Then and Now


I would like to introduce you to one of our dear friends, his name is Seni. Seni and his family live in Mwanza, Tanzania and we were in their home often to eat with them and visit with each other. They also came to our home; we count them among our dearest friends.

Tim and Seni traveled many miles together around the western part of Tanzania. Seni was the regional representative for the Gideons, so whenever he and Tim traveled Seni always took a case of Bibles with him. It is very common in Tanzania to come upon a police roadblock. This often means that you end up paying some type of fine (called “chai”) before you are able to continue your journey. Seni would always take advantage of these opportunities to pass out Gideon Bibles to all of the police officers at the roadblocks.

One of the most memorable characteristics about Seni is that he had a very loud laugh and he laughed a lot! He truly had the joy of the Lord in his heart. I remember the day we flew out of Mwanza to return to the states. Seni didn’t laugh that entire morning as he was at our home helping us prepare to leave. When we arrived at the airport we were all crying but Seni did not cry. Seni didn’t laugh either. He smiled and spoke much about the day that we would return to Mwanza. As we were walking towards the plane I looked back at our friend one more time. Seni had turned away with his back to us and his head was bent over; I think he was crying although he was trying to hide it. He could not watch us leave.

Usually they send us a short email of “Christian greeting” about twice a year. I accidently included their address in an email newsletter that among other things, mentioned our financial need that had to be met before we could return to Tanzania.
A few days later, we received this email from our friend, Seni; I have copied it for you below:

From: Suleiman and Anna Seni
To: Tim and Joyce Jarvis

How joyful we are to hear from you and all about the desire of your coming back to Tanzania!!! We strongly believe that your desire is God’s will. So before you step in the grounds of your destination we say to you WELCOME HOME!!! The Seni’s family will be supporting you with 100 $ for four months from September 2007. But if you need it all at once, we can have it ready for you by the end of October 2007.
You are in our Prayer calendar.
We love you and we say God bless you.
Yours in His Love, Seni’s

Most of you have no concept what $400 means to a Tanzanian; most Tanzanians will not make even a $100 a year. And yet, our friend, Seni, believes in us and believes that it is God’s will for us to be in Tanzania. They are making a huge financial commitment to us because they want us to return to Africa and continue the work that we were doing there. Will you search your hearts and see what God is telling you to do?

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