Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are You the One?

The disciples of John the Baptist were sent to Jesus to ask that very question. John was imprisoned, facing the loss of his life and the promised Messiah was out there. In such personal dire circumstances, I can imagine he wanted to know the answer.

As John paved the way as the prophet Isaiah had predicted he probably was not asking for possible release or affecting his own personal situation. It could have been to understand the answer of the final hope "are YOU the one to change the world?"

Today as we drove to the compound Sabina was telling how she has been here in Mwanza "like John". I asked if she has taken up eating locust - she smiled and replied "no, I have prepared the way for your coming."

I immediately thought of the answer Jesus gave in Luke 7:22 and wondered at the wonderment of God bringing four women half way around the world - are WE the one's to change this "world"?

After a wonderful afternoon jet lag nap we were joined at dinner by a group from Iowa here doing work at the compound hospital. There are two eye doctors and a medical doctor to care for the village people who can come for treatment. We told them what brought us here and they shared their mission. They told of their trials (ALL their medical equipment is in a container in the port of Mombasa because of a strike) and their sucesses in spite of the limits.

The surgeon related of a man who came in with cataracts covering both eyes completely blinding him. "He arrived with a cane and left dancing with his new found sight". I said "the blind see - prophecies are been answered." As a physician he didn't exhibit quite the enthusiasm, but smiled and said "yeah, I guess you're right."

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light". Isaiah 9:2

Are we the one's?

You can bet on it. The Lord is revealing His glory, His power, His presence and we are rejoicing!

The Light has come and we are walking in it - we are going with His authority - keep up the prayer cranked power supply - this is Son Energy indeed.

Tomorrow we will have a day of preparation as our schedule has been modified for the conference days and the days in the village. I will update the schedule tomorrow to enable you to walk with us, pray with us, praise with us as His Truth goes marching on!

Please feel free to send notes and prayers of encouragement to all the team members. We are sharing your love and greetings with our brothers and sisters here in Mwanza and they are being strengthened by you care for them. (See Colossians 1:9-14)

Soon snoozing but still smiling in His service

The Journey Begins

Good morning ready soldiers!

We are all about to take an afternoon nap after a delicious lunch topped off with the sweetest pineapple any of us have ever tasted.

Already (even without the pineapple) we have tasted and seen the goodness of our God.

We got an early start off to the airport escorted by our blessed friend Ms Hyera - her kindness and hospitality are true testimony of the "oneness" experienced by believer's around the world. During our short flight from the capital to Mwanza we saw some British men rush to one side of the plane with their cameras. I asked what they were doing and with the unmistakable accent and enthusiasm of mountaineers they replied "it's the top of Kilimanjaro!".

Breathtaking to see the summit rising to a level breaking through the clouds at 35,000 feet.

We were greeted warmly by our dear sister Sabina and the leader here in Mwanza Mama Shangwe. We decided it was okay to call her Mama too as she ranks the eldest in our group. We now are all referred to as DaDa (sister). We had a short tour of the Diocese offices and made our way through town past Lake Victoria. We are staying at the diocese compound which will be our home until Monday when we leave for the village.

Our schedule has been modified but will give us a day of rest to prepare for all the Lord has in store.

Keep praying for hearts to be opened to the Spirit who has gone before preparing the way.

Outside the roosters are crowing - but it may be just dinner ?! I will share more later as we have satellites circling keeping YOU in the loop, and the troops ready for action.

Good morning smiling

Midnight at the Oasis

Here it is 8 am and we find ourselves at the airport in plenty of time standing guard over our 400 lbs of luggage. The Lord gave His servants rest and we were humbled by our friend Ms. Hyera who met us at the airport and escorted us back. Please pray we do not get charged for the domestic leg on our suitcases. So far it has been good. We are a little apprehensive seeing the conference begins tomorrow - but our God is Mighty to serve and to save!

The people here have greeted us with kindness and sincerity at our coming and this is only the first day.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness on them a light shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy, they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest as they are glad when they divide the spoil." Isaiah 9:2-3

Beseech the Lord of our Harvest

Plowing on

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mixed Soup

We arrived a bit weary from our first 10 flight hour and to Amsterdam waiting among a multicultural cross section of the world. Arabs, Africans, Germans, Dutch, Germans and blend of skin colors and clothing that dazzles the eyes.

We are excited, anxious, but ALL feel the weight of carrying the full armor of God.

Oh that Paul could have had this technology but we have been have been the chosen to carry the message back and forth at light speed across the world.

