He does not crush the weak, or quench the smallest hope; He will end all conflict with His final victory, and His name shall be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:20-21
It’s been one week since we arrived home from what may have been the most amazing team trip we have had to Tanzania. The team from Wildwood Calvary Chapel arrived after traveling over 24 hours, at 9 PM, August 30th – without their luggage, and we knew then that this team was going to be remarkable. Not one person complained!
And, they hit the ground running. Typically teams rest the first day they arrive, but not Wildwood, they went into Moshi with energy that was exciting and contagious. We love going into town but we know it’s actually one of the most draining situations to endure and we rarely introduce this as a first day experience. However, the team wanted to go and it was astounding, meeting the street boys head on and grabbing ministry moments immediately right in the middle of Moshi Town. There is never a lack of opportunity when the towns young “salesmen” begin to surround you in groups of as many as 15 to 20. Typically these are who the locals (and return visitors) try to avoid due to the badgering and begging that “you come to my shop” talk. Team Wildwood met the challenge, taking the time to engage them and talk with them which led to praying for deliverance and healing over them, which led to prayers of salvation and inviting them to come to church, which some of them did. It was a glimpse into what the next 10 days would look like.
One of the highlights of every trip is to get the boxes and bags ready for the visit we love to make to the elderly windows. From shopping at the open markets to each home visit, it’s truly something we thank God we have been allowed to do.
It was dark when we arrived to deliver the boxes to the windows so we didn’t get pictures.
The following day Wildwood held a conference at Yesu Anaweza for pastors and their wives. Pastor Chris taught the pastors the Inductive Bible Study method of studying the Word of God. Focusing on the importance of knowing and delivering to their people the whole counsel of God. During one of the session Wendy Fraley shared with the pastors wives and some of the ladies who attend Yesu Anaweza. Just try keeping these ladies away when something is going on there at their church. 🙂 In another session Pastor Jason shared and time was devoted to questions and answers as well as praying for the pastors who attended.
Friday Wildwood held a Bible Blast (aka VBS) for the children at Yesu Anaweza. They preformed a skit from the book of Daniel, sang songs and each child got a little face painting done. Afterward the children, (even the big ones) played keep away with balloons.
The team also did another two day VBS at the primary school at Mtakuja where many on the children responded to the gospel and gave their lives to Jesus.
Our visit to the school was at the invitation of the school Elder Board. We did not know when we had taken gifts to widows in the area that the school elders would know this. Because of this we found favor and this caused a connection we did not realize would be created. Praise God who creates such things!
We are praying that Africa Harvest of Hope will soon be able to put in a water well in for this school. The Elders hope to grow food here to feed the children in this school.
This is an area where we will be focusing our attention as far as ministry opportunities. It sits very close to the Boy’s Home.
Here is a small description of our big “dream”; When the first home is completed, 12 orphaned boys will come to live in their new home in Mtakuja. In time… they will become young men who have the Spirit leading them to reach out to those who need help like they once did and minister (care for) their neighbors in the surrounding areas and even out “into all the world”. Maybe some of the children in the primary school will be some they care for.
A Night of Worship
What a night! It was not only a great (Glorious) evening of worship, praying and praising God but Saturday evening we stepped ‘into’ and saw God move. We felt His healing, His power, fall on this place. We don’t need grand buildings… He in His – It couldn’t get any better.
Our last Sunday was another highlight. Pastor Chris and Zac taught and after services Pastor Zac ask anyone who had not been baptized come forward and they opened the small baptismal, filled it with water and Pastor Zac and Nick baptized about 5 people who had given their lives to the Lord. The personal treasure was when our young friend, Saleem a street boy who we have know for 10 years was baptized. Saleem is one of those boys we mentioned earlier. One who you might want to run from because, he just won’t stop… But for some 🙂 reason, we have been in each others lives steadily these last ten years. We have prayed, encouraged, exhorted (firmly), had pity and compassion on and prayed for earnestly for him. Saleem is hooked on heroin and he does a lot of bad things but he is a treasure not only to us but we know he is Loved by God. We have had a few opportunities to be intimately involved in the lives a some here in Moshi. We’ve watched them grow and we know now there was a reason He kept them in our lives.
On the first day we went to town with the team, there was Saleem. This meeting would prove different than others in the past. We believe it was the presence of a group of young men and women who were excited and in love with their Savior. A group who didn’t come to give a “pat” answer or a trite prayer but came full of the power of Holy Spirit and Gods love and some of the “band of street brothers” responded to the call – to come. Saleem did. He prayed with us, renounced things and ask for God to heal him. It was powerful, but the enemy didn’t want to loose Saleem. On Saturday after dropping the team off at Yesu Anaweza Alan went to town to fetch the boys from the street. After some time he had to convince Saleem to come. There was a presence of guilt and condemnation but Alan encouraged him to come. He did. He missed a good portion of the worship and prayer time but he was there and we prayed! And prayed! We ask the boys to come back for church the next day and Alan repeated the scenario of dropping us off and picking them up in town and about 5 of them came. Saleem was with them. After the service and invitation to be baptized was given Saleem was the last in line.
Pray with us for Saleem to walk with God, to be free from the enemies lies that he is a worthless addict. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to heal him, teach him and use him. We have sat under countless recovered addicts here in California and we know God wants to do this in the lives of young men all over the world. Please pray for this young man to be a powerful force for good in Moshi, Tanzania.
MONDAY NIGHT – JESUS VIDEO IN MTKUJA
After a long weekend and busy schedule on Monday a few of the team drove back out to set up and show the Jesus Video. This even had another surprise for us to witness. We sat up right inside the gate of the Boy’s Home compound. Pastor Zac wisely brought the church speakers and it was awesome. It’s a very rural area and as the evening went on (the Jesus Video is very long) more people from the area come through the gate. Most of them were Masai. It has always been a ‘hope’ that we could learn, first hand, who they are, how they live and what they believe. We wanted to interact with them and not get our answers from someone other than the Masai. We desire to have a relationship with them. Looks like we are seeing an another answered prayer. By the end of the video several had left but many of those who stayed heard the Gospel. Nick closed the night by giving an invitation and many came to know the Lord.
After the construction is done on the Boy’s Home our next building will be a church directly inside the gate of the property for Bible Study and Sunday Services. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Here are a few more pictures of different events during the week.
You are probably ready for this story to end and we have to get to all that awaits us here so until our next post, God bless you and keep you…
In His Love, Alan and Shannon Reed
Karibu tena! (Welcome back!)