Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Voice in the Villages

Recently, we received an e-mail from our friends in Nyakato, Tanzania which had an attachment of a picture depicting a white dove flying over a white hand on a black background. Our friend, Baraka, wrote that he sees this picture day and night; for he knows he is called to preach in the villages.  I wrote back asking him what the picture represents, and he replied that the white dove is the Holy Spirit speaking to his heart, and the white hand below the bird are those sending him to preach the Good News of the Gospel to the African villagers.
There are many small villages scattered throughout the rural areas of Africa.  In most of the villages, it is very hard to get an education.  At best, only a rudimentary level is available.  There are many illiterate people who live by subsistence farming.  The villages closer to larger towns usually have a church or two, and these are the ones that the missionaries usually visit.  However, the more isolated villages are still in need of the Gospel to bring light to the darkness of fear and sin that prevails wherever people live without the knowledge of God’s abiding love.  

A few years ago, Baraka and some other African evangelists were traveling together to preach in the villages, making a tour of several regions around Lake Victoria.  He shared with us an experience wheen God delivered him from bandits who broke into their hotel rooms, demanding all their money and valuables.  One of the bandits lifted a machete to kill Baraka on the spot.  At first, Baraka was filled with fear, but then the Holy Spirit inspired him to command the bandit in a strong, authoritative voice to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. The man lowered his machete and immediately left the  hotel with the other bandits.  Baraka and the other evangelists quickly ran out and hid in the woods and were able to get home safely the next day.  They later heard that those same bandits had raided another home that night and killed the home owner.  God had mercifully spared the life of Baraka and the other evangelists who had been threatened at the same time.

Baraka clearly knows that he is called to preach the Good News.  This is what is burning in his heart. He is seeking the Lord and God’s people to stand with him to fulfill this call.  God is leading him, and he is obedient to this call.  He is waiting on the Lord for the ability to travel, knowing he cannot provide for his family and travels on his own, for he needs the assistance of other Christians to help make this possible.  The church must send him out to preach the gospel. He has been trained as an evangelist and he knows God is sending him out to bring Christ to the distant villages in East Africa.  “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

May the peace of Christ be with you,
Brother Nathan and Mama Anna

Baraka with his wife Neema

Baraka is an artist.
The man in the painting was chopping a tree and climbed
it to escape a lion - only to be also threatened by
a snake, a breaking branch, and an alligator!
Now he's calling on God for help!

 A village scene painted by Baraka

Sharing the Good News  -- to break down
the walls that separate us from God

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