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Monday, February 15, 2016

Loving Outside the Box

More than a few times in my life I've been too excited to sleep. The end of this mission trip is definitely one of those times. It's 11 pm here in Africa and by the time America reads this I will already be in tomorrow. Fitting, since I'm already thinking of the future. John Long, Samuel Limbe, and myself preached, the Holy Spirit moved. I was reminded of this truth God's word always accomplishes His plan

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please,
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

 I'm not sure the number of salvations. Thirty eight baptisms. We gave out over 100 bibles. Funded a couple of brand new church plants. And too many more things to list. I'll be telling these stories for years. So many wonderful things happened. I've learned a lot. We can't take much credit. It was a group effort. Many of you partnered with us, allowing us to be ambassadors of your generosity. I shall forever be indebted. Thank you.
 This mission has been an overwhelming success but there is so much more God is calling us to do. I hope you'll partner with us again.

 Tanzania is a place where sowing seeds isn't a metaphorical gimmick employed by those preaching a prosperity gospel. It's life or death. Here  "living water" takes on a deeper meaning, knowing many walk as much as 2-1/2 miles to get dirty water. In many cases it's deadly water. Tanzanians see the value in God's word, literally. Here the bible cost roughly 1% of the average yearly income. Do the math. Compared to person making $30,000 annually and the bible would cost $300.  Having to ration out God's word was mindblowing as well as heartbreaking. 
America teaches it's people to think outside the box, so to push ourselves beyond the boundaries of normality and mediocrity. Thinking outside the box, we create beautiful pieces of art and compose masterpieces of music. Outside the box, we find the knowledge to advance in technology and medicine. What if, we loved outside the box? What if, we saw people instead of problems? What if we reminded ourselves, those are image bearers of the Almighty flighting for survival, instead of changing the channel? What if, we were motivated to work as hard for compassion as we do for comfort? What if, we really treated them as our brothers and sisters? Our lives would read as if we were pages torn from the ultimate love story, the word of God itself. American pastors speak of hell to scare people into heaven. 
In this part of Africa, they are just ready to go to heaven. I hope you'll join us in helping them get there.
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