BY BRENDA KIŠ
ASAP church planter Mathias Srimoon* has a wife, four children, nearly two dozen goats, and two house churches of 20-30 members to look after. He is fortunate to have family members and church leaders who help each other in God’s work. But it isn’t always easy. “I was the first Christian in my family,” he says. “In the beginning it was very difficult to share Jesus with them, but after they observed me and saw how God is, they also decided to believe in Him.”
But for Mathias’ father, just changing allegiance from the spirits to God was not enough. Unfortunately, one day he lost his mind and grabbed a knife. As he swung it around the house, Mathias’ 9-year-old daughter was cut on the head. Bleeding heavily, she was rushed to the hospital where the doctors saved her life. Mathias’ father was arrested and imprisoned after the authorities found drugs in his possession. This was his fourth time in the state prison!
Incidents like this could turn some people away from the gospel, but Mathias is not deterred. “In my village it is hard to get someone interested in God,” he says. “But if we spend time with people, they will trust us and be open to hear the gospel. I befriended someone with a sick daughter. He’d spent a lot of money on finding a cure for her, but she hadn’t been healed. Then he asked me to pray for her. After I prayed and she was healed, he believed in God.”
Such healings are not lost on the villagers. A church member who always helped with the song service didn’t show up one Sabbath. As Mathias was wondering why this faithful worker wasn’t there, a small boy ran into the church and told him that the woman had pain in her stomach and had been rolling on the floor for many hours already that morning. Mathias and the little boy immediately went to her home. There he laid his hand on the song leader and she ceased her screaming. The villagers were amazed.
Mathias’ own brother-in-law had been married for over ten years without having a child. His family had been praying for him. He was also praying for himself. He and his wife had gone to medical professionals and even witch doctors. Their funds were quickly draining away. Finally, they decided to simply trust in God, and last year He blessed them with a baby girl! Again the villagers were astounded at a God with such power.
Seven people were baptized recently after studying with Mathias. Now he’s eager to enter the next village and start the work there. Thank you for praying for this faithful church planter!