RAIN FROM HEAVEN
As I stepped foot in Tanzania this past November, the villages where we were ministering in were suffering from a severe drought. Mwabusiga Village hadn’t had rain in 7 months, and Mwamatiga Village hadn’t had rain in 9 months. The crops were non-existent, the earth was scorched, and the people were worried about an impending famine. We take clean, accessible water for granted in the West. I take a shower in my house (with hot water mind you) and walk over to the kitchen to get clean drinking water out of the faucet. Our agriculture enjoys something called irrigation. None of this exists in villages in the developing world. But more importantly, a lack of water means that the crops suffer, which in return reduces the food supply and income of already poor families.
As we began our conference in the first village, I really just wanted to see the drought break and for rain to come. So during our Sunday church service, I decided to preach my “rain sermon” from the above passage in 2 Chronicles 7. At the end of my sermon, the entire church prayed down Heaven and we waited in faith. I mean we really prayed! I was preaching outside in the dirt under a tree. When we cried out in prayer, pastors wearing suits dropped to the ground in fervency, only to rise with their faces and suits covered in dirt. I felt in my heart that the Lord would “seal this conference with rain”. And the rain finally came! During our last evening evangelistic crusade, it began to rain so hard that we had to cancel the crusade and reschedule it for the next morning. I was happy about this because I knew the Lord had done something mighty. Through the power of prayer and a unified church, the Lord had broken the drought and shifted the weather pattern. A big thank you to everyone who was joining with us in prayer for rain! Your prayers worked, and I believe you were vital to seeing breakthrough.
More importantly, I could see how the Lord was releasing a spiritual rain on the land as well. I estimate about 10-20% of the village got saved or rededicated their life to the Lord. There were many miracles of healings and deliverances as well. My favorite story was that even the village witchdoctor got saved in our final crusade and has been attending church as well. Praise the Lord! God is good.
TANZANIA TRIP UPDATE
This was my 3rd trip to Tanzania in 1 year. These trips are always powerful and full of stories with how God moved. Our time was split between two villages: Mwabusiga and Mwamatiga. In both villages, we fed 150 people breakfast and lunch every day, distributed 50 Bibles each, and blessed the churches with practical needs.
In Mwabusiga, we did pastor and women teaching seminars and had a 4-night crusade. This was my second time to this village in 6 months. We’ve developed a close relationship with this village and the different pastors from the area. At one point, we had 34 pastors in attendance, which is a miracle in itself. All the pastors said that the greatest miracle has been how division between pastors has been broken and how unity has been cultivated.
In Mwamatiga Village, we also did teaching seminars, but we did house-to-house evangelism instead of a crusade. At the end of our meetings, our temporary building was bursting at the seams. We were the first foreign missionaries to ever step foot in this village and the people were hungry for God. We even had people interrupting our services to get saved because they “didn’t want to miss this opportunity”. Praise the Lord!
When we visit a new village in East Africa, we often donate 50 chairs to the hosting church. This is because most village churches have no chairs, and everyone sits on rocks, bricks, or dirt for their entire Christian life. On this past trip, we sent chairs in advance to one village. When they received them, the village declared that it was a miracle from God because no village church ever has chairs.
One good plastic chair costs about $10. These simple acts of generosity bless our brothers and sisters in Christ and open the hearts of unbelievers to know the love of Jesus. This is also humbling and puts life into perspective as we enjoy our comfy Western churches.
THANK YOU TO SAM LEGASSICK
I’d like to give a very special thank you to Sam LeGassick, who went on this past Tanzania trip and is a current CFC Board member. She was a trooper and taught the Word with great authority. The women also connected with her in a very special way.
Of course, we have a lot of prayer needs, but my prayer point this time is for you. I pray that all of us walk in more joy this next season! Most people who live in villages in Tanzania have no running water, no electricity, no education (can’t read or write), few clothes, and little money, yet they have such joy. In the West, everyone of us has been blessed so much with prosperity, yet we often have less joy than the Tanzanians who have far less than us. The poor have more joy than the rich. How is this possible? Truly money doesn’t satisfy. I pray this holiday season we all would walk in joy and access a new level of thankfulness and gratitude for everything the Lord has given us.
A big thank you to everyone who supports the ministry and our missionaries financially. We 100% couldn’t do this without you. If you’re interested, you can also donate stocks to CFC. This gets you a tax-deductible receipt and saves you on capital gains taxes. Let us know if you’re interested. Here are our funds that we need to replenish for 2023:
Bible Fund – We need $3,000, which would fund 300 Bibles for pastors and Christian leaders who don’t have one.
Practical Needs – We need $3,000 to help with church projects for the hosting churches in the villages. These are projects such as chairs as I mentioned previously.
Mission Fund – We need $30,000 this next year to fund 3 short-term trips, continue follow-up discipleship, and to start new projects in these villages.