Time to Tell the Tales of Tongaland
God brought our team through and we are all back home from a very successful mission to Zimbabwe. I am excited to have this opportunity to invite you to gather around with me as I share all the wonderful things God did through you and I in the dry and dusty bush of Africa. So, pull up a log or a Tonga stool (like the man in the top center of the picture), and lets begin to tell the tales of a great and wonderful God, and His love for us. There is too much to share in just one sitting, so I will share different stories over the course of several different posts. This post will be a summary of sorts, highlighting how God used yours gifts and prayers to accomplish His work these past few weeks.
First I want to explain the situation the Tonga people are in right now. Zimbabwe is ruled by a socialist dictator who has run the country into the ground. There is a 90% unemployment rate with the bulk of the jobs being found in the larger cities. For the people of the bush, many of them will never work for a living. Therefore, they must survive off the land, sell handcrafted materials, do odd jobs for pay, or hope that one of their children will be able to find employment. The seasons are changing for the Tonga right now.
After a long and dry winter, there are no crops to be found where there is no water supply. The rains will fall in December, but many Tonga will struggle greatly to find food before then. The very dry conditions make it difficult for man and animal alike. The elephants roam tirelessly looking for food, and many times devour small crops robbing the people of a major food source for the year.
What makes the Tonga different is their strong work ethic and gentle spirit. They are a people of peace and humility with weak ties to ancient religions. These characteristics work together to provide fertile soil for the spread of the Gospel. Indeed, the Lord prepared the people to receive the Gospel, and a great harvest ensued.
- Over 220 people received Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
- Four new Baptist churches were established in some of the darkest places in the bush.
- Medicine was distributed to over 400 men, women, and children.
- Food and funds were provided to help many families affected by the loss of crops or lack of employment.
- Associational church leaders were equipped as they follow up with the churches and oversee their growth.
- A process was started that would lead many more people to Christ in years to come.
All this was made possible by the power of God and your faithfulness to give of yourselves in resources and prayer. The evangelism teams, made up of lay church leaders from the area, will now follow up with all the decisions and baptize them. They will also disciple the new believers and help unify the new churches.
As I close this tale, I want to take time again to thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. God used all of us to do a mighty work for Him and build His Kingdom. God faithfully carried our team through many challenges due to your constant prayers. Not only was our team taken care of, but our families at home as well. I look forward to sharing more with you. Please, check back often for more pictures and stories. Also, don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions about our mission and the things we experienced. I would be happy to share.
Thank you and God Bless.