Dr. William Leslie went as a missionary in 1912 to a remote part of the Congo. There he shared Christ for 17 years, but felt as though he had little impact. He had a dispute with tribal leaders, and they asked him to leave and to not come back. He left a defeated man, thinking that he was a failure.
Fast forward one hundred years to the shocking events of 2010. Mark Ellis writes, "A team led by Eric Ramsey with Tom Cox World Ministries made a shocking and sensational discovery. They found a network of reproducing churches hidden like glittering diamonds in the dense jungle across the Kwilu River from Vanga, where Dr. Leslie was stationed."
Ramsey reports, "When we got in there, we found a network of reproducing churches throughout the jungle,” Ramsey reports. 'Each village had its own gospel choir, although they wouldn’t call it that,' he notes. ;They wrote their own songs and would have sing-offs from village to village.'"
In each village that Ramsey and his team visited, they found a church. And there was even a thousand set stone cathedral!
This just shows that God can take our "failures" and make incredible things come out of them. And is that not the essence of the cross? Praise God!
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Dr. James Nored is a preacher, evangelist, writer, and missional leader. He currently preaches and helps lead the church into mission at the Fairfax Church of Christ in Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.