Monday, July 21, 2014
“God lives in the place of praise. If we want to be where He is, we need to go to His address.” ― Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Our three missionary visitors have gone back to the U.S. after a very successful ten-day stay. Four of those days, they (Peter, Stephanie, and Erica) stayed in the village of Mariwanda because it was too far from here to go back and forth every day. They were a wonderful group, but unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of them. They left early every day and came back late. Basically, Stephanie and Erica did the mission work in the churches of several denominations, and Peter recorded everything with some very professional video equipment for a documentary they are putting together on African worship. The women were in their twenties and Peter was closer to my age. I got to talk to Peter one afternoon while he waiting to shoot an interview and discovered that he has been doing very risky missionary work for many, many years. Most recently, he was flying into the Sudan to places that the U.N. wouldn’t even go. I call people like him “R.M.’s” or Real Missionaries. By that, I mean these are the people who go where they are not welcome and risk death on a daily basis. We were welcomed into a country that has gone from being a third Christian when we got here to one that is now half Christian or more. Our danger comes from iffy electricity and not being able to buy butter or cheese except by driving for over two hours. Oh, we don’t have ambulances or even passable medical facilities, but people are not shooting at us. There was a Christian pastor shot and killed on the steps of his church in Zanzibar, but Zanzibar is 100% Muslim and the Muslims there shoot at each other more than at Christians. There was a bomb thrown into a Catholic Church in Arusha last year when an envoy from the Vatican was here, but that was pretty much an isolated event. Peter, on the other hand, has been going into hot zones for his whole missionary life. I really admire and respect his bravery and willingness to sacrifice. The ladies may have been doing the same, but I didn’t get to talk to them much. Karen says I can be a little intimidating even when I am just smiling and being friendly, so perhaps that’s why they didn’t feel comfortable talking to me. Whatever, we were really just providing them with a place to stay and food to eat. When they came back from living in the village for four days, they said this was like a five-star hotel in comparison, so I’m guessing they had interesting food and less than comfortable places to sleep. We were happy to have them and made sure they knew that they were always welcome here. If by providing a safe, clean, and comfortable place to stay for those who are expanding God’s kingdom, then we are doing a good thing, I think. Everyone can’t be the lead singer in the band, but without the back up, lights, and good sound, no band sounds very good. We don’t mind being the back up for those who are on the front lines of the effort to bring more light into the darkness that fills so many of the lives here. God bless you, Stephanie, Erica, and Peter, and may you continue to serve Christ wherever you are called.