My dad has spent the last week in Tanzania (with a team of people). I’m always challenged by his faith, but getting daily updates of the number of people they are talking to has really opened my eyes to how many do not know the story of our Savior. How many have never heard the life giving message that because of our human nature, we are separated from Christ and set for an eternity of darkness and suffering. But, oh that our God loved us enough to give us His Son. To send His perfect precious Son to live on earth. To walk among His people and to see and feel what we see and feel. And then called Him to the highest expression of love; to give His life for another. To give His life for me. To give His life for you.
But, why? L.O.V.E.
I think about the ugly and dark places my mind goes. I think about the words of wrath that are spewed there. I think about how empty and dark and void my heart and soul feel in those moments. And, I can only imagine that’s what an eternity separated from Christ would be like.
So they go. Door to door and hut to hut. Sometimes a mile between each hut. And sometimes so close
they can all gather under a coconut tree. But they pull these dresses out. And they offer them as a gift. No strings attached. Something they freely give to the girls in these villages. And then they tell them Jesus has a similar gift for them. A gift that took Him sacrifice just like it took sacrifice to make that dress and bring it to them. But, His gift comes freely and with no strings attached. But, its something we have to accept and put on.
And it’s that simple. This time as a group, they have talked to almost 8000 people. Now, I love to talk, but I don’t know that I’ve encountered 8000 people much less in one week. But as they gathered people at a school, for a Jesus film showing, in a church, or in their front yard, they told them that story; the free gift of Jesus. And in their week together, nearly 4300 accepted this gift for the first time.
We take for granted the access to this story. We take for grated that we can find a Bible in a hotel room, or living in the Bible Belt that all “know” what we are talking about. But, it blows my mind that in 2015 there are still 8000 people in one African “town” who would come to listen to a story they’ve never heard.
While he has been gone, I received this story in my inbox. It tells the story of a woman who heard this story of Jesus and asked “why have I not heard this sooner”?
Its a valid question. And one that moves my heart. After moving to Northwest Arkansas, I became aware of Pioneer Bible Translators. An organization based out of Dallas, they seek to translate scripture and get it to every man on earth. When I attended an event they held here 2 years ago, I was able to see some of the handwritten pages where they translated the New Testament into the native language of the Tanzanian people; the handwritten story of the blind man. Needless to say, Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas were all taken care of for my dad that year!
Two month’s from now, they will gather again in my backyard. If this at all peaks your interest, let me encourage you to attend and hear the compelling story of this great organization and give to support their work. I do think it is my generation who will be able to carry this message and equip the translation of The Gospel to those who have not heard.