Saturday, April 5, 2014

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” — 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

Today, our visitors arrive for three days of instruction on the building, transporting, maintaining and servicing biosand water filters.  This means I will have little to do and Shaban will work very hard.  We get nothing out of this—directly, but as the quote above tells us, when we have a gift that will help others, we must give as freely as we received.  Oh, on a side note, when someone breaks the fiber optic cable that wipes out internet for most of the country—they get it fixed very fast.  We were back up the next day, although we expected a month-long down time.  Back to using our gifts.  Our Muslim friends tell us that their faith requires them to give of their talents as God blessed them which is pretty much what it says in 1 Peter.  When Karen and I came here about nine years ago, we came with two suitcases, about $8,000 in American money, and a whole lot of faith.  Our mission area was an unused potato field.  With dreams, friends, and support from many in the United States, we slowly put together a mission that now has eleven buildings, two schools (we have started five others), feeds almost sixty orphans every day, distributes Bibles, mosquito nets, teaches sanitation and hygiene workshops, sewing workshops, teaching workshops, hosts mission groups from all over the world (including several denominations), administers a scholarship program at the local teachers college that has graduated sixty Christian teachers, and helps others and churches on a need by need basis.  This is not all we do or have done (like starting a public library here in Bunda) but none of it was on our list of things to do when we arrived in Africa.  All we came to do was to assist the church and the people of Tanzania, and to that mission we have been faithful every day.  We, of course, could have done nothing if there were not many, many others who have shared their gifts with us, supported us with their prayers, and kept our mission alive in their hearts and in their churches.  The group that is arriving is here today because four years ago one of them had heard about us and dropped in to see what we were doing.  That person sent a group of evangelists here who converted over 1,200 folks here in Bunda in five days of very hard work.  That group, e3 Partners, has now expanded their mission to include providing clean, safe drinking water.  We are happy to share our gifts that they can share theirs with even more people.  They are primarily working with the Masaai between Arusha and Kenya, and we are blessed that they came to us for help.  We are, as the saying goes, “Paying it forward.”  If God has blessed you with a gift—share it and it will grow exponentially.  God bless all of you who have shared with us.
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