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“I would like to understand the Bible”

CMS missionaries Andrew and Margie Newman, are serving at the Canon Ndimbirwe Bible College in Uganda. They first arrived in Uganda in January 2020 after decades of ministry in the Armidale diocese in NSW.

In March 2020, as Coronavirus was beginning to take effect, Margie prayed a specific prayer and made a note of it in her diary.  

‘Lord, please make surprising opportunities for the gospel during COVID lockdown.’  

The Bible can’t be locked down 

Most days we visit one of the many dairies in town to get our milk. We met a young man named Evart who works there and, gradually, a relationship began to form. 

In our first interactions we were just trying to greet Evart in Runyankore (the local language). Eventually, we explained that we would be staying for a long time and so wanted to learn the language. 

When we mentioned that we were going to be teaching at the local Bible college, Evart said, “I would like to understand the Bible.”  

After ascertaining that he didn’t own a Bible, we bought him one. Straightaway, he began to read it. 

Being prepared to give an answer 

Every time we went to buy milk, Evart had his Bible open and was ready with a question about what he was reading, anything from Psalm 1 to 2 Chronicles 7, to Romans 11. 

Andrew had to get a handle on the 3minutein between customers, explanations (in English) that Evart requested! 

The conversations grew longer and longer until eventually Evart, listening to Andrew explain Exodus 3, stopped him to ask, What is a covenant? 

We said “Why dont you come to our place for lunch on Sunday and we can talk longer? 

That Sunday Evart came to our place and we showed him the Bible timeline that is on our lounge room wall. We used it to explain the story of God’s great rescue plan. 

Evart now says, I knew about God, but I didn’t know about Jesus. Because of this I am a changed man. 

God is still sovereign 

‘In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.’ Colossians 1:6  

Evart is an example of this verseHis coming to Christ was surprising gospel fruit in this COVID-19 time. We might be tempted to think that Satan has thwarted God’s purposes through the Coronavirus, but God is still sovereign. Evart has begun a journey so please pray for him that he’ll bear great fruit for Jesus. 

Pray 

Keep praying boldly, like Maggie, for God to make opportunities for the gospel during lockdown. And pray for Evart as he begins life as a follower of Jesus.