Wednesday, December 11, 2013
“When life puts rocks in your way, build something nice with them.” ― Volksweishei
We came here in 2005 because we felt we had gifts that would help the fledgling Christians and children here. God provided us with land, a vision, and the people to donate the money and provide the labor to build a permanent mission here. We were given two acres of abandoned, furrowed potato field without a plant or a tree growing on it. The picture at the right shows you a bit of what has been built here with the rocks that life put in our way (clicking on it takes you to several more pictures of the mission). The pile of gray gravel is for making biosand water filters. Every other thing you see has been built by local laborers hand-in-hand with mission groups from the United States. The gravel driveway, the assembly hall (Martha's Place, named after the generous woman who gave us the money to build it), the school, the trees, the hedges, the flowers--everything was donated and built with love and the cooperation of mission groups and locals. We now have a school, a computer lab, an assembly hall, two external kitchens, two water towers supplying well water, two wells (one for us and one for the community), two guest cottages that each sleep eight people, a small prayer chapel, the house in which we live, a car park, a security shed, and a biosand filter building with an office. We are surrounded by flowers and beautiful trees and plants all planted as seedlings in 2006. The furrowed land was laid smooth, and the vision that God sent began to grow just as potatoes had in the past. We have a small "shamba" (garden) and have papaya, banana, passion fruit, and many other plants that yield so much fruit that we share it with the neighbors. Since the collapse of the economy in 2008 we went from having three or four mission groups a year to having only one in the last five years, yet we continue to grow and expand the mission. I was elected and consecrated a bishop, we went from four churches with 200 members to 24 churches with 4,000 members and just recently allied ourselves with the Tanzania Methodist Church adding two more bishops and another 100 churches all over Tanzania. We have built one library and equipped several more. We have two schools on our grounds and have started four others out in villages. We currently have thirteen of our pastors and lay pastors in their first year of a two-year Methodist seminary degree in Arusha (the Korean Methodist Church pays for room and board and tuition, we pay for bus fare and spending money for each of the students). We had the call and the vision, but nothing would have come from them without the prayers, physical assistance, and funding from hundreds of wonderful Christians who shared our vision. Maisha Na Maji (living water) was not built by us but by God and His children. We will be eternally grateful for all those who have become part of this mission. Just yesterday, a family asked if they could come help us in February and they are welcome. Thank you seems so inadequate, but I suspect God will reward you if He hasn't already.