heard.   Caleb, JD, Robert, and Andrew.
One of the greatest needs of our Chadan Team: young men who aren’t afraid to go and live where it’s not easy to share the Gospel with those who haven’t heard. Caleb, JD, Robert, and Andrew.

David Crane, a twenty-year African veteran, continues with his vision. He and his  wife, Renee, leave next week for a year in America. This is his final chance to cast his vision to these men.

 

David’s back is to the lake and he doesn’t see the wooden boat passing behind him near the lakeshore.  Two Ugandan fishermen, one paddling—the other pulling the net—struggle against the wind.

As our leader continues, I jot in my journal: The sons of Zebedee pass by.

I’m always been fascinated with Zebedee’s boys.

James and John.

Or John and James.

James. The first disciple to die.

John.

Faithfully at the foot of the cross on that Terrible Friday we now call Good.

The only disciple standing.

The last one standing.

First one at the empty tomb on that early Sunday we now call Easter.

 

John.

Outliving his brother James by decades.

The last of the disciples.

An old man writing from exile on the Isle of Patmos.

Everyone’s gone.

He’s the final living one of the twelve.

He calls himself the “disciple Jesus loved . . . .”

Wow.

 

Long before that Passion Week Friday and Sunday, James and John, whom Jesus nicknames “The Sons of Thunder”, had a decision day.

 

It resulted in their pulling their boats upon the Lake Galilee sand and leaving the family business behind.

 

No turning back.

No turning back.

 

 

 

I glance at my colleagues Selvin, Robert, JD, and Adam.

Each has made that same decision.

They’ve dragged their boats onto the shore and left the material world behind.

They’ve made the decision to follow Jesus and live by his mandate, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 

The five Americans walk to our vehicle.

I lag behind on the shore and close my eyes.

The only sound is Lake Victoria’s lapping waves and the cry of shore birds.

 

 

I take in a final look.

Egrets probe for food along the shore.

Two cormorants sit on a limb, wings outstretched, waiting on breakfast.

 

I glance along the bay and can only faintly see the two fisherman.

The sons of Zebedee.

Casting their nets into the water.

 

I want to savor this moment.

This encounter along the Lake we call Victoria.

The two fishermen out on the water and the five fishermen slamming doors on their Land Cruiser.

 

Somewhere off in the distance, toward the fishing boat, I faintly hear it on the wind,   Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.

 

jd boat banda

And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

 Mark 1:18

 

Team member J.D. Hull (on left) helps push off a delivery/fishing boat on Lake Victoria’s Banda Island.

 

You can follow J.D.’s excellent blog at www.jdhblog.net

 

Other Chadan team members have excellent blogs and FB pages:

Echelon Team  

Read about how God is using our Taposa Team

African Stories http://www.commissionstories.com/africa/

 

How you can pray:

 

Finally, brother, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead. 

                              2 Thessalonians 3:1

 

Other Major Prayer Needs:

•   Pray that the Word of God will speed ahead and be honored.

•   Pray for safety and wisdom in travel.

•   Pray for peace in South Sudan.

If you’d like to begin praying for a specific group in Chad or South Sudan, email us at creekbank.stories@gmail.com

 We are sharing a host of stories from our African sojourn.  You can read them at The Creek Blog.   

 To learn more about our organization, the International Mission Board and its passion to the reach the world, visit www.imb.org

  

If you enjoyed this Story Letter, please share it with friends.

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You can access and subscribe to the following at  www.creekbank.net

•   Every Picture Has A Story

•   DeDe’s Blog

Open Hands Africa is a IRS registered 501 © (3) non profit. 

 

Now Available as an e-book or PDF download:   Visit www.creekbank.net, Amazon, or Smashwords for your copy of the newest e-book, Trampled Grass, sharing stories of the work among refugees in northern Uganda. You can purchase it Proceeds will benefit the Lottie Moon Missions Offering

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re excited about updates at The Creekbank. Drop by www.creekbank.net to see for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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