I had been invited out by a believing Dong friend of mine. The festivities went all day, and I thought I would go to the singing that night, but something much better happened. My Dong friend said a couple ladies in her village had been asking her questions about the Gospel and wanted to talk to me.
The ladies were huddled around a small fire of wood chips in a smoke filled room. You could not breathe if you stood up, but had to sit down on the low stools like they were. I sat and we talked about the festival and other things before they asked some questions.
They knew a little about the Gospel, but little outside of Jesus. I thought they might want to hear why Jesus came, what his coming meant, and the basic problem of mankind that Jesus's death and resurrection solved. So, I started at the beginning.
I told them about creation. I was about to tell them about the Fall, but realized that they did not know who Satan was, and if God's creation was perfect just as he is perfect, then why did they have this imperfect temptor hanging around. So, I went back further and told what we know of the creation of angels and the fall of Satan and the angels who followed him.
That was good, because it helped them understand more about a perfect God who could not have sin in his presence. Then, when they heard the story of the Fall, they better understood why Adam & Eve could not be allowed to remain in God's presence. Thus, God had to cast them out.
Understanding that all mankind now are marked by the sin of Adam & Eve from birth was not too hard to understand. They know that little Dong children, just like all children from around the world, know how to disobey before they can walk or talk. That is the sin we have inherited as mankind.
The word "sin" was a bit of an issue, though. These ladies are all Dong, primarily speak Dong, and their Chinese vocabulary is quite limited. And Chinese is the only common language I had to communicate with them. Anyway, "sinner" in Chinese can sound like "criminal." In a sense, they are the same, but in another sense, quite different.
I tried to explain that man has his laws. If you break those, you are a "sinner/criminal" by their laws. But God's standards are quite different. We all have that original, inherited sin. And since we have that sin, plus all the others we all commit, we cannot be in God's presence. We too are separated from God by our sin.
But, God gave us a promise. I told them that when God cursed Satan the day of the Fall, he said this: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." It is a very confusing verse, because of the change from "you" to "he," but it contains God's first promise of his fix for the separation sin causes between God and man.
That was it, though. That is all I was able to tell. Maybe I talked too long, but some of the ladies had to go prepare dinner and we did not have a chance to continue right then. Thankfully, they know about Jesus already, and maybe now this will help explain a little more of the fundamentals behind the Gospel message.
We should pray together with these young believers—they may just be seeking and not yet believed, we do not know—that the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to them and instruct them as they talk over these stories. At the very least, we are incredibly thankful that more Dong people have heard about the one who came, destroyed death, conquered sin, and brought us salvation, once for all.