This mission and the recovery were much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. Five months later, I have pieced together team pictures to make this video showing just a little of what we did. Most could not be photographed because we were involved in prayer walks on the streets of Moshi, Tanzania, Africa during the days and ministering on the streets of the red light district at night. Our ministry ended with a banquet for the girls and ladies we met there.
It was the last night in TZ and the team was heading back from Safari. It was a four-hour trip and we were all very tired. Halfway back, there was a traffic jam in Arusha so our guide decided to go the back roads to Moshi. The back road was Nelson Mandela Highway. It was a road sometimes paved, most times not. We passed the Nelson Mandela University. Very middle-class area in TZ, I thought.
And then he made a left-hand turn and the scenery changed. In an instant, we were on a small dirt road in the middle of a remote village. I grabbed my camera but just as I did I heard the Holy Ghost tell me to take no pictures so I put the camera down. Oh my, people everywhere, dressed every way, animals everywhere. No cars except those trying to get through. Thatch roofs and mud houses. We got about halfway through the village and a young girl was standing on a bridge yelling and pointing at us. She was mad and they said trying to put curses on us. We rolled by on that dirt road leaving clouds of dust and a group of people covered by it – breathing it unavoidable.
And with that realization, it started – the tears. I started crying. Weeping at first but then it turned into streams of tears and didn’t stop until we arrived in Moshi. Believe me…I tried to stop. Believe me…I felt like I was causing discomfort in the van and so I tried. But the Spirit of the Lord had fallen on me and what He allowed me to see on those streets even through my tears and what He allowed me to see of my own soul overwhelmed my heart.
Maybe the love of Jesus starts by not thinking our own dust is more precious than others very lives. Having some respect and love for who they are even if they exist with just the clothes on their back, a goat or two and even if we know they worship a false god. Having some respect and love even if they hate us. Having some respect and love most especially if we are just passing through. I am not sure an unreached people can be reached for the Lord by westerners (missionaries or not) who care more about their own dust (time and their own physical conditions) more than relationships built on love and respect. That takes time and while it can be dusty and dirty is never that intentionally.
One of my thoughts as we rolled through – How can those Tanzanian villagers do so much with so little? How can we Americans do so little with so much? The point of my even writing this down is for my own remembrance, as I have no pictures to show of it. Most people will never see this or care what I write in this blog. I keep my writing fairly private…but I also write it to say this…
LOVE your neighbor…and sometimes that looks like just slowing down.
7 days until Moshi, Tanzania, Africa!!!
Thinking this afternoon about how God gives each of us His assignment and His message for a time such as this. I am going to Africa because that is my assignment. You are going somewhere too and that somewhere is yours. Our team is made up of seven women and two men. We are all heading out as a team to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Only one message but the Lord has laid on each of our hearts a different aspect of that message to share. Even the means of our planned deliveries are very different and unique to each of us. Different but with a common thread holding us together tightly. The differences are all needed and necessary. I am I. You are you. Different individuals and yet the same Body…and therein does much beauty lie. It is glorious really. Don’t you love the Lord?
Here is a very, very brief summary showing the common thread for all the messages, crafts, activities, and gifts that God has laid on my heart and helped me prepare for TZ!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ~ John 1:1
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14
He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. ~ Psalm 107:20
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee. ~ Psalm 119:11
He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him. ~ John 14:21
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever. ~ Isaiah 40:8
Thanks for all those that are praying. Your prayers are surely carry me!!!