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Good Friday Message: Nomads

Raoul’s 2 Cents

If you have been a subscriber of my TGIF email for several seasons, you know that today (Good Friday) is the one Friday in the year when I do not share any jokes in deference to the Christian faith … for it is on this day that Jesus was crucified on the cross because of His love for mankind.  If spiritual topics offend you, just move on and we’ll see each other again next week.

Ambassadors to the Nomads

I met two truly fascinating people last Monday. Jack & Jill are camel-riding missionaries on furlough from their adopted land in Africa. Both are College grado but rather than choose a lucrative profession in America, they go to one of the poorest places in the world.

When you think of missionaries, you think of people who plant themselves in some far away island in order to spread their Christian faith. Yes, Jack & Jill do all that but what complicates the logistics is their “island” is a “floating island.” They minister to desert nomads who have no permanent address. Not only is their “island” in constant flux but the people they come in contact with also change. It’s only the Nomads’ annual journey that brings them to the area. You can imagine how many years it has taken them to build any kind of relationship.

camelsAnother big impasse is the Nomads use a language unique to that area. The “Nomadic Translation Book for Dummies” is yet to be published. During their first year, they used pictures and finger pointing to communicate. It’s been almost 10 years now and they have yet to figure out how to engage in philosophical concepts. How does one even approach the concept of God to these illiterate camel-riding Muslims?

Thankfully, the Nomads think Jack and Jill are mere oddities and not dangerous. The nomadic aspiration in life is to be considered a noble and generous person. There is a story of a rich man who owned many cattle and he was so generous that he would kill (not a goat but) a cow for every stranger he would meet. So many strangers later and he ran out of cattle. He became a street beggar. Today people would point at this beggar as a noble man. It is the Nomad’s ambition to be like this street beggar.

Life is hard for all of them. They live a life of daily labor for survival. Of course women are properties. The dominant male owns several wives. Ideally, the wife is a first cousin. Surprisingly there are no reports of abnormality. They are Muslims because they do not know any other religion. They ostracize anyone who defects from their faith. To do so is akin to a death warrant. Despite the language barrier, one woman accepted Christ. God works in mysterious ways. This pregnant woman survived a miracle. Her water broke but her baby didn’t come out until 10 weeks later. They prayed for her. The baby is healthy. No complications. She keeps her growing faith a secret from everyone otherwise she will be disowned, divorced and anyone who would take her in would also share her demise.

The nomadic culture is not very far from the culture of their ancestors in the 1st century. On this Good Friday, 1,986 years ago, a man of love and peace was beaten, tortured, ridiculed and condemned to die by hanging on a wooden cross. His crime? Proclaiming that He was the son of God. Solid historical testimonies and writings give evidence that three days later, this man rose from the dead. Since that day, his followers have shared this amazing, incredible Good News. God is a god of love for He gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life. “Spread the word,” Christ said. Millions of martyrs later and his followers are still spreading the good news. Do you think people would give up their lives for a false narrative?

You wonder why Jack & Jill chose to raise their children to grow up in that miserable hell hole. But when you see Jill’s welcoming wide-brimming smile and Jack’s calm demeanor, you know there is a genuineness in them that big city folk like us lack. I can only imagine the world in America as seen from their eyes. It must be a land of wasteful plenty with ungrateful irresponsible people. Luxury does that to us. In their faces, I see rest from the harsh desert conditions but I also see joy in their loving hearts. I see Jesus Christ. He is alive. He is risen.

TGFGF (Thank God For Good Friday) people!

Please let me know if you would like to support them. I will pass along your email.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
— Romans 1:16


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  1. Tom

    May 29, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Best to Pray for them as they are difficult to persuade otherwise. Tom


  2. Chuck

    May 29, 2019 at 9:45 am

    The line I found interesting was, “He didn’t seem to know the words..” of the song.


  3. Rick

    May 29, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Happy Easter to you and the entire family!
    Thanks brother!


  4. Ramsey

    May 29, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Thank goodness – no jokes anymore right! Happy Easter.


  5. Lee

    May 29, 2019 at 9:46 am

    And to you to my dear brother!


  6. Chuck

    May 29, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Thank you for sharing this one brother Raoul,

    Look up this song on the internet when you have a minute – about Jesus and The Last Supper. Let me know what you hear – a bit ‘twangy’ but very insightful message. Written and performed by Kate Campbell, ”The Last Song”. She is a daughter of a Baptist minister. I am putting it to slide and photos of The Last Supper. I emailed her for permission. Let me know what you hear.

    Happy Easter, Blessings to you and your loved ones

    Brother Chuck


  7. Lee

    May 29, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Amen to that. I do not see any reason that would prevent God from doing something amazing in our generation! sometimes we have not because we ask not. One of the most productive times I had at Alhambra was when we asked people to pray specifically for individuals to come to faith in Christ. We put two jars out on the front table on Wednesday nights, one with the specific names of persons we were were were praying for to come to faith in Christ and the second jar for praise to God for those who actually came to faith in Christ. We had some remarkable answers to our prayers over a couple of years. Not all of the names in the first jar went into the second but many of them did, including some names I put in the first jar! It enlivened our prayer time and our faith in God’s working. We also asked folks to be open to sharing their faith as the opportunity arose with those whose names are in the jar and to look for opportunities. One woman brought a colleague at work to faith in Christ and it was the first time she had ever shared her faith with someone!

    Miracles do continue to happen. I’ve often said to seminary students that the only reason I continue to preach and teach the Gospel is that it works and I do no know of anything else that does.

    Keep of the good service. I love what you do and enjoy the humor that you use to convey your Good News.

    Many blessings to you and your wife!



  8. Art

    May 29, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Hi Raoul
    Have a great Easter with your family!


  9. Lee

    May 29, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Amen to that! Thanks Raoul!

    This day and Easter are the two most important days in history for those who have put their trust in Christ. The days themselves are less important than the events that happened on them and those who follow Christ can never forget the great price paid to bring us into a right relationship with God. May our Lord be especially close to you on this special occasion. Thanks for reminding all of us. May the joy and celebration of Easter bring hope to many this year.



  10. Tom

    May 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Thanks Raoul for the reminder of what is really important in life.I was reading Ephesians the other day and this really stuck out, Now Glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would dare to ask or even dream of.
    Infinitely beyond our highest prayer, desires, thoughts or hope.
    May we be given Glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his masterplan of Salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.
    Happy Easter and Thanks for your weekly editions and reminders. Tom


  11. Benjie

    May 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Thank you, Raoul. God bless you.


  12. Heather

    May 29, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Its amazing how some people will travel the world to spread the word.


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