My birthday was the first day of evangelism in the villages. I was still feeling a little lost; why was I even there? The travel had been long, and the newness of everything so extreme. Nevertheless, I was hopeful that our first day out would be meaningful.
Our team of 3 Americans, 3 Tanzanian translators, and 2 locals were driven to a nearby village called Misisi. We walked down trails passing through fields of Casava, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, and millet. The views were incredible!
We came to the first spot where three huts were inside a hedged area. No one was home in the first two huts, but inside the third was a woman paralyzed from the waist down. I remember admiring the banana trees next to her hut before being asked if I wanted to be the one to speak with her. I decided to put all nervousness aside and entered her hut with our local church member, Charles, and with Job.
We were welcomed into the front area by the door where we sat, unable to see the woman behind her bedroom wall and curtained doorway. She spoke Swahili and her village language, so as I spoke, Job translated into Swahili, and Charles translated into the village language. God was genuinely directing our tongues.
We spoke about the pain and suffering we endure in this lifetime and how there’s the hope of eternity in heaven without pain. At the end of sharing the hope and joy of Jesus, she wanted to accept the gift of salvation.
At that moment, my mouth opened, and I said, “we need pastor Samuel.” It was a crazy feeling because it wasn’t me who decided to speak. It was the holy spirit directing. Pastor Samuel then joined us and walked straight into the woman’s room to help her ask Jesus into her life. We all said amen, and then something even crazier happened! Pastor Samuel started PRAYING! Me, Job, and Charles immediately dropped our heads, extended our hands, and started praying in our own languages. We called on Jesus to be there amongst us and to bring his supernatural peace.
We had just witnessed demons fleeing.
The dark hut felt lighter and physically looked brighter.
We told her that the local church would check in on her to help her learn more about Christ. I wrote down her name and told her I’d be praying for her. And just like that, we were on our way to the next home.
That first experience was powerful; it erased all my doubt, fear, and anxiety. I knew then that I would travel 36 exhausting hours for that moment. For just that one saved soul. It was worth it all.
I found out later that the woman had been a witch and was attacked by another villager in 1988 (my birth year) with a machete. She had been unable to walk ever since. I’m so thankful that she now has the hope of Jesus!
This was only the first experience of evangelism. I have so much more to share and would love to share in person or over the phone with those who want to know more. But, the experiences we had in the villages were life-changing and life-giving. I’ll never be the same.
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