For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. -- Hebrews 4:12, KJV
John Wengatz thoroughly believed in the power of the Word of God, and often gave out copies of the Gospel of Matthew -- and the Lord did many things with those small books. One of Wengatz's missionaries encountered a young man named Buta. Buta had just finished his military service as a soldier and was retiring as an officer. He had learned to read and write during his military service, and when a missionary gave him the small, red book (the Gospel of Matthew) he was delighted at a chance to use his reading skills.
John Wengatz was an American missionary to Angola, arriving there with his wife in 1910 to start their work.
At their first "official" outreach service to a tribe that had never heard the Gospel before, John Wengatz and his wife Susan saw something truly amazing: during this open air service, the people were reacting powerfully, weeping, crying, and prostrating themselves on the ground .... all calling upon Jesus to forgive their sins. However, Wengatz was not used to such emotional reactions and in his naivete encouraged them to avoid such open expressions of emotion. The result? It killed the service. The locals all sat calmly, paying close attention to the speaker, and didn't move a muscle when the altar call was made. They no longer felt the freedom to reach out to the Lord.
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.