What is sacrifice?

A few days ago, Tim and I went to eat at one of the pastor’s homes here in Mwanza; I should say his “room” instead of his home. He came to the house and rode with us to his place; it’s off one of the many winding streets around Mwanza and he, his wife, and their little 5 year old son, Gospel, have rented a room in the building where a number of others live also. We went into their one little room; there is a bed in one corner with one sheet on it and nothing else. Against the wall there is a small bookcase, two small stools and a little wooden table. Tim and I sat on the two little stools and the pastor and Gospel sat on the bed with the little table between us. Mama (pastor’s wife)had a tiny little one pan charcoal cooker in the corner on the floor with a box containing a few old pans and a few mismatched dishes. She cooked ugali (a very thick porridge), cooked greens (michiche), some avocado slices, 3 bananas, and a small pineapple; all grown locally, and two small fish. They placed all the food on the table in tiny little bowls/pans and gave Tim and I each a bowl-no utensils-so we ate African style with our fingers. They wanted us to eat all the food but Tim and I refused all though we took very small portions and ate seconds(eatings seconds and thirds shows that you like the food). We insisted the pastor eat also but the three of them did not eat until we were done and Mama never came to the table with us. The room had no lights and one small window. The pastor left and returned with two soda’s; one for Tim and one for me as well as a large bottled water. I was humbled and wanted to insist that they not spend what little money they had to buy soda for us; but we could not cause them to be embarrassed or insulted so we accepted all they gave us with thankfulness and gratitude.
This pastor, his wife, and their youngest child traveled here a year ago by bus bringing only what they could carry in their luggage with them. Their three other children remain behind with family members so they can attend school. Pastor goes out everyday visiting his neighbors, who are mostly Muslims, sharing the love of Jesus with them and trying to build a church in this area that he feels God has called him to; his little church runs about 20-25 people.
He speaks of how blessed he is to be a servant of God and how happy he and his family is to be able to do this work. This pastor is not unique; many pastors across Tanzania live as he does because “the love of Christ compels them”.
This is sacrifice! May God forgive us when we who have so much complain about our lot in life and are consumed with our desire for more.
Tim & Joyce


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