This picture is defying. It is defying what was said couldn't be done. One of the two people in this picture said that they couldn't disciple. The one on the left.
Permit me to back up a bit and explain.
We invited four youth group members into our apartment around five months ago. We didn't know them that well then, but we wanted to start being intentional about discipleship with members of the Quisqueya Chapel youth group. We prayed and talked about who to ask. Andrea made a meal and we invited them to come over to eat and go through a book on discipleship with us. We also committed to spending time with them outside of our weekly meeting. We swim, watch movies, eat, and do other things with them. Sitting around the table gives us many opportunities to speak in a parental way to the youth. Many of the topics that we discuss aren't in the book we're using, but we use it as a springboard to dive into the stuff that they have questions about. The weekly book study is an important part of discipleship, but it's only part of it.
About four weeks into the study we told them that our intention was that they would be disciples who go and make more disciples.
Ernst, the guy in the picture, said "I cannot do it".
Ernst: "I do not have a house like this. I don't have food to give and I do not have a table to sit around with people and go through this book together with them."
Ernst had so closely associated discipleship with eating and hospitality and having a "nice" house that he felt unable to reproduce what we were doing. "Sure you can", we encouraged him, but he was settled on the idea that this was what we did and he could not do the same.
In the following weeks we tried to encourage all of the youth in the discipleship group to not make the mistake of thinking that the way we were discipling them was the only way. "Jesus discipled people as He walked along the road and as He sat in a fishing boat", I said, "and I'm fairly sure He was better at discipleship than I am. He didn't have place to lay down at night, but still He was able make some pretty impactful disciples."
A few weeks later Dieula and Sadrac, two of the other youth in our discipleship group, both asked for an extra copy of Multiply (the book we're using in our discipleship group). A week later Ernst also asked for a copy. We gladly supplied the books. They all had a friend who they wanted to disciple!
A few Sundays ago while Ernst was spending some time with the friend he was discipling, another guy walked by and asked what they were doing. Ernst invited him to join them. He's now discipling two young men!
This picture was taken on Wednesday night. Ernst meets twice a week with the friend pictured here and meets once per week with his other disciple. They meet, not at his home, but at the Chapel grounds. Andrea asked him how far Into the book they were. Ernst, with a smile, said chapter three. He said, "We never finish a chapter in one week, we talk and talk about many things."
We are rejoicing in God's work in Ernst and the others.
Going and making disciples = the mission of the church.