Thursday, December 6, 2012

Quote of the Day:  “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.”  ― Jonathan Lockwood Huie

In 2003, flying back to the U.S. from Tanzania, I was quietly talking to my wife about the need for $400 to buy an acre of land for the church in Musoma.  I told Karen that I was sure we could raise that amount in a few months so that the church could keep its building and have more room to grow.  We landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and while we were waiting for our luggage at the luggage carousel, a man I didn't know walked up to me.  He said he had been sitting behind us on the plane and overheard our conversation.  He pressed four one-hundred dollar bills into my hand and with tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat he told me to buy the land for the church.  As I turned to show Karen the money, the man disappeared.  That was the first land we bought for a Methodist church in Tanzania, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.  Since then, we have bought land for churches in Kabasa, Magongo, Muranda, and Kabaki--all with money donated by people in Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Today, we bought two hectares (four acres) of land in Lamadi to build a Methodist church there.  Bwana Masele and Pastor Nyansa came by to get the money this morning.  Two weeks ago, they had traveled to Lamadi to make sure we would have legal title to the land and that the village had agreed in writing, and everything was all good and proper.  The really good thing about today's purchase is that we only paid for half.  The church raised the other half.  All of our projects that involve us helping them and not paying all the bills ourselves, do ten times better.  I am really proud of the church in Lamadi (that was meeting in a school) for raising the money (about $300) especially since that church is made up mostly of AIDS widows and orphans.  It is a very good day.  It is a very God day.

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