Food is vital to us all, we need it to live, chakula is Swahili for food and at Christmas 24th December 2020, we had an event all about food, spiritual and physical. How it all happened is still a miracle, when I look back. As missionaries we are all about the complete person, when we read the words of Jesus and the rest of the New Testament, God is not just interested in our spiritual needs, which of course are paramount, but also our physical and emotional needs. Even before we met, for years Rachael worked in a village called Solai in Kenya, a very poor community in a very arid environment, empowering women, helping children into education, feeding many especially at Christmas and I was so blessed to become part of this.
Now here we are in Tanzania and yes we love planting and doing church together, seeing God build a Christian community, but it is always in our hearts to help the needy and we had been doing this since we came here, but very much on a one to one level. Christmas 2020 saw that change to a totally new dimension.
Mid November Rachael suggested to me that we feed some of the needy families in the village close to where one of our groups was meeting. I really thought she was just talking about giving a little food to 20 - 30 local families. How wrong could I be. This was put into Rachael's heart by God and God's plans are rarely small.
We shared all of this with Steve our son and the team and everything began to come together. Apparently Rachael wasn't talking about feeding a small group of needy people, what God had shared with her was so much bigger, this was about feeding 200 families with enough food for a few weeks. To be honest when she shared this, I didn't think it was possible. However we liaised with the local government to find the most needy families and the team visited every home to verify the need was real. While this and other preparations took place money was given by many in the UK, America and East Africa, to be honest God's provision was astounding. Food stuffs were paid for and ordered, a field was found to hold the event and permissions and permits were granted.
PA system, a band, worship team, security, media, tents, and seating were all organised. It was just amazing to watch what normally would take many months come together in just a few weeks. It was a very emotional day as we saw over 500 people turn up, all ages, Muslims and Christians together to worship, hear the Word and experience the love of Christ.
What looked impossible became a reality and many lives were changed and touched by God's love. In fact we were able to feed nearly 300 families and also give candies and biscuits to all the children. Jesus taught that what we do for the least of these in providing food and clothing, we do for Him.
That day was life changing for many and more than anything we were able to see what can come together with a few people when we let God lead and direct. Yes it is great doing church together, but it was never God's idea to meet together in fancy expensive buildings being blessed, while there are people in desperate need in the community.
We are planning and hoping that this can be a regular event and that you will be able to share in making this possible. We are learning the importance of letting Jesus be the head of His body, the church, to obey His prompting and direction no matter how crazy it may seem, rather than playing safe and seeing little accomplished for Him.
In the 6 months since this event God has continued to lead and speak and we have continued to obey and watch as God does the most amazing life changing things in the community where He has place us. Blogs on these will follow as you join us on this amazing journey and a massive thank you to all of you who have given over the months and made this possible. Words cannot truly express our gratitude.