Having been swept into the world of blogs, I am looking forward to putting my thoughts onto the internet and someday have some impact on the direction of someone’s life. I pastor a church in Mazabuka, Zambia. I am an American and have been here for over 5 years. I say I am a pastor because that differentiates me from most religious folks overseas. I am not assiting the Zambians in any special good works program, I am preaching and pastoring just as I would in the United States. People are people all over the world, and the gospel has the same life changing effects in Zambia as anyplace else.
The new year found me doing Sunday School on Ruth. The good girl wins and gets the best guy available. Boaz comes across as quite the man. Hard working and successful, good relationship with the men he works with, gracious towards the unfortunate and willing to do what is right. I like Namomi’s opinion of him when she tells Ruth to wait and see what happens: “The man will not rest until he finishes this thing”. Boaz is a can do guy.
One comment about Ruth that came up that was very good was a description of the prejudice she must have faced. A Moabite was cursed and not welcomed by a Jew. They were also the people that took counsel from Balaam which spoke of using the Moabite woman to entice the Israelites into sex so as to bring a curse upon themselves since he was unable to curse them. You can hear the whispers of the gossips of Bethlehem as Ruth made her way to and from Naomi’s house.
The sermon was about spiritual oppression (clinical depression for those who don’t believe in a spirit world). A verse I found myself returning to over and over again spoke of God appointing a place for those who are oppressed. You could feel and see some oppression lifting, we had a prophesy and there was a great sense of fellowship after the service. My youngest daughter thought I preached to long, she was corrected by one of the young Zambian men who let her know it wasn’t the sermon that was long it was the Sunday school. I know I am repeating myself when I keep returning to a verse like that but it felt so good to get the message out that God has a special place appointed for those who are being oppressed.