Simon had a plan to get one day of rest every week along with his entire family, to share God's Word together and play with their children. He had been convicted when we discussed in TLT that God commands us to rest for our own good. When Simon went home and told his wife about his action plan, she thought he had "become a mad person because there is too much work to do." But she was willing to try it out, along with the kids. Now his wife's health is improving, her back hurts less, and the neighbors have commented how healthy and happy the family appears. She is now fully appreciating their days of rest!
One of my co-leaders, Betty:
The Bishop had tried to get some drinking joints to voluntarily shut down. He has not been fully successful, but one drinking joint actually moved their location after he talked with them, farther away from the town center. At first, the people he talked to would ridicule him and call him names. But he has earned their respect through his love and patience. The drunkards and drinking joint owners now come to him when they need prayer. They brought him a very sick boy who was healed after he prayed for him! And now whenever he comes to talk to them, they get out their Bibles and get ready to listen to him.
There were many other encouraging testimonies of families being reconciled, husbands and wives learning to love and serve one another, houses being built for widows, people getting saved, drunkards giving up drinking, and teaching families or church leaders lessons from the TLT manual about how to have healthy, godly families.
It was very exciting to hear them preach their sermons, which we then evaluated. Only four of the eight groups had time to actually preach their sermons to all of us, but all eight groups wrote very good sermons over the course of the week. They are excited to go out and preach these sermons in their churches and teach other pastors what they have learned. I was impressed by the humility shown by all the participants. They were eager for the evaluations and corrections. They are hungry for learning and change. Their attitude is contagious and I hope I can also be the same way in all my life and ministry.
I won't say much about the action plans other than that all of the participants are excited to put into practice what they have learned. They all want to improve their preaching, and most of the participants made action plans that involve teaching what they learned to the pastors and leaders who were not able to attend TLT. This is the beauty of multiplication. This group was nearly 50 leaders, and thinking about all of their action plans and who they intend to train, another 500 leaders may get trained by them. May God bless these pastors and use them to proclaim his Word.