GFA pastor Lanzo mounted his bicycle, prepared for the hour-long journey before him. He pedaled through jungle and thick woods, only stopping to get off his bicycle and carry it over the shallow, washed-out roads. Though his trip was difficult, Pastor Lanzo was motivated by his love for the villagers he was traveling to see; that love propelled his bicycle through the most difficult segments of his journey. The people needed his help—and the hope found in Jesus.
A Village in Need
Pastor Lanzo ministered in a small village and prayed that one day he would be able to visit many other villages to share Jesus’ love with others. His primary form of transportation, however, was walking, which often made visiting other villages quite difficult. Gospel for Asia (GFA) Pastor Lanzo longed for a bicycle, which would make traveling much easier and more villages accessible.
When Pastor Lanzo received a bicycle through a GFA Christmas gift distribution, it was an answer to prayer. He immediately began visiting and sharing God’s love with nearby villages that had been too far to travel to on foot. One village he visited contained only 15 houses and had no proper roads. But Pastor Lanzo knew that, despite the few houses, the people of this village still needed love, care and encouragement. So with the help of his new bicycle, he traversed the treacherous roads to bring Jesus’ message of hope to the people who needed it.
Critic’s Heart Opened Through Dreams
One day, Pastor Lanzo met a 65-year-old man named Teetonka in this remote village.
Teetonka had a wife, three sons and one daughter. He and his family worked in the fields doing jhum cultivation for their livelihood, a type of agriculture comprising a “slash-and-burn” technique and frequent moves to different locations for harvesting.
All Teetonka’s life he had faithfully participated in the traditional religion. He had never heard about Jesus—nor did he want to.
Pastor Lanzo was not welcome in Teetonka’s village—at least not around the older man— and Teetonka made sure he knew that. Whenever he’d see the pastor, Teetonka would criticize him and God.
Pastor Lanzo remained steadfast throughout the opposition, continuing to show God’s love to Teetonka and the other villagers through word and deed. And then something unexpected happened.
“I believe you have God-given power,” Teetonka told the pastor one day.
This wasn’t Teetonka’s usual tirade.
“Whenever I speak words against you and Christianity,” the older man continued, “I used to see a bad dream. Is this magic?”
Pastor Lanzo immediately understood the Holy Spirit had been working in Teetonka’s heart and explained God’s mysterious ways to the mystified man.
Teetonka listened intently to the pastor share about life in Christ. He even allowed Pastor Lanzo to pray for him and visit his house.
Teetonka’s understanding of Jesus and life in Him deepened. Before long, Teetonka put his trust in Jesus and experienced God’s love for himself.
Hope for His Family
Teetonka could not make the six-mile journey to attend Pastor Lanzo’s church, but because of his bicycle, Pastor Lanzo was able to continue visiting and praying with Teetonka regularly. Encouraged in his spirit by learning about God’s love, Teetonka shared Jesus with his family members, too, encouraging them with the message of hope found through Jesus. And though his family remained firm in their faith and his fellow villagers opposed what he had to say, Teetonka remained hopeful that God would open their hearts, just as God had done in his own heart.
“I have hope,” Teetonka said, “that my family members and villagers will come to Jesus Christ one day.”
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