Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Days of Joy

Yesterday, I flew in Kilimanjaro and found myself within hours, walking the back roads of Arusha, Tanzania and visiting 30 young mothers who were enrolled in the Child Survival Program. We heard amazing stories of how many had accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They testified to how he is working in their lives, through the Compassion Child Survival Program.

These women work so hard just to survive. The program gives them tools to establish small entrepreneurships - the woman we visited had her own vegetable stand. They are taught how to keep their babies healthy and stimulated for cognitive development. I’ve spoken these words out of a brochure. But I saw them, I held them and I cried for them. They have such hope and dreams not for themselves but for their children.

I visited a home and listened to a mother share her hopes and dreams for her son, Justin. All of her hope is that he will have an education. Because he is in the CSP program and by God’s grace, he will grow up with an education.

Today we spent visiting a Child Development Center. We heard the testimony of four teenagers who had come to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. These four beautiful young women shared what Jesus had done for them and they shared some of the hardships - the death of both parents, a father living for 10 years with liver cancer and domestic abuse, etc. It was so beautiful to love on them, cry on each other’s shoulders and dry each other’s tears.
We visited a home of a mother who has AIDS. Her daughter’s name is Zahera… but she is changing her name to Doreen (must double check that that is correct). Her family is Muslim but when she accepted Jesus as her Lord, she dropped her Muslim name and chose the name Doreen. Doreen plans to be a doctor, specifically a doctor for children. She is 18 years old and is a Senior in High School. Because of Compassion and the love of Jesus, she has this hope.

Because our group was split into two teams, the other team visited the home of a Muslim family where the Compassion project student had gave her life to Jesus. Because of the hope and the change that the mother saw in her daughter, she also accepted Jesus as the Lord of her life. The family continued to hope and pray that the father would someday also come to Christ. In the middle of these testimonies, the father came home and he too said that he saw the change in his daughter and his wife. He was asked if he would someday like to also come to Christ and he decided at that divine moment, to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The whole group gather around him and prayed over him as he became transformed and he was warmly welcomed into the family of Christ.
The pastor was with them and he testified that at that moment, the ENTIRE neighborhood was listening in on just what was going on in their home and will see this transformation in this home. It will have a ripple effect through the entire community.
I am so thankful to have experienced this day and I look forward to what God has in store for us tomorrow.


Celia said...

What a wonderful experience for everyone! I am so glad you have the opportunity to write to us on your blog! I shared this blogpost on my Facebook.

cheryl.corser said...

Hi Andrea,
Wow! I have tears flowing from my eyes! What a powerful testimony to the love of Jesus. Thanks for sharing! My daughter, Jennifer, is there with you. Please give her a hug from her mom. :)
Your Sister in Christ,
Cheryl Corser