Wednesday, August 20, 2014

“The worst pain in the world goes beyond the physical. Even further beyond any other emotional pain one can feel. It is the betrayal of a friend.” ― Heather Brewer

Bishop Monto came by yesterday with a report on his meeting with the education officials for Bunda and with two letters.  I was truly heartbroken.  Not because we were going to have any trouble with the government—they are more than pleased with what we are doing here, but because a man I trusted, helped, and cared for betrayed me and the church.  One of the letters that Bishop Monto gave me was from the Education Department and addressed to the District Commissioner, the Police, and four other very important people.  It outlined what Pastor Nyansa had been doing.  He had been operating an illegal primary and secondary school, never registering them or even attempting to maintain the standards required and charging $300 a term per student for the primary school and $700 a term for the secondary boarding school.  He had rented a small house and nine students were sleeping on the floor with no water, no light, and no food.  He had been using the name of our school and the Methodist church to trick parents into paying huge amounts for substandard education.  In the past, I had been helping him, paying his rent, helping to pay for his wedding, paying his travel costs to go back and forth to Arusha (I thought to help our students there, but he was seeing his girlfriend—now his wife), and even giving him furniture for his house.  All the time, he was just using me to achieve his own ends of making money out of the church and our friendship.  I said Bishop Monto brought me two letters--the other was from Bishop Monto to the government, saying that the schools Nyansa had been running were closed permanently as of yesterday.  Only our preschool was operating as a part of our church and was exceeding all government standards.  It also explained that Nyansa was no longer a Methodist pastor and had been stripped of all his titles and credentials.  It is so sad that a man with such great talent had decided to use it to serve the god of money.  We had a pastor just recently who lost his life saving the Bibles for his church, and now this.  Jesus knew what He was saying when he said that no man can serve two masters—either he serves God or money.  Our school continues and the children are singing even as I write this.  We had never had control of the school anyway, we just allowed them to use our facilities for their classroom needs, instructional tools, and, of course, we fed them twice a day.  Nyansa hired the teachers and took money from the parents—he said to pay the teachers, but our teachers hadn’t been paid in the last four months.  Bishop Monto is working out an arrangement with the parents for a new organization without Nyansa in it.  To say that we are hurt and saddened is an understatement.  Betrayal is a very hard hurt.  It is one that we will survive because we knew that if we were doing what God wanted us to do that there would be challenges and attacks on God’s work.  We just never suspected that it would come from someone we called friend.  On at least one positive note, we are getting money to buy fifty more Swahili Bibles and to buy at least three bicycles for the pastors of our three newest churches.  We have provided almost thirty bicycles in the last several years, and of those, all but one have been and are being used for evangelism.  Many years ago, one woman sold hers the minute she got home to pay medical bills.  Hard to be too mad at her as she is still serving faithfully and running one of our preschools.  The church is a rock as is our mission.  Things may attack it, but it will and always stand firm in the foundation of our faith.
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