Today was an historical day! I don't speak of the Olympic Games in China - although I am sure the fanfare surrounding the opening ceremonies was impressive. Here in the city of Mwanza, there may be some households with televisions, but there was no mention of the competition.

Although I am not a big sports enthusiast I do admire the dedication to physical achievement it takes to become a participant in the global event. Individual superiority is awarded, but it also represents a national pride - being the best in your country. At the end of the day, one of the tallies is how many of each medal (gold, silver, or bronze) each country has won.

What fascinates as well as saddens me, is winners and losers are separated by tenths of one hundreds of a second! Which is less time than it actually took me to write that sentence. Just one breath or less - faster or slower determines the outcome of the race.


Can you imagine in a race with 20 participants the first place and last place may only be a few seconds a part?

in Tanzania they may not take note of Olympics, but we are training athletic evangelists. Women ready to run the race with endurance. And the life they have to endure illustrates God has already prepared them for the marathon it will take to bring the country out of the darkness into the light. These are not sprinters - they are in it for the long obedience in the same direction. Their hardships have humbled us, their hearts have given us new courage, and their faith and willingness to serve the Lord without an "agenda" provides a conviction for our own "service".

To start the conference, the Bishop of the Diocese spoke the words of Jesus to Peter "feed my sheep". He admonished the women to feed those around them hungry for the Word of God. He then turned to our team and said, "I like the name of this ministry Sunshine After Rain. We have much "rain" here in Africa: poverty, AIDS, alcoholism, killing of old women and now Albinos. But I feel now with this conference you will usher in the sunshine. God bless you for coming."

There is only one other time in history the date could have been recorded as it was today - a thousand years ago on August 8, 1008. I told the women this as well as the Hebrew significance of the number 8 equaling "new beginnings". There were 8 people saved in the flood - I smiled and said "so you see we are all relatives!" I continued and encouraged them to look at this date as the start of a "new beginning" in their life, their ministry and their country.

"Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19

Tomorrow we will conclude with Bible training, forgiveness and taking action in the community with a Christ-like response. Our original plan was to give the participants new Bibles, but since all of these women have a Bible - we will have them pray over their Bibles as an offering to another village where the tribal killing is being done and there is NO WORD of God there. Sabina and Mama Shangwe said this will be a great honor to allow them to give this gift.

Pray for listening hearts; seeds planted deeply to bear a great harvest. We are on the home stretch - we are passing the "baton" in our relay race - and we are guaranteed the winners of the gold medal (Revelation reveals the race is rigged in our favor all along)!

"Everyone runs, one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. I don't know about you but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got." 1 Cor 9:24-26

Not one tenth of one hundredths of a second late in His will

Which of course makes me smile!

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