Heroes of Tanzania

This week has been a busy week with pastors coming to the house and Spiritual Emphasis week at the Bible School here in Mwanza. I would like to introduce you to a few “unsung heroes” of the family of God who will probably never be recognized this side of heaven. However, I know that they are definitely heroes of faith; going about their business unnoticed by people.

First, we met Pastor Edward this week; he was a student at the Bible School when we opened it in 2001 right before returning to the states. Yesterday he was just visiting during Spiritual Emphasis week and was invited to the front to greet everyone. He came, walking slowly, his body was twisted and his hands and feet were turned and twisted. It was painful to watch until you focused on his face; there was nothing deformed or crippled about his face. He wore a huge smile and there was joy radiating from him. He came forward and made a joke about the special “walk” that God has given him and then he sang a little happy chorus about the goodness of God. We learned later that while he was attending the Bible school there was a problem with the supply of water to the water tank and Edward offered to climb up and fix it. He fell from the top of the tank and afterwards lay in a coma for week in the local hospital. They were not sure he would ever leave the hospital; it is obvious that even though he survived he must have received some type of head/spinal chord injury. And yet, he is a pastor and he is married with a family and he is…happy and content and joyful. Amazing.
Secondly, we had a visit from Pastor Samwel from Musoma in the Mara region; he is the Presbyter for that region. When we were here the first term we had helped Pastor Samwel purchase a bicycle. He still has the bicycle but now that he is presbyter he needs something a little faster; like a “pikipiki” which is a motorcycle. The Mara region is a huge area and the villages are far apart and isolated; he is unable to visit his struggling handful of pastors regularly because he can’t get to them easily. Many of the villages do not have buses or transportation that go to them and he can’t reach them in a day’s time on his bicycle. He does his best and we will be praying that God will supply him with faster and more reliable transportation.
There are so many of these servants of God here in Tanzania; doing what they do in difficult circumstances and they rarely complain. They count it a joy to be servants in the Kingdom of God; I need to strive for that kind of servant heart and uncomplaining attitude.
Be blessed today.

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