Treasure this time as the beginning of the process. .Monday's Oswald Chambers was particularly fitting for the start of our trip. We must ""see Him walking on the water" in the midst of our storm. I can see no ocean or body of water - but His face is was I the brilliant red sunrise braking across the Western European sky.

He has gone before us and He has risen indeed!

Pray us down to Africa.

Onward and upward

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"You Never Know Why You're Alive..."

"until you know what you would die for."
"I Would Die for You" Lyrics by MercyMe

If you are not familiar with the mission motivating song "I Would Die For You", the line from the chorus may stir your spirit. It ignites mine! Granted, they frighten me as well, given the experiences I have had in the mission field. I will never forget the very dark night in China after my friend had been deliberately targeted and run down by an automobile that I asked (okay yelled) at the Father "why?" to which the Spirit replied, "you are willing to die - but you are not willing to see someone you care about hurt for My Name's Sake?"

When I travel down mountain roads in third worlds at a rate of speed that causes my heart to race faster than the dangerous wheels that are carrying me - I calm myself with the joke, "I AM willing to die Lord, but maimed we are going to have to discuss." Frequently heavenward negotiations are involved when danger or fear erupts in our hearts. Real or imagined - we really don't want to suffer, experience pain or be out of control of any given situation.

In 2000, after a particularly emotional mission trip in war torn Bosnia , I was ready to leave the mission field. But one of the members of the team, upon hearing of my soul sickness recommended I read Don Richardson's "The Peace Child." It recounts his story of taking his family into Indonesia to live among a tribe of head-hunting cannibals. When he arrived with his wife and baby son, they were met by the tribesmen with war-painted bodies and spears held high. Immediately, he felt the presence of Jesus confront him and say, "Missionary, why are you here?" Peace that passes all understanding came over him as he answered, "Lord, I am here to tell them about You, and I am prepared to die to do it." From that moment on, while they were in many grave and life-threatening situations, he never doubted his mission, his call, or his God.

The baby he carried into the jungle (Steve Richardson) is now president of one of the largest mission organizations in the world (Pioneers). I had the great honor to sit next to him at a mission conference and tell him how his story kept me in the mission field, and keeps me going.

I share this bit of mission "history" to remind you part of the largeness of "His-story". There will be a day we will each have (on the other side) when someone will approach us to thank us for the life we have led, the way we faithfully followed, and how our obedience to stay the course, changed their life. Your "sending", your "praying", your "providing" is part of "His-story" in Kenya, in Ghana, in Tanzania, in India, in China, in Bosnia, in Israel, in Romania, in Finland, in Bolivia, in Sri Lanka, in Russia, in Siberia, in Cuba, in Mexico, and here on the home shores of America.

Join us in changing the history of Tanzania !

July 29th I will travel with a team of women to conduct two conferences. The first will be held in Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria . This will be for women in leadership positions with a focus on the Gospel's response to human rights issues, as well as equipping them with boldness to enter their communities with the Truth. The second will be a three day conference in a remote village in the Shinyaga Region where ritual killings of elderly women accused of witchcraft take place. Below is an Internet article to give you some idea of the enemy realm we are entering into:

There is also a six minute video which address the horror:

In some ways, when I researched the situation, I felt the question, "Missionary why are you coming here." I felt inadequate and ill-equipped to confront head on such evil. During our village time we will be face-to-face with the men who have committed such atrocities. We will be looking into the eyes of the tribal elders and shaman (witch doctors) who order and ordained these heinous crimes. What do we a small group of white women have to say?

The Truth.

And that is all we need.

Each day, I am given new courage and boldness through the Word, and His Spirit. When the Lord told Joshua,"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) he had a great deal to be frightened of. While the situation we are entering into is one the enemy would love to evoke fear and trembling in us, we stand strong on ALL the promises of the Living God.

We will need the ammunition of intercession. We will need the effectual fervent prayers of the Saints on our behalf. We HAVE the commission of the Living God, we HAVE the provision and we HAVE the protection of the powerful shed blood of His Lamb!

Closing with conviction from "The Message"

And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out....

Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ. Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

Smiling in the Truth of His service,

"Greater is He that is with us.."
"We are more than conquerors"

TANZANIA - Calendar of Events

Depart DFW

Arrive Tanzania
Overnight in Dar es Salaam

Flight to Mwanza

Mwanza Women's Conference

Church Worship

Travel all day to Shinyanga Region

Village Conference in Shinyanga

Travel all day to return to Mwanza

Community Outreach

Church Worship

Depart Mwanza for USA

Arrive DFW