Mission Tanzania – Day 5
Today is Sunday – our day of worship! And we did just that. We went to Mwembe eary this morning to prepare for Sunday worship with the new church. We drank Chia tea in a local village home and then people began to show up for church around 10:30. The video I shot would do a MUCH beter job of giving you an idea of what this experience was like. I am limited to just words on this blog, however. Upload speeds in Tanzania are about the speed of dial-up.
Worship was incredible. It was like being lifted to the throne room of heaven to hear familiar hymns sung in Swahili. The passion of these people is amazing. They worship with ferver unlike most people in the states. There is loud singing, the banging of a drum (which is really a plastic tub), and yes, even dancing – and it IS a baptist church! It is when we worship together that we are certain that we have much more in common than not. We may all be different on the outside, but on the inside we are the same…because of Jesus Christ.
We worshipped for about 2 hours (with no one complaining), took a break to eat lunch in the church, and then worshipped for another hour. I was priviledged to preach both services with Fanuel translating.
The church blessed us in the end. Each team member said a word of good-bye and blessing and then we went outside the church and sang (and danced) some more. Wow – very cool experience!
We finally loaded up in the truck around 4:00 to head back to Scott’s house. The people lined the road to wave good bye to us.
Our work here in Same, Mwembe, and Chome is done. Tomorrow we move on to Arusha and then the Ngorongoro Crater and then we head home. Others will stay behind to continue the work. Scott and Jennifer have loads to build on. Fanuel will be moving to the mountains to live in Chome and begin a church there. His student, Allison, will be moving to Mwembe to pastor that new church. Fanuel recieved word this morning that another one of his pastoral students, Mark, wants to move to Chome and pastor that church once it is established. Fanuel will then move on to Mtii (another area in the Pare mountains) to start a church there. Scott and Jennifer’s yard worker, Hosea, who is a mighty believer and did translation work for us, is being called to pastor the first baptist church in Same where Scott and Jennifer live. Pray for him. He knows the call of God is on him but he feels unqualified. Fanuel and Scott and convinced, as am I after meeting him, that he is God’s man for a church in Same.
This would make three new churches in the Pare mountains. The foundation is laid. It is so clear how God has brought all the pieces together. We are honored to have been a part.
This is my last blog entry. As of tomorrow morning, we will be on the road and I will have no access to a computer the rest of our trip. We begin the journey home on Wednesday and will arrive in Fort Smith on Thursday evening.
Keep praying for us as we journey through this exotic land.
May God bless you all at home and may God bless the brothers and sisters in Christ of the Pare mountains.