‘Sitting at Jesus’ feet’: leaning into God’s grace
By Deb Fox | Wycliffe Today Winter 2022 edition |
Tim and Jane Letcher have been serving in Epenarra, Central Australia, with their three young children. After marrying, they both attended Sydney Missionary and Bible College and started praying about how they could serve the Lord.
Tim developed a passion for Aboriginal ministry. He shares how his experience with Scripture engagement among Indigenous Australian communities continues to motivate him in the work God has laid on his heart:
I spent some time teaching at Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley (northern Western Australia). I saw many people having trouble engaging with Scripture – it was in English but not available in the languages that they understood best. So that’s been a huge motivator – helping people understand God’s Word as clearly as possible.
Tim has been working with some local speakers to record the first few chapters of 1 Samuel into Alyawarr. This Old Testament book, in particular, speaks to animistic cultures about learning to trust in God rather than other people, powers or spirits. It also demonstrates God’s desire for personal relationship and a change of heart, rather than something transactional. As Samuel says to King Saul, ‘What pleases the Lord more? Burnt offerings and sacrifices, or obeying the Lord?’ – 1 Samuel 15:22a (NIRV). Tim explains:
Many people here are quite nominal in their faith. They want to follow God as their ‘boss man’ but there is so much social pressure that pulls them away from church. They have trouble understanding grace. They think that they have to be these ‘perfect’ people in order to come back to God and learn more about him. We want to encourage them that God wants them to come to him just as they are.
Jane adds that they have been encouraged by the power of the gospel changing lives from the inside out:
Our neighbour became a Christian last year and it has totally transformed her life! She witnesses her faith wherever she goes. She told us that she was in a really bad spot when God reached her. She uses this to encourage people that the gospel actually does make a difference in people’s lives and it touches people at different times.
Jane shares how this experience, in addition to her own Bible reading, has reminded her to lean into God’s grace:
We are learning to implement safe boundaries with others and give the hard things over to God. Recently, a few really heavy things landed on me and I was feeling unsettled. I was buzzing around the kitchen to make things for those who were suffering and I was reading the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was concerned with urgent needs around her, yet Jesus said that only one thing was needed – to enjoy his presence. I realised that I also really just needed to sit at Jesus’ feet. When there is so much going on, it can feel like you’re wading through darkness. BUT our job is to sit at Jesus’ feet and encourage others to sit at his feet with us.
Please pray for:
- Indigenous Australian Christians to persevere in their faith
- more men to be changed by the gospel
- God to continue moving in the hearts and minds of people in Epenarra
- the Letchers as they settle back into life in Perth for a period of rest.