One of my favorite people in the world is Pastor Barnabas, Moses’ father-in-law. He is an excellent church planter and pastor of pastors. I’ve known him from the early years of my ministry here and once lived in his house for a week. I would draw water from his well to stand and shave under his coconut tree while he’d knock down a coconut for us to eat (drink the milk, that is).
He is one of the pastors we started supporting in the very beginning and is Moses’ right hand man, overseeing all our ministry east of Vijayawada. He is large as India men go. HE spent most of his life as a farmer before being called to the ministry late in life. His wife (mother of Moses’ wife) died about 9 months before Moses’ mother died. Both grandmothers died in the same year. P
astor Barnabas is a great motivator and natural leader of men. He has great control of things around him, but exudes grace and gentleness. He is gifted in spiritual warfare and teaching the Word. He is about my age. I greatly look forward to spending a lot of time talking with him in heaven, for we can’t communicate a word now! Yet we work together smoothly, reading each other’s mind and anticipating each other’s needs. We’ve done dozens of conferences together.
If I had to move to India I would live in his village among his people for they are wonderful long-time friends whom I know quite well. His is the only church we have a conference in every year, all the others are new places. The people there seem to think highly of me as well, at least they keep coming every time I speak there!
Yesterday after my sermon I moved among the people while they sat, laying my hands on their heads and praying for God’s blessing for them. As I was finished Pastor Barnabas came before me and bowed his head for me to pray for him and bless him. What a humbling honor it was to pray for this great yet gentle man of God! When I was done praying for him I again what I have done every year for the past 4 years, I took his hands and put them on my head for him to pray for me and he did.
When he does I look down at his feet, very distinct because of a toe that was broken in the past and healed at an angle to the rest of his feet. I think of what Paul said about the feet of those bringing good news being beautiful, and his certainly are!
I have no idea what he says when he prays for me, yet I do – the same thing I pray for him. He is the only one here I have ever had lay hands on me and pray for me. When he prays for me I know I have been prayed for! I covet his prayers greatly. His praying for me is one of the very top highlight events of my time here. What a joy and privilege to stand with this man as we ask God’s blessings on each other because of Jesus. All because of Jesus. Only because of Jesus. Always because of Jesus.
Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Acts 4: 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 9: 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.
Pray for Pastor Barnabas today. Pray for God’s blessing, protection, wisdom, guidance and comfort as he miss his wife who was a great, great woman of prayer. He is on the very front lines of the battle against Satan and the darkness that claims India